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On his way to the office, Babbitt meets his scholarly neighbor, Henry Littlefield. They talk about weather, politics, and economy - conversation as bland as possible and without particular insight or wit. Then Babbitt drives towards the gas station to fill up his car. He has a friendly conversation with the mechanic who commends his ability to maintain the car in good order. Babbitt enjoys the respect with which the attendant speaks to him; it makes him feel important. As he drives to his office, he picks up a passerby to give him a lift. He drives recklessly for a short distance before he steadies the car. Reaching his office, he gets down to business. However, as he dictates a few letters to his secretary, her charm reminds him of the fairy of his dreams.
The chapter gives an account of the movements of Babbitt from the time he leaves his house till he reaches his office. He feels restricted in his house but as he drives down to the office, his spirits revive. He feels confident after conversing with his neighbor, the mechanic, and the passerby. Meeting different kinds of people and talking to them cheers him up and makes him feel intelligent and important. He also gets an exciting feeling driving his car. So he drives recklessly for a short distance before he steadies his pace. Being in the open, Babbitt unwinds his constrained self and feels free to express himself. This gives him happiness. Through this chapter, Lewis reveals that a businessman like Babbitt gets bored with the monotony of family life and office work and feels relieved and refreshed only when he escapes from it. It also shows to what an extent Babbitt's sense of happiness depends on the perceptions of others about him.