Study Guide

Babbitt Marriage

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Marriage

Frank Sinatra, your grandpa's favorite blue-eyed crooner, would have us believe that love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. But for Georgie Babbitt, love and marriage go together like a crazy horse with broken legs and a carriage in flames. He sees his wife Myra as an unsexy nag whose main purpose in life is to second-guess everything he does.

So one day, he gets up and has an affair with another woman. It's not really until later in Babbitt that he realizes that he might be the problem, not Myra. After all, he's the one who is constantly taking out his dissatisfaction on all the people around him.

Questions About Marriage

  1. In your mind, does Babbitt have a terrible marriage, or do you think his bickering with his wife Myra is fairly normal? Why or why not?
  2. How would you describe Paul Riesling's relationship with his wife Zilla? Do you believe that Zilla is to blame for Paul's eventual meltdown?
  3. When and why does Babbitt first start looking for someone to have an affair with? Are there any specific events that send him over the edge into affair-land?
  4. By the end of the book, do you think Babbitt has repaired his marriage with Myra? Why or why not?

Chew on This

In Babbitt, we learn that at in the long run, marriage is always stronger than the temptation to be with other people.

In Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis shows us that love and marriage don't necessarily go together.

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