Satire Essay

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Sinclair Lewis and Babbitt The book under analysis herein is Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt. The copy I am using in this research is published by Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York, 1950. The original version was published in 1922, but there is no information in this book regarding what printing or edition it may be. This edition encompasses thirty four chapters which span 401 pages in length as they are printed here. One interesting note is that the novel is dedicated to Edith Wharton. The author of the work, Sinclair Lewis, was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, and holds the distinction of being the first American ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Lewis was born in the late 19th century and lived until the middle of the 20th century so he witnessed many social transformations, including electricity, the automobile and the rise of industrialism and urban centers. His college years were spent at Yale and he worked early in his writing career as a newspaper journalist and editor. His early works like The Job: An American Novel were characteristic of the satire and realism that would come to be trademarks of his mature style. Lewis would go on to write novels that satirized with little mercy the small rural town (Main Street), the 9-to-5 businessman (Babbitt) and those who tried to prevent scientific truth from emerging (Arrowsmith). Elmer Gantry and Dodsworth were also literary successes and each was made into a Hollywood motion picture. Lewis refused to accept the Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith because the terms of the award stated that it was not being awarded for literary merit, but for the best demonstration of "the wholesome atmosphere of American life" (Murphy 597). Lewis continued writing during the 1930s and later, but his attacks on the facets of American life formerly satirized began to soften. He wrote five novels after he was awarded

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