Superiority of Races in Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt Essay

Superiority of Races in Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt Essay

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Superiority of Races in Babbit

 
        Hatred, intolerance, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness are all terms that can be applied when describing someone who is a bigot.  By these terms George F. Babbitt, the protagonist in Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt, and many of his acquaintances are quite the bigots toward all those that appear different than he is especially immigrants and minorities in America.  The blame should not be placed squarely on these men's shoulders for possessing such hate filled beliefs, but their opinion of the matter is generated from the accepted notion, which had been approved of and passed down through the generations, that immigrants and minorities are far less superior than the "native" white men who have "always" lived in America.  The irony of this subject in the book is that although men of Babbitt's stature openly shared and joked with one another about their superiority to all other races, not one would ever admit that he was even by a small degree a bigot. By showing this to the reader Lewis was making the point that even though there were few that openly admitted to being a bigot almost everyone had some type of bigotry inside because to him it was an essential part of human nature.  Even though there is still racism in today's society it is not as widespread as it was during the time in which Lewis wrote.  Therefore Lewis' view of human nature is not entirely accurate when applied to modern society.  

 

            Although Babbitt never publicly articulated any racist type comments, his ideas toward immigrants and minorities could easily be affiliated with that of racial supremacy.  Although there was a brief period in which Babbitt did sympathize with the immigrant...


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... Paul S, et al. The Enduring Vision: a History of the American People. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. 950

 Ezekiel, Raphael S. Introduction The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo-Nazis and Klansmen. New York: Penguin, 1995. xxviii-xxi.

Lewis, Sinclair. Babbitt. 1922. New York: Bantam, 1998. 21+ 148-149

Leyden, Thomas James. "The Making of a Skinhead." Simon Wiesenthal Center. 1999.

http://www.wiesenthal.com/tj/index.html>. Rpt. in Ethnic Violence. Ed. Myra H. Immell. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2000. 98 

Pascoe, Elaine. Racial Prejudice: Why Can't We Overcome?. 2nd ed. New York:            Franklin Watts, 1997. 21+ 33+ 79-80+ 99+ 116.

Witkin, Gordon, and Jeannye Thornton. "Pride and Prejudice." U.S. News & World Report 15 Jul.1996. Rpt. in Ethnic Violence. Ed. Myra H. Immell. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2000. 74.

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