Study Guide

Babbitt Chapter 28

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

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Chapter 28

(Section I)

  • When Babbitt's in his office, his secretary comes in to inform him that Tanis Judique is calling to ask about some repairs to her apartment. He takes the call, and Tanis tells him that her roof is beginning to leak and that she'd like him to fix it. He offers to come over personally to do the work.
  • Once he's off the phone, Babbitt reflects on how sophisticated a lady Tanis Judique is. He bets that she is just the woman to understand him and his new way of looking at things.
  • When he gets to her apartment, she teases him about never taking her up on her offer to teach him dancing.
  • He calls some plumbers from her apartment after realizing that he can't fix the leak. Once that's done, he gets ready to mosey, but she asks him to stay for a cup of tea. She tells him how nice it is to have him around, which of course makes him feel valued.
  • He starts to tell her about his newfound liberal views, and she approves of how open-minded he is. She also reveals that she knows all about his reputation as a speechmaker from the newspapers.
  • At this point, Babbitt feels overcome by the need to touch her. But he holds back and they continue to chat about everyday things like the weather.
  • She says it's about time for supper and bids him goodbye. He asks her to let him stay, though, and offers to run out to grab some takeout and bring it back. She agrees, and they have dinner together in her apartment.
  • As they eat supper together by the fireplace, they talk about how lonely they are and how great it is that they've found one another.
  • Babbitt returns home the next morning, the implication being that he and Tanis have had sex. And there's not a shred of guilt in Babbitt's mind. In fact, he feels pretty great.

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