Study Guide

Babbitt Chapter 20

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Chapter 20

(Sections I through II)

  • Babbitt travels to Paul Riesling's hotel room in Chicago. After a little scrap with the man at the front desk, Babbitt gets a key to Paul's room and goes in to wait for him. Hours later, Paul shows up. He and Babbitt get into a fight, with Babbitt chastising Paul for being an immoral man and cheating on his wife.
  • After they calm down, Paul asks Babbitt to do him a favor by lying to Zilla and saying that he (Babbitt) saw Paul in Akron, Ohio, which is where he's supposed to be.
  • As he rides home in a cab that night, Babbitt finds tears coming to his eyes.
  • When he gets back home, he calls personally on Zilla to tell him how nice it was to run into Paul in Akron.
  • Zilla, though, doesn't fully believe him. She knows that Paul has something going on with a woman in Chicago. Babbitt scolds her, though, for always being so hard on Paul.
  • When Paul gets back from Chicago, Zilla seems like a changed woman. She is a lot nicer to him on the whole. But Paul soon tells Babbitt that it's too late for Zilla to start being nice now. He is determined to get away from her. Somehow.

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