Babbitt

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Author: Sinclair Lewis

II

In this mood he was particularly objectionable at the Boosters’ Club lunch next day. They were addressed by a congressman who had just returned from an exhaustive three-months study of the finances, ethnology, political systems, linguistic divisions, mineral resources, and agriculture of Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Jugoslavia, and Bulgaria. He told them all about those subjects, together with three funny stories about European misconceptions of America and some spirited words on the necessity of keeping ignorant foreigners out of America.

"Say, that was a mighty informative talk. Real he-stuff," said Sidney Finkelstein.

But the disaffected Babbitt grumbled, "Four-flusher! Bunch of hot air! And what’s the matter with the immigrants? Gosh, they aren’t all ignorant, and I got a hunch we’re all descended from immigrants ourselves."

"Oh, you make me tired!" said Mr. Finkelstein.

Babbitt was aware that Dr. A. I. Dilling was sternly listening from across the table. Dr. Dilling was one of the most important men in the Boosters’. He was not a physician but a surgeon, a more romantic and sounding occupation. He was an intense large man with a boiling of black hair and a thick black mustache. The newspapers often chronicled his operations; he was professor of surgery in the State University; he went to dinner at the very best houses on Royal Ridge; and he was said to be worth several hundred thousand dollars. It was dismaying to Babbitt to have such a person glower at him. He hastily praised the congressman’s wit, to Sidney Finkelstein, but for Dr. Dilling’s benefit.

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Chicago: Sinclair Lewis, "II," Babbitt in Babbitt (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922), Original Sources, accessed January 26, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9523SGL8AE2S67T.

MLA: Lewis, Sinclair. "II." Babbitt, in Babbitt, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922, Original Sources. 26 Jan. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9523SGL8AE2S67T.

Harvard: Lewis, S, 'II' in Babbitt. cited in 1922, Babbitt, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 26 January 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9523SGL8AE2S67T.