Study Guide

Babbitt Chapter 16

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Chapter 16

(Section I through IV)

  • As time passes, Babbitt finds more and more ways of keeping his mind off the question of what his life even means, man. He gets his biggest consolation from hanging with Paul Riesling. But eventually, the project that gives him most meaning is working to promote a local Sunday school.
  • One day, after mass is over, he gets called into the office of Dr. John Jennison Drew, the pastor at Babbitt's church. When Babbitt gets to the office, he finds his pal Chum Frink sitting there next to an old man named William W. Earthorne, the president of the First State Bank of Zenith. Or in other words, a really big fish who's way out of Babbitt's social league.
  • It turns out that Dr. John wants the men to think of new ways to promote the church's Sunday school, which currently sits as fourth largest in the city. Drew wants to change it into the biggest and the best. Babbitt is pumped to be working alongside the likes of William Earthorne.

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