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The Republican Party in Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt Essay

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The Republican Party in Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt

 
       Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt portrayed a man bent on following his political party; his actions seemingly followed that religiously, and today's version of the Republican Party is proof that we are not too far off from Lewis' version, despite the expanse of time. George Babbitt, the main character in Lewis' novel, viewed the world in the eyes of a businessman. He saw immigrants as a waste to society, business and the means to survive, and the ability to own the latest and greatest inventions as top priorities in his life. One must, in the 1920s and well as in today's world, set themselves in a political affiliation, generally one that describes the person and how he is. To Babbitt, the Republican Party held the most appeal, arguing that even the contents of his pockets "were of eternal importance, like baseball and the Republican Party" (Lewis 9).

 

            Lewis' character obviously had an obsession for the things he took part in, and professed his beliefs whenever he could. The book is initially set before a presidential election, in which Babbitt requested a "good - sound - economical - business - administration" (Lewis 26). Such values are identical to the values of the Republicans in the 1920s was to "help business and industry [and] maintain a level of prosperity with as little inference as possible" (Rutland 173).  Because of such views, people pressured Babbitt into believing anything related to business was good, including the Good Citizens League, a relative mind-control society. Lewis' mindset might have been to accuse the Republican Party, the party in control at the time he wrote the book, of being too isolated in their practi...


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..., unless you seek to abuse it as Babbitt did. Republicans has a set agenda, but not everyone is a conservative Republican how refuses to budge, there should be some moderation in the creation and maintaining of such parties. The Republican Party has changed with time, but it needs to continue if it is to improve and grow as it continues during these turbulent times.

 

Works Cited

Boyer, Paul S., et al. eds. The Enduring Vision. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Brooks, Charles ed. Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year: 1998 Edition. Gretna, LA: Pelican, 1998.

Fairlie, Henry. The Parties: Republicans and Democrats in This Century. New York: The New Republic Magazine, 1978.

Lewis, Sinclair. Babbitt. 1922. New York: Signet, 1998.

Rutland, Robert A. The Republicans: From Lincoln to Bush. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri, 1996.


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