Teacher Guide

Babbitt Lesson Plan

Introduction to Babbitt

Originally published in 1922, Babbitt takes place in the 1920s - also known as the Jazz Age. This post-World War I era is now considered to have been one of particular indulgence and materialism. It was also a time of paranoia, creating a climate of distrust.

Babbitt captures both the social and political climate of the time: its characters include political extremists with a total distrust of those on the other side. Seneca Doane, a socialist and arguably the novel’s most progressive character, finds himself blacklisted by influential society, viewed as a threat by men like William Eathorne and Virgil Gunch.

Lewis also aimed to paint a more harrowing picture of 1920s America than the...

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