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On the train to Zenith, Babbitt meets Seneca Doane. Talking to Doane, Babbitt begins to think he has misunderstood Doane all along. He realizes that he shares many interests and beliefs with the lawyer he once campaigned against. Doane's human logic and reformist attitude make Babbitt feel as if he has been enlightened.
Returning home, he visits Zilla, who now lives in a cheap boarding house. Zilla looks sober and sounds religious but refuses to help Paul get his release. She is staunch in her desire to see Paul live out his punishment. At the club, Babbitt defends Seneca Doane against the words and declarations of his associates. At home, he is tolerant with his family though he is still insistent that Ted go to college.
Babbitt's morale gets a boost when he meets Seneca Doane. At a time when Babbitt is feeling most disillusioned with life, Doane appears and miraculously revives Babbitt. Suddenly he feels enlightened and enthusiastic--the balm he needs to soothe his troubled soul.
The encounter with Zilla is just another depressing reminder to Babbitt of all that is wrong in the world and what his best friend is suffering through. Ironically, Zilla's new experience with religion has left her bitter and unforgiving; he hardened spirit saddens Babbitt greatly.