Chapter 2

(Sections I through II)

  • With Myra gone, Babbitt glances around his bedroom. After a long description, the narrator tells us that almost every home in Babbitt's neighborhood has a bedroom exactly like this one.
  • All in all, the narrator tells us, the Babbitts' house might be a house, but it isn't a home. Or in other words, there's nothing personal about anything inside the house. It's just a bunch of furniture and products that society has told them to buy.
  • Coming downstairs, Babbitt curses his ungrateful kids as he comes to the breakfast table.
  • Babbitt argue with his daughter Verona, who wants to quit her promising job at a leather company to go work for much less money at a charity.
  • The argument eventually breaks down into a fight about who is going to get the car for the night.
  • When the kids are gone, Babbitt turns to the newspaper and is happy to find that a new set of laws has come in to outlaw socialists in New York. Better yet, a labor organizer in Alabama is going to be deported.
  • He also reads up on a man he used to know in college named Charley McKelvey, who is apparently a big shot who has made millions in business since graduating.

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