Everyone at some point in time lives their life hoping to someday achieve the ultimate goal, the American Dream. If the American dream isn’t the force that drives us, it may be another force; Greed. In the novel Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, the character of George Babbitt wants to live in a better world, a world in which class barriers would be easier to penetrate. He currently lives in the city of Zenith, an industrialized mid-west city where what you have separates you from the next person. It is a very ignorant city, but is rather true, even in the present time. He is a hard working middle class real estate salesman who wants to jump classes but realizes the difficulty he faces.
From the moment we are introduced to the character of George Babbitt, we come to realize his disatisfaction with his life. He is stuck in a class that he feels is below him. The only problem is that he is unable to switch. Babitt is a part of the Middle class in the city of Zenith. The differance is so great that this classifacation prevents Babbitt from crossing the barriers. Babbitt lives in a world in which everything is based on material possessions. The people of Zenith including Babbitt base their personal wealth on the value of th epossessions they own. A major concernof Babbitt and his wife is what other people think of them.
At The beginning of the novel, Babbitt has a dream about a fairy. This fairy didn;t see him as an old man who sold real estate, but as a young passionate youth . His dream gives us insight into a vision held by Babbitt. This image is an escape from reality. This escape shows a whole new environment, an environment which is better than the one in which she lives. Everything around his room ignites his thought process and reminds him of something else, something he feels very passionate about. His blanket made him think of a trip that he never took. It was a camping trip that he spent time planning and was ready to go. That trip that was never taken represents an out, a way out of Zenith. Babbitt doesn’t seem as content as everyone else. It seems as though there is something else inside of him, something very rebellious about him.
The beginning of this novel reminds me of something said by Henry David Thoreau:
“The cost of a thing is not the price, rather the abount of time it took to earn the mone in which the product costs”
As we continue to read, im sure we will see Sinclair Lewis continue on his journey in exploiting american society. He gradually introduces more evidence to show us just how obsessed all of us are with our possessions.