Babbitt

George F. Babbitt and Women: A Vicious Cycle of Dissatisfaction College

In his book Babbitt (1922), Sinclair Lewis presents George F. Babbitt, a tormented man anchored in the Roaring Twenties. Firstly described as an active citizen who is pleased with his job, his Club and all the thriving technological developments of his time, the protagonist of the story quickly appears nonetheless as an unhappy man discontent with his life. Although it comes from various aspects of his world, Babbitt’s relationships with women play a major role in this dissatisfaction. Whether it is with his wife, his mistress or his feminine acquaintances in whom he is interested, Babbitt never seems to reach a complete state of content in his relations, as his expectations always turn into disappointment. In addition, America undergoes revolutionary changes in the 1920’s which cause destabilisation in several domains, particularly gender roles. Indeed, with the progressive emancipation of women since the nineteenth century and the apparition of the national women’s suffrage in 1920, many men find themselves in a situation of confusion regarding the gender balance that had prevailed until then. The purpose of this paper is thus to demonstrate that George F. Babbitt is continuously dissatisfied with his relationships with women...

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