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MonkeyNotes-Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 23

Babbitt tries to lose himself in his work. In June, when Myra and Tinka leave for the east to visit a relative, he finds he has little or nothing to do. First he plans a poker game with friends. Everyone cancels, however, so he is disappointed. He tries to read Verona's books but finds them boring. At the club, he finds he feels alienated from his old friends. He goes out to watch a movie during office hours. He also tries to flirt with his secretary and Louetta Swanson but feels disappointed by the lack of response from them. He misses Paul badly and feels the need for his company. Feeling isolated, he begins to fantasize about the fairy girl. Even this fantasy fails to please him.


Notes

This chapter is a prelude to the next few chapters. Lewis has presented Babbitt as a lonely man who is desperate for companionship and understanding. After Paul's imprisonment, Babbitt is at a complete loss. When Myra and Tinka leave on a visit, he has all the time at his disposal but not the right company. So he devises ways and means to keep himself occupied. He invites his friends for a game of poker but when they are not able to oblige him, he feels distressed. At the club, he is not comfortable talking to his other friends. When he finds himself neglected, he acts rebellious, flirting and sloughing off on the job. His sense of alienation and abandonment is extreme.

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