Study Guide

Babbitt Writing Style

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Writing Style

Poetic, Descriptive

A big part of Sinclair Lewis' ability to be satirical in his portrait of George Babbitt comes from his ability to write very poetically about stuff that is really, really, mind-numbingly boring. We find an example of this style when Babbitt is trying to start his car in the morning, and the narrator says,

Among the tremendous crises of each day none was more dramatic than starting the engine. (3.3.2)

If Lewis' exaggerations about Babbitt's life were written in plain, deadpan prose, the satire wouldn't be as funny. It's only by making things sound totally epic that Lewis truly shows us how silly it is to talk about Babbitt's life as though it's actually interesting.

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