Examples of these contradictory human traits abound throughout the novel. George believed in material possessions as definitions of his worth, but his discontent with them is evident thus: He hadn't even any satisfaction in the new water cooler! And it was the very best of water coolers,..(p. 26 Chp. 3). His weakness regarding attempts to stop smoking is frequently portrayed, with little plans to thwart himself, such as locking his cigars in a filing cabinet and hiding the key, and his many promises to quit. After his Maine vacation, he had to leave the train to buy a cigar, then later our days later, he again remembered that he had stopped smoking, but he was too busy catching up with his office work to keep it remembered.(p. 116 Chp. 12)
When he found himself accepted as a good orator, at the real estate convention, he was full of bombastic pride, but also a simple pleasure in having his ability so recognized. guess some of the folks on Floral Heights will sit up and take notice now, pay a little attention to old Georgie!(p.128 Chp. 13) There is much endearing boyishness in his enthusiasms and frequent attempts to improve in many areas of his life. His continuing success as an orator has something sadly nostalgic about it, as Babbitt harks back to his unfulfilled desire to have been a lawyer.
His snobbery and social climbing were evident when, after the alumni reunion, he and Mrs. ...Show more