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MonkeyNotes-Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

Chapter 1

The novel opens with a descriptive, panoramic view of Zenith - a modern township of America, filled with high rise buildings, factories, bridges, automobiles and the human race. In a residential quarter of this township called Floral Heights lives the forty-six year old real estate dealer, George F. Babbitt, who is the principal character in the novel. Babbitt is plump, prosperous, and practical. However, he is also a hopeless daydreamer. On the morning of April 20, he wakes up reluctantly after dreaming and fantasizing about a fairy girl - a pastime that has consumed him as of late. A short while later, he reluctantly starts his morning ritual of washing and dressing. Soon his wife wakes up and assists him in his dressing. When he is ready, he views himself in the mirror and then looks out of the window at the lively city before leaving to partake of his breakfast.


Notes

Sinclair Lewis rightly introduces the protagonist of the novel after describing the setting in which he is placed. George F. Babbitt lives in a posh residential neighborhood in a typically modern American city. He is prosperous and affluent but his life is dull. His wife is a good-natured woman but she is far from attractive. Their conversation is routine and mundane. Lately he has been fantasizing about a relationship with a fairy girl. This preoccupation with fantasy makes him feel both excited and a little guilty, so he forces himself back to mundane reality. Since the scene inside the house is uninspiring, Babbitt looks out of the window at the view and finds some sort of inspiration from the majestic city outside. What is already clear at this point in the novel is that Babbitt is unchallenged and discontent with the life he has built.

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