George Babbitt of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt Essay

George Babbitt of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt Essay

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George Babbitt: Image of a Presbyterian

     In Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis portrays religion as a corrupt business.  In fact, he emphasizes this by focusing on his main character George Babbitt.  George Babbitt is characterized as a businessman in Zenith.  He is a man preoccupied about his reputation and his image before the main leaders of the town he lives in.  Lewis creates a hypocritical figure for Babbitt through his reasons for being a Presbyterian.  He says that if you were to question Babbitt about his religion he would say,  "My religion is to serve my fellow men, to honor my brother as myself, and to do my bit to make life happier for one and for all"  (199).  Of course, if you heard this from Babbitt you would have the idea that Babbitt was a true Presbyterian.  Lewis says that if you were to persist with the same question Babbitt would then reply,  "I'm a member of the Presbyterian Church, and naturally, I accept its doctrines"  (199).  This would make Babbitt look even better.  Being from the Presbyterian Church, the richest church in Zenith, he would be a man well set with good morals.  However, Lewis points at G. Babbitt's true reasons for being in the Presbyterian Church.  He was really a Presbyterian for his reputation.  By participating in the services of the Presbyterian Church, Babbitt was able to hide his human flaws and give himself an image of a respectable man (Lewis 199).


            George Babbitt was asked by Dr. Drew to help improve the Sunday School at Zenith.  Lewis shows that Babbitt's acceptance to carry out this task was done to form a business relationship with Mr. Eathorne, the president of the First State Bank of Zenith.  "Nothing gave Babbitt more purifica...

... middle of paper ...

...nd money 


Works Cited


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

Miller, Park Hays. Why I am a Presbyterian. New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1956.

"PCUSA clergy, laity, differ on gambling." Christian Century 13 Sept. 2000


"The Presbyterian General Assembly." The Christian Century 17 June 1926: 784-789. 

Scanlon, Leslie. "Council will be asked to cut $2.5 million from budget; Reducing frequency of

     Assemblies endorsed." Outlook 29 Jan. 2002



Smith, Elwyn A. The Presbyterian Ministry in American Culture. Philadelphia: Westminister 

     Press, 1962.


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