Sinclair Lewis: Babbitt (1324 words)


With Babbitt (1922) Sinclair Lewis consolidated the reputation he had earned with his first best-selling novel, Main Street (1920). Like Main Street, Babbitt not only became a best seller, but it generated controversy, became a US cultural phenomenon, and eventually contributed a new word to the language. (Although the word “babbitt” has come to mean a “smugly conventional person,” George F. Babbitt is a more complex individual – and more troubled – than the dictionary definition would suggest.) Babbitt is the story of a middle-aged real estate broker who faces a series of psychological crises that reveal to him the emptiness of his superficially successful and prosperous life. As a …

Citation: Fleming, Robert E.. "Babbitt". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001 [, accessed 19 August 2022.]

10532 Babbitt 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.