Babbitt

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Author: Sinclair Lewis

II

She was out of the hospital in seventeen days. He went to see her each afternoon, and in their long talks they drifted back to intimacy. Once he hinted something of his relations to Tanis and the Bunch, and she was inflated by the view that a Wicked Woman had captivated her poor George.

If once he had doubted his neighbors and the supreme charm of the Good Fellows, he was convinced now. You didn’t, he noted, "see Seneca Doane coming around with any flowers or dropping in to chat with the Missus," but Mrs. Howard Littlefield brought to the hospital her priceless wine jelly (flavored with real wine); Orville Jones spent hours in picking out the kind of novels Mrs. Babbitt liked—nice love stories about New York millionaries and Wyoming cowpunchers; Louetta Swanson knitted a pink bed-jacket; Sidney Finkelstein and his merry brown-eyed flapper of a wife selected the prettiest nightgown in all the stock of Parcher and Stein.

All his friends ceased whispering about him, suspecting him. At the Athletic Club they asked after her daily. Club members whose names he did not know stopped him to inquire, "How’s your good lady getting on?" Babbitt felt that he was swinging from bleak uplands down into the rich warm air of a valley pleasant with cottages.

One noon Vergil Gunch suggested, "You planning to be at the hospital about six? The wife and I thought we’d drop in." They did drop in. Gunch was so humorous that Mrs. Babbitt said he must "stop making her laugh because honestly it was hurting her incision." As they passed down the hall Gunch demanded amiably, "George, old scout, you were soreheaded about something, here a while back. I don’t know why, and it’s none of my business. But you seem to be feeling all hunky-dory again, and why don’t you come join us in the Good Citizens’ League, old man? We have some corking times together, and we need your advice."

Then did Babbitt, almost tearful with joy at being coaxed instead of bullied, at being permitted to stop fighting, at being able to desert without injuring his opinion of himself, cease utterly to be a domestic revolutionist. He patted Gunch’s shoulder, and next day he became a member of the Good Citizens’ League.

Within two weeks no one in the League was more violent regarding the wickedness of Seneca Doane, the crimes of labor unions, the perils of immigration, and the delights of golf, morality, and bank-accounts than was George F. Babbitt.

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Chicago: Sinclair Lewis, "II," Babbitt in Babbitt (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922), Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KQ5QCQ5AZ3HRFJK.

MLA: Lewis, Sinclair. "II." Babbitt, in Babbitt, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KQ5QCQ5AZ3HRFJK.

Harvard: Lewis, S, 'II' in Babbitt. cited in 1922, Babbitt, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KQ5QCQ5AZ3HRFJK.