Study Guide

Babbitt Chapter 34

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

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Chapter 34

(Sections I through VI)

  • With Babbitt's support, The Good Citizens' League becomes one of the most powerful organizations in Zenith, ensuring that as many people as possible accept the gospel of free market capitalism. All over town, socialists are getting assaulted and their offices are being burned.
  • During these weeks, his daughter Verona gets married to Ken Escott.
  • Better yet, all of Babbitt's old business starts to flood back into his office.
  • While all of this is happening, though, Babbitt promises himself that one day, he'll truly be his own man. Maybe after he retires, though.
  • One Saturday evening, Babbitt's son Ted takes Eunice Littlefield out to a dance and the two of them don't come home. Both Babbitt and Myra are worried, but when the two finally show up, it turns out that they've gone off and had a midnight wedding.
  • Immediately, Eunice's parents come over to the Babbitts' to denounce the marriage. Even some of the neighbors show up to weigh in.
  • When things are at their most intense, though, Babbitt takes Ted aside privately and tells him he's proud of him for playing by his own rules.
  • Put simply, Babbitt admires his son's ability to do what he thinks is right instead of conforming to the world around him. In this sense, Babbitt's hope for independence lives on in his son, even though he might have given up on himself.

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