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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Shifting values in Sinclair Lewis Ellenor, Leslie 1969

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SHIFTING VALUES IN SINCLAIR LEWIS  by  LESLIE ELLENOR B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f Durham, 1957 D i p . Ed., U n i v e r s i t y of O x f o r d , 1960  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e Department of English  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e required standard  The U n i v e r s i r f y o f B r i t i s h Columbia September, 1969  In presenting  t h i s thesis in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for  an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and Study. I further agree that permission for extensive for s c h o l a r l y purposes may by his representatives.  be granted by the Head of my Department or It is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l  gain shall not be a 11 owed without my  w r i t t e n permission.  Department of  ENGLISH  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date  ^&^T,  copying of this thesis  ABSTRACT  The purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s i s t o examine two c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s in  t h e l i f e and works o f S i n c l a i r L e w i s :  h i s ambivalence i n  g e n e r a l , and.his p a r t i c u l a r unambivalent h o s t i l i t y towards  religion.  A l t h o u g h he h e l d i n c o n s i s t e n t and i n c o m p a t i b l e views on A m e r i c a , its  p e o p l e , i n s t i t u t i o n s , and b e l i e f s , he was c o n s i s t e n t i n h i s  d i s l i k e of American r e l i g i o u s  practices.  Chapter I examines L e w i s ' s ambivalence r e s p e c t i n g A m e r i c a and A m e r i c a n s , t h e M i d d l e West, t h e M i d d l e C l a s s and B u s i n e s s ; t h e r e i s a l s o an account o f L e w i s ' s p e r s i s t e n t h o s t i l i t y  towards  r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s , the c l e r g y , and c h u r c h g o e r s . Chapter I I examines a s p e c t s o f t h e l i f e and p e r s o n a l i t y of  S i n c l a i r Lewis f o r some o f t h e f a c t o r s which c o n t r i b u t e t o h i s  a m b i v a l e n t views and a l s o t o h i s a n t i - r e l i g i o u s o u t l o o k . Chapter I I I n o t e s t h e t i m e l i n e s s of L e w i s ' s n o v e l s , p u b l i s h e d i n the Twenties when people were confused about beliefs.  their  Chapter I I I t h e n a n a l y s e s i n d e t a i l f o u r n o v e l s , M a i n  S t r e e t , A r r o w s m i t h , Elmer G a n t r y , and The God Seeker, which demonstrate how L e w i s ' s a t t i t u d e s change, except towards  religion.  Chapter IV s t u d i e s t h e s t y l e of S i n c l a i r L e w i s , and notes t h a t he c o n s t a n t l y a p p l i e s mocking or h o s t i l e terms t o c l e r g y and C h r i s t i a n s , w h i l e on o t h e r s u b j e c t s he e x p r e s s e s incomp a t i b l e views w i t h n o i s y a s s u r a n c e .  Chapter I V a l s o suggests t h a t  L e w i s ' s ambivalence and h i s a n t i - r e l i g i o n b o t h stem from a l a c k o f p r o f u n d i t y i n h i s thought and f e e l i n g .  He i s u n a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d  and a p p r e c i a t e f u l l y t h e t r u t h s o f American l i f e and t h e t r u t h s of  religion.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  *  Page  Introduction  Chapter I  1  •  4  Chapter I I  2 2  Chapter I I I  34  Chapter IV. ,  7 1  B i b l i o g r a p h y .. .  85  INTRODUCTION  I n a n a l y s i n g t h e l i f e and works o f S i n c l a i r L e w i s , t h e prime d i f f i c u l t y i s t o d e a l w i t h h i s c o n t r a d i c t o r i n e s s , i n c o n s i s t e n c y , and a m b i v a l e n c e . his  He has no s e t t l e d p e r s p e c t i v e o r v i e w p o i n t ;  p r i n c i p l e s are insecure.  Escaping  d e f i n i t i o n , he i s an  " i n c o n s i s t e n t and p a r a d o x i c a l iconoclast."''' He assumes c o n t r a d i c t o r y r o l e s , " t h e p r o l e t a r i a n p l u t o c r a t , t h e b o u r g e o i s gypsy, t h e p a t r i o t i c 2 e x p a t r i a t e , t h e unmannerly c r i t i c of manners," t o be many S i n c l a i r L e w i s e s .  so t h a t t h e r e seem  One c r i t i c c a l l e d h i m " t h e v i c t i m o f  3 his  own d i v i d e d h e a r t . " He i s C a r o l and K e n n i c o t t , heart and head, r a d i c a l and  o r t h o d o x , p u r i t a n and man o f the w o r l d , " s t a n d i n g between East and  West, Europe and A m e r i c a , Beacon S t r e e t and M a i n S t r e e t , t h e  e x o t i c and t h e o r d i n a r y , c u l t u r e and v i g o r , r e f i n e m e n t and c r u d i t y , convention  and f r e e d o m . "  4  L e w i s i s changeable and i r r e g u l a r and  i n c o n s i s t e n t , a man o f m u l t i p l e p e r s o n a l i t y who " s h i f t s h i s p o i n t of view so o f t e n t h a t f i n a l l y we come t o wonder whether he has any."-' However, t h e r e a r e some c o n s i s t e n t a t t i t u d e s i n the l i f e and works o f S i n c l a i r L e w i s . progress,  He b e l i e v e s i n b r o t h e r h o o d ,  s c i e n c e , and i n d i v i d u a l freedom.  h y p o c r i s y and inhumane a c t s , a n d religion.  He '.always h a t e s  he has a steady d i s l i k e of o r g a n i s e d  " A p a r t from a b r i e f c o n v e r s i o n , w h i l e L e w i s prepped f o r r  Y a l e a t O b e r l i n , h i s h o s t i l i t y t o r e l i g i o n and i t s m i n i s t r y was constant."^  He d i s l i k e s c h u r c h e s , dogma, p a s t o r s , and f l o c k s ; and  a l l h i s n o v e l s , from f i r s t t o l a s t , have a n t i - r e l i g i o u s elements.  -2-  T h i s study w i l l i n d i c a t e some o f t h e many a s p e c t s of A m e r i c a n about which L e w i s was a m b i v a l e n t , and i t w i l l a l s o show h i s d i s l i k e of r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s .  life  consistent  -3Footnotes t o I n t r o d u c t i o n  ^D.J. Dooley, The A r t o f S i n c l a i r L e w i s . U n i v e r s i t y o f Nebraska P r e s s , 1967), p. 58. Mark Schorer, S i n c l a i r Lewis: Y o r k : M c G r a w - H i l l , 1961), p. 483. 2  (Lincoln:  An A m e r i c a n L i f e .  (New  ^Quoted i n D o o l e y , A r t , p. 223. ^ S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 166. ^Quoted i n D o o l e y , A r t , p. 252. Sheldon N. G r e b s t e i n , S i n c l a i r L e w i s . (New Haven: C o l l e g e and U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962), p. 99.  CHAPTER I  L e w i s ' s ambivalence shows i t s e l f i n h i s t r e a t m e n t of A m e r i c a and A m e r i c a n s , t h e i r s t a n d a r d s and t h e i r b e h a v i o u r .  He  both a t t a c k s and p r a i s e s t h e M i d d l e West, t h e M i d d l e C l a s s , and most o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s .  L i k e any s a t i r i s t , he a t t a c k s more o f t e n  than he d e f e n d s , and i t i s e a s i e r t o see what he i s a g a i n s t  than  what he i s f o r . L e w i s ' s c r i t i c i s m o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i s summed up i n h i s N o b e l speech, when he contended " t h a t A m e r i c a , w i t h a l l h e r wealth  and power, has n o t y e t produced a c i v i l i z a t i o n good enough  t o s a t i s f y t h e deepest wants o f human c r e a t u r e s . " ^  He d e s c r i b e d  i t as a l a n d of s t e r i l i t y and emptiness and "narrow  frustrated  Q lives."  L a c k i n g s e r e n i t y and m a t u r i t y , i t s o n l y d e f i n i t i o n o f  l i f e i s materialistic —  success, wealth,  position.  The Americans 9  have no t r u e home, no t r u e c h u r c h , no c o r p o r a t e l i f e ;  b u t they  take smug s a t i s f a c t i o n i n a c u l t u r e which l a c k s b e a u t y , decency, and  tolerance. I t i s an u n i m a g i n a t i v e l y s t a n d a r d i z e d background, a s l u g g i s h n e s s of speech and manners, a r i g i d r u l i n g of t h e s p i r i t by t h e d e s i r e t o appear r e s p e c t a b l e . I t i s contentment . . . t h e contentment o f t h e q u i e t dead, who a r e s c o r n f u l o f t h e l i v i n g f o r t h e i r r e s t l e s s w a l k i n g . I t i s n e g a t i o n canonized as t h e one p o s i t i v e v i r t u e . I t i s the p r o h i b i t i o n of happiness. I t i s s l a v e r y s e l f - s o u g h t and s e l f - d e f e n d e d . It is d u l l n e s s made God. A s a v o r l e s s p e o p l e , g u l p i n g t a s t e l e s s food, and s i t t i n g a f t e r w a r d , c o a t l e s s and t h o u g h t l e s s , i n  -5-  r o c k i n g - c h a i r s p r i c k l y w i t h inane d e c o r a t i o n s , l i s t e n i n g to mechanical music, s a y i n g mechanical t h i n g s about the e x c e l l e n c e of F o r d automobiles and v i e w i n g themselves as the g r e a t e s t r a c e i n the world.10 S i n c l a i r Lewis  suggests t h a t the motto of t h i s  "grossly  m a t e r i a l i s t i c , money-mad, smugly h y p o c r i t i c a l , p r o v i n c i a l should be changed  from " I n God we  civilization"  t r u s t " t o "Government of the p r o f i t s , 12  by the p r o f i t s ,  f o r the p r o f i t s . "  humane i d e a l s , no good l i f e ,  The Americans have no  no honor  of k n i g h t , a r t i s t ,  no t r u t h , beauty, or goodness, no i m a g i n a t i o n or f a i t h : understand democracy as l i t t l e  as they understand  rational  or p r i e s t , "They  Christianity."^  They cannot see the i m p e r f e c t i o n s and f a l s e v a l u e s of t h e i r c o u n t r y , but  Lewis w i l l  "de-bamboozle the American  public.  You cannot h e a l the problems of any one m a r r i a g e u n t i l you h e a l the problems of an e n t i r e c i v i l i z a t i o n founded upon s u s p i c i o n and s u p e r s t i t i o n ; and you cannot h e a l the problems o f a c i v i l i z a t i o n thus founded u n t i l i t r e a l i z e s i t s own b a r b a r i c n a t u r e , and r e a l i z e s that what i t thought was brave was o n l y c r u e l , what i t thought was h o l y was only meanness, and what i t thought was success was merely the paper helmet of a clown more nimble than h i s f e l l o w s , scrambling f o r a peanut i n the dust of an i g n o b l e circus.15 American or  s o c i e t y i s opposed  to any d i s i n t e r e s t e d  effort  c h a r i t a b l e a c t i o n , and any d e v i a t i o n from pack behaviour i s  punished w i t h m a l i c e and v i o l e n c e . and Americans U.S.  Main S t r e e t can be a nightmare,  a r e c a p a b l e of o b s e s s i v e c r u e l t y and h o r r o r .  "The  i s not c i v i l i z e d ; " - ^ the i n d u s t r i a l g i a n t i s an emotional  dwarf, a s p i r i t u a l  pauper"*"^ -- and what i s worse —  the U.S.  is  " f i r e d w i t h a z e a l , i n the name of h u m a n i t a r i a n i d e a l i s m , t o reduce  18 the  r e s t of the w o r l d to i t s own meager s p i r i t u a l  proportions."  ± 0  Lewis c r i t i c i s e s  -6" t h e cheapness o f a l l s t a n d a r d s , t h e shoddiness o f  19 a l l values,"  t h e s e e k i n g of money r a t h e r than wisdom.  r e l i g i o u s m o r a l i t y i s superseded  He complains  that  by b u s i n e s s m o r a l i t y and t h e e t h i c s o f  s u c c e s s ; what i s e x p e d i e n t and p r o f i t a b l e i s r i g h t .  To be s u c c e s s f u l and  a c c e p t e d , one must l i e , dodge, compromise, and do t h e expected.  When Dodsworth  r e t u r n s t o A m e r i c a a f t e r y e a r s i n Europe he f i n d s " l i f e dehumanized by i n d i f f e r e n c e 20 or enmity  t o a l l human v a l u e s . "  There i s no f a i t h i n t h e e x c e l l e n c e o f  man, t h e law o f p r o g r e s s , t h e u l t i m a t e r e i g n o f j u s t i c e , t h e conquest o f n a t u r e , or t h e s u f f i c i e n c y o f democracy The  i d e a l s o f e a r l y A m e r i c a have been l o s t , and t h e p i o n e e r s have been  r e p l a c e d "by people w i t h b a t h t u b s and coupes and porch f u r n i t u r e and speedboats and l a k e - c o t t a g e s , who a r e determined  t h a t t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n of these p r e t t y  t h i n g s s h a l l n o t be t h r e a t e n e d by r a d i c a l s and t h a t t h e i r comments on them 22  s h a l l n o t be i n t e r r u p t e d by mere s p e c u l a t i o n on t h e s o u l o f man." The " v i l l a g e v i r u s " saps hope and energy and r e b e l l i o n , as s m a l l minded s e t t l e m e n t s grow i n t o m e d i o c r e , i n h i b i t i n g , m a t e r i a l i s t i c c i t i e s .  In  A m e r i c a n c u l t u r e t h e r e i s a d i s c r e p a n c y between p u b l i c and p r i v a t e m o r a l i t y , between what i s s a i d and what i s done.  Schmaltz,  i n The Man Who Knew C o o l i d g e  (1928), p r a i s e s p r o h i b i t i o n b u t enjoys d r i n k i n g ; and F r e d Cornplow i s s i m i l a r : " l i k e most Americans he was p r o f o u n d l y d e m o c r a t i c  except perhaps as r e g a r d s 23  s o c i a l s t a n d i n g , w e a l t h , p o l i t i c a l power and c l u b membership."  This hypocrisy  i s p a r t o f an A m e r i c a n p r e f e r e n c e f o r doing a c t i v e good, " s e r v i c e " i n s t e a d o f o v e r - t h i n k i n g deeply and r i g h t l y . S i n c l a i r L e w i s i s not a deep t h i n k e r , but then a n o v e l i s t ' s work i s d i f f e r e n t from a p h i l o s o p h e r ' s .  A n o v e l i s t does n o t come t o  c o n c l u s i o n s about l i f e , b u t d i s c o v e r s a q u a l i t y i n i t , p r e s e n t s "a mode o f experience."  L e w i s examines s e l e c t e d a s p e c t s of American l i f e , and  presents h i s f i n d i n g s i n s a t i r i c a l  novels;  -7-  but  . h i s p e c u l i a r ambivalence makes him p r a i s e a t the same  t i m e as he blames.  He c r i t i c i s e s America's  p a t r i o t i c a l l y loves h i s country:  "The  i m p e r f e c t i o n s , but  only deeply rooted f a i t h  L e w i s ever possessed /*was7 h i s f a i t h i n A m e r i c a . I n  World  So  Wide, (1951), h i s l a s t n o v e l , Lewis p r a i s e s the U n i t e d S t a t e s as the t r u e s t s o u r c e of v a l u e s , a n a t i o n w i t h a d e s t i n y .  The  U.S.  25 w i l l r e s c u e the w o r l d .  H i s r o m a n t i c optimism was  dream of a p r o s p e r o u s , e n l i g h t e n e d A m e r i c a . to  founded  He wanted the c o u n t r y  outgrow i d e o l o g i e s , and become f r e e and g r e a t . The i c o n o c l a s t of contemporary  mores had, l i k e h i s f e l l o w 9  i c o n o c l a s t H.L. was  on a  Mencken, a deep f e e l i n g f o r t r a d i t i o n . "  ft  He  a c o n s e r v a t i v e , b e l i e v i n g i n the p i o n e e r s ' h e r o i c v i r t u e s ,  which he knew were based on P u r i t a n b e l i e f s .  S i n c l a i r L e w i s would 27  l i k e t o r e s t o r e the " w i n t r y P i l g r i m v i r t u e s "  to h i s n a t i v e land.  A t the same t i m e , he saw A m e r i c a as a new new„people, new  s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , and new v a l u e s .  land, requiring In t h i s connection,  the M i d d l e West can r e p r e s e n t s e r e n i t y , wisdom, and beauty: I n the m i d s t of the b a b e l she found enchanted q u i e t u d e . A l o n g the r o a d the shadows from oak-branches were i n k e d on the snow l i k e bars of music. Then the s l e d came out on the s u r f a c e of Lake M i n n i e m a s h i e . Across the t h i c k i c e was a v e r i t a b l e r o a d , a s h o r t - c u t f o r f a r m e r s . On the g l a r i n g expanse of the l a k e - l e v e l s of h a r d c r u s t , f l a s h e s of green i c e blown c l e a r , c h a i n s of d r i f t s r i b b e d l i k e the sea-beach -- the m o o n l i g h t was o v e r whelming. I t stormed on the snow, i t t u r n e d the woods ashore i n t o c r y s t a l s of f i r e . The n i g h t was t r o p i c a l and v o l u p t u o u s . I n t h a t drugged magic t h e r e was no d i f f e r e n c e between heavy heat and i n s i n u a t i n g cold. C a r o l was dream-strayed. The t u r b u l e n t v o i c e s , even Guy P o l l o c k b e i n g c o n n o t a t i v e b e s i d e h e r , were n o t h i n g . She r e p e a t e d :  -8-  Deep on t h e c o n v e n t - r o o f t h e snows A r e s p a r k l i n g t o t h e moon. The words and t h e l i g h t b l u r r e d i n t o one v a s t i n d e f i n i t e h a p p i n e s s , and she b e l i e v e d t h a t some g r e a t t h i n g was coming t o h e r . She withdrew from t h e clamor i n t o a w o r s h i p o f i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e gods. The n i g h t expanded, she was c o n s c i o u s o f t h e u n i v e r s e , and a l l m y s t e r i e s stooped down t o h e r . ^ 2  For a l l h i s c r i t i c i s m of A m e r i c a n s , he o f f e r s no c l e a r a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e i r c o n v e n t i o n s , though he hopes they c a n c r e a t e : an i n t e l l e c t u a l w o r l d , a w o r l d o f c u l t u r e and g r a c e , o f l o f t y thoughts and t h e i n s p i r i n g communion o f r e a l knowledge, where creeds were n o t o f i m p o r t a n c e , and where man asked one a n o t h e r , n o t " I s your s o u l saved?'* b u t " I s your mind w e l l f u r n i s h e d ? " ^ 2  Some o f t h e i d e a l s t h a t S i n c l a i r Lewis i s a d v o c a t i n g f o r A m e r i c a a r e t o be found i n Europe.  He admires European g r a c e , e l e g a n c e ,  and l e i s u r e d wisdom; b u t he d i s l i k e s t h e r i g i d i t y and l a c k o f democracy:  "London i s n o t h i n g b u t a bunch o f f o g and o u t - o f - d a t e 30  buildings."  He i s a m b i v a l e n t t o o about t h e s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and'  snobbery o f E a s t e r n S t a t e s , t h e f r i e n d l i n e s s and decency o f Western S t a t e s , and many o t h e r m a t t e r s , The i m p o r t a n t e f f e c t o f L e w i s ' s ambivalence i s u n c e r t a i n t y i n t h e mind o f t h e r e a d e r who i s never sure whether or n o t Lewis i s sincere:  "That was always t h e t r o u b l e :  r e a l l y cared a t a l l ,  never knowing whether he 31  f o r anybody o r a n y t h i n g except h i s work".  P a r t o f L e w i s ' s b a f f l i n g c o n t r a d i c t o r i n e s s i s caused by h i s double purpose i n w r i t i n g -- t o t e l l a s t o r y and t o expose a s i t u a t i o n . 32 The " s o f t b o i l e d romancer" c l a s h e s w i t h t h e " h a r d b o i l e d c r i t i c ; " f a n t a s y and romance oppose s a t i r e and v e r i s i m i l i t u d e . i s t i c tone i s one o f l o v e - h a t e :  His character-  "He combines contemptuousness 33  n a i v e good h e a r t e d n e s s t o an i n c r e d i b l e degree."  with  He mocks and  i d e a l i z e s , d e r i d e s and s y m p a t h i s e s , c r e a t i n g " t h e mature L e w i s i a n  -9-  i r o n y , t h a t p e c u l i a r a b i l i t y t o p r e s e n t a t once the r o m a n t i c  surface  3 ^\ of new  phenomena and  the b e f o u l e d  underside."  He does n o t  believe  in  s o l u t i o n s ; he i s "not d e t a c h e d , but c u r i o u s l y i n v o l v e d , i d e n t i f i e d  in  t u r n w i t h each of two  35 c o n f l i c t i n g sides."  Sometimes h i s c r i t i c i s m of A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y i s n a i v e 36 and  "half-baked ^  as when he d e s c r i b e s  1  go s n i f f i n g about, wondering S t r e e t w i t h him is  "persons l i k e m y s e l f t h a t 37  what i t a l l means."  everywhere he goes, and  He  takes Main  i s so enmeshed i n what he  f i g h t i n g t h a t he can n e i t h e r s e p a r a t e e v i l from i g n o r a n c e ,  be t r u l y r a d i c a l .  A t o t h e r times he i s "a d i s t r e s s e d and  gusted i d e a l i s t " - ^ w i t h an " a r d e n t , truthfulness,""^  or a Red  dis-  mocking, obscene l o v e  Indian stalking his f o e s , ^  nor  of  analysing  t h e outward forms of A m e r i c a n c i v i l i z a t i o n w i t h detachment:  "He  knew the d e t a i l s of A m e r i c a n l i f e as no one  could  e l s e d i d , but he  41  not t e l l what they added up  to."  Lewis's changeability i s confusing, different  poses and  as he  adopts  l o o k s a t t h i n g s w i t h b o t h l o v e and  hate.  However, i n almost every c a s e , h i s r e a c t i o n to r e l i g i o u s is  one  of d i s a p p r o v a l ; one  of the few unchanging t e n e t s of L e w i s ' s  changeable f a i t h Is h i s c o n s t a n t C h r i s t i a n i t y ' s God,  matters  d i s l i k e of r e l i g i o u s  the c l e r g y , and  the c h u r c h g o e r s .  organizations, He  repeatedly  wages a c r u s a d e a g a i n s t a system which p r e v e n t s ' man's freedom and integrity. " I n s t i t u t i o n s a r e the enemies,"^  2  f o r they aim t o s a f e -  guard the e s t a b l i s h e d o r d e r , i f n e c e s s a r y by c o n t r o l l i n g the whole world. and  I n Gopher P r a i r i e , r e l i g i o n had  become " r e p r e s s i v e  puritanism  p r u r i e n t e s p i o n a g e . U . S . r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s were based  on  -10-  f e a r s and h a t r e d s , net C h r i s t i a n l o v e .  L e w i s weighed American r e l i g i o n  a g a i n s t C h r i s t ' s i d e a l s and t h e B i b l e ' s t e a c h i n g , and found i t w a n t i n g . He s a i d ;  "Conventional  r e l i g i o n s a r e among t h e most a c t i v e foes o f  44 progress."  He found no j o y i n church  p r i e t y and H e l l , a " v i c i o u s m i x t u r e  t e a c h i n g s , o n l y f e a r o f impro-  o f nonsense and r e p r e s s i o n . " ^ 4  He opposed as clumsy, outworn, and i g n o r a n t , a l l r e l i g i o u s systems, s o l u t i o n s , and i d e o l o g i e s .  Una G o l d e n , t h e h e r o i n e o f The Job (1917),  b e l i e v e d " t h a t l i f e i s t o o s a c r e d t o be taken i n war and f i l t h y i n d u s t r i e s and d u l l e d u c a t i o n ; and t h a t most forms and o r g a n i z a t i o n s and i n h e r i t e d c a s t e s a r e n o t s a c r e d a t a l l . " ^ 6 L e w i s a t t a c k e d t h e a u t h o r i t y of t h e c h u r c h e s , techniques Schools  the business  ("pep and p i e t y " ^ ) i n r e l i g i o n , t h e s u p e r f i c i a l i t y o f Sunday 48 7  and d e n o m i n a t i o n a l  c o l l e g e s ( f a c t o r i e s f o r moral men  ) the  b u l l y i n g and d e c e i t of t h e Y.M.CiA., t h e " p h i l a n t h r o b b e r s " who used r e l i g i o u s emotions t o get g i f t s , and t h e e v a n g e l i s t s who were i n t e r e s t e d o n l y i n e m o t i o n - s t i r r i n g methods and money, n o t people o r t r u t h : 49 "God  save A m e r i c a from z e a l o u s i d e a l i s t i c o r g a n i z e d  do-gooders."  I n t h i s r e s p e c t he was echoing Thoreau's f e a r o f " s e l f - s t y l e d the g r e a t e s t bores of a l l . " - ^ so f u l l  reformers,  xhe r e l i g i o u s systems were so inhumane,  o f " c h i l d i s h and d i s g u s t i n g absurdities"^''" t h a t s i n c e r e  C h r i s t i a n b e l i e v e r s could h a r d l y e x i s t , Lewis b e l i e v e d . whole magic and taboo system o f w o r s h i p i n g  He hated " t h e  t h e B i b l e and t h e m i n i s t r y , '  and a l l t h e o t h e r s k u l l - d e c o r a t e d v e s t i g e s o f h o r r o r t h e r e a r e i n so52  called  Christianity!" Although  on o c c a s i o n s Lewis quoted t h e B i b l e as a s t a n d a r d  of moral wisdom, a p o s i t i v e i d e a l by which t o judge churches and people, he a l s o p o i n t e d out t h e nonsense, c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , i n d e c e n c i e s , and  -11-  f a l s e p r o p h e c i e s of God's Word -- Hebrew p o e t r y i s " n o b l e , moving, 5,3 and m e a n i n g l e s s . " superstitions,"  :  He s c o r n e d " t h a t a n t i q u a t e d a n t h o l o g y of and a l s o t h e "time-honored d r o o l " - • and "damned 5  bad v e r s e " - ^ of c h u r c h s e r v i c e s .  He blamed the churches f o r  t u r n i n g young minds t o p r i e s t w o r s h i p and symbols —  "trapping  idiots  i n t o h o l y m o n k e y - s h r i n e s " " ^ - - a n d was a p p a l l e d a t c h u r c h r i v a l r i e s . When Z i l l a "got r e l i g i o n , " she announced t h a t t h e o l d e r churches CO  were g o i n g t o damnation:  "Get saved our way  or go t o H e l l . "  U r i e l Ga-dd, the f a t h e r of the hero of The God Seeker (1959), r e f e r s t o "our c o n g r e g a t i o n a l God -- not t h a t of t h e g o d l e s s Roman C a t h o l i c I r i s h or t h e German L u t h e r a n s . " 5 9 L e w i s cannot u n d e r s t a n d how clergymen can b e l i e v e i n a God so c r u e l t h a t a f t e r c r e a t i n g human b e i n g s , he w i l l burn h a l f of 60 them i n H e l l : is!  "Good L o r d , what a concept C h r i s t i a n i t y s God  Here i s t h i s supreme e g o t i s t s i t t i n g up t h e r e who  fashions  c r e a t u r e s and puts them on e a r t h f o r the s o l e purpose o f w o r s h i p p i n g 61 62 him" -- a " l i t e r a r y , i n t r u s i v e , v i n d i c t i v e God," "who speaks i n r i d d l e s , and p u n i s h e s w i t h e t e r n a l t o r t u r e t h o s e who  get t h e  63 wrong answers."  The O l d Testament God who d e s i r e s r e e k i n g s l a u g h t e r  i s , f o r L e w i s , a heathen hangover, an anachronism i n the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . 64 The c l e r g y a r e a l s o out of tune w i t h modern t i m e s , and from h i s Y a l e days L e w i s a t t a c k e d t h e "Ambassadors of C h r i s t . " ^ They were opposed t o t h e a r t s , s c i e n c e s , l e a r n i n g and a l l and they p e r p e t u a t e d o l d forms and r i t u a l s :  " w o r d - s p l i t t i n g , text-  t w i s t i n g , applause-hungry, j o b - h u n t i n g , medieval-minded raters."  ideas,  The were d e s c r i b e d by E z r a Pound: . -  second-  -12-  These h e a v y w e i g h t s , these dodgers and t h e s e p r e a c h e r s , C r u s a d e r s , l e c t u r e r s , and s e c r e t l e c h e r s , Who wrought about h i s " s o u l " t h e i r s t a l e i n f e c t i o n . ^ C e r t a i n l y Lewis f e l t that godliness i n Elmer G a n t r y (1927) p o i n t e d committed by e r r i n g clergymen.  and eros were c o n j o i n e d , and  t o t h e g r e a t number o f s e x - c r i m e s What B a b b i t ' s  women, " t h e r e v e r e n d eyes g l i s t e n e d . T h e  m i n i s t e r t a l k e d of wicked c l e r g y "were a l l ,  indeed,  absorbed i n v i c e . " ^ He c r i t i c i s e d them f o r t h e i r u n w i l l i n g n e s s  to sacrifice  themselves f o r C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s , t o f o l l o w Jesus i n t o l o n e l i n e s s , r i d i c u l e , and perhaps, d e a t h . ^  L i k e one of h i s c h a r a c t e r s  i n The  T r a i l o f t h e Hawk, (1915) L e w i s " d i d n o t b e l i e v e t h a t p r i e s t s and m i n i s t e r s , who seemed t o be o r d i n a r y men as r e g a r d s e a r t h l y t h i n g s , had any  e s t r a o r d i n a r y knowledge o f t h e m y s t e r i e s  "nasty and  of h e a v e n . " ^  The  72 were no h e l p i n l i g h t e n i n g l i f e , 7"} gentlemen of God"' J  t h e i r c l e r i c a l d u t i e s were s o c i a l and c o m m e r c i a l , n o t p i o u s .  According  t o L e w i s , t h e i d e a l s o f t h e Sermon on the Mount were n o t  preached o r p r a c t i s e d by C h r i s t i a n s , who were more i n t e r e s t e d i n t h i s world not  than t h e Kingdom o f Heaven.  He a t t a c k e d C h r i s t i a n s f o r  l i v i n g up t o t h e i r i d e a l s , but he a l s o f e l t t h a t t h e i d e a l s  themselves were i n a p p r o p r i a t e and o u t - o f - d a t e . Ann  r e j e c t s old-fashioned  I n Ann V i c k e r s  C h r i s t i a n names, " i n g r a t i a t i n g symbols l i k e  C h a r i t y , Hope, F a i t h , and P a t i e n c e .  But dumb p a t i e n c e , d u l l hope,  and hang-jawed f a i t h , these were no l o n g e r t h e m e r i t s No,  (1933),  of females.  h e r c h i l d should be named P r i d e , and p r i d e o f l i f e , p r i d e of l o v e ,  p r i d e o f work, p r i d e of b e i n g a woman should be h e r v i r t u e s . L e w i s was s u r e t h a t t h e c l e r g y must share h i s doubts conc e r n i n g t h e p r a c t i c a l i t y and r e l e v a n c e  of C h r i s t i a n i t y .  Rev.  -13-  Judson R o b e r t s , " b i g as a g r i z z l y , j o l l y as a s p a n i e l pup, as t e n suns," muttered:  " I do w i s h I c o u l d get over t h i s d o u b t i n g .  Reverend Frank S h a l l a r d commented: a l y i n g compromising  radiant  "Oh, L o r d , P h i l , what a j o b , what  job, t h i s being a m i n i s t e r ! " ^  The  clergy  were seen as u s i n g p l a t i t u d e s and p o e t i c r h e t o r i c t o a v o i d t e l l i n g the t r u t h :  "As we d o i n g any r e a l t h i n g i n the w o r l d a t  all?"^  Lewis was angry a t the p r e t e n s i o n s of clergymen  who  78 "prayed as God  t o God,"  and c l a i m e d t o have "wiped out a l l s i n i n  79 the community."  He was a f r a i d t h a t a h e l l f i r e p r e a c h e r l i k e B i s h o p  P r a n g , "not the s t i l l a hellfire  s m a l l v o i c e of God,"^0 might e a s i l y become  fascist.^ A l o n g w i t h the c l e r g y , Lewis c r i t i c i s e d  i m p o r t a n t , u n t h i n k i n g c o n g r e g a t i o n s who compelled r e s p e c t a b i l i t y :  self-  p r e v e n t e d freedom and  "a m e c h a n i c a l r e l i g i o n -- a d r y hard  c h u r c h , shut o f f from the r e a l l i f e of the s t r e e t s , 82 r e s p e c t a b l e as a t o p - h a t ; "  their dull,  inhumanly  "solemn w h i s k e r y persons whose o n l y  p l e a s u r e a s i d e from not d o i n g a g r e e a b l e t h i n g s was k e e p i n g o t h e r s QO  from d o i n g them."  They a r e u n c r i t i c a l c h u r c h f o i k s , whose w o r s h i p  has become a s t a n d a r d i z e d p u b l i c  rite.  Church c o n g r e g a t i o n s a r e B a b b i t t s , l a c k i n g the of c i v i l i z e d l i f e .  qualities  They have no purposes, no' . r i t e s ; t h e i r m o r a l i t y  and c h u r c h a t t e n d a n c e a r e m e a n i n g l e s s . T h e i r r e l i g i o n has become a c r e e d which they do not u n d e r s t a n d ; i t has ceased t o be, as i t was i n C a t h o l i c Europe, or even i n t h e o c r a t i c New E n g l a n d , a way of l i f e , a c h a n n e l of t h e i r hopes, an o r d e r w i t h meaning.  -14They a r e c r e a t u r e s of t h e p a s s i n g moment who a r e v a g u e l y unhappy i n a b o r i n g and s e n s e l e s s e x i s t e n c e t h a t i s w i t h o u t d i g n i t y , w i t h o u t g r a c e , w i t h o u t purpose. These people b e l o n g t o a dead w o r l d of empty s h i b b o l e t h s , 85 a s o c i e t y marked by drabness, s t e r i l i t y , and j o y l e s s n e s s ,  ight brought ,86 about by a r e l i g i o n which l a c k s " r e a s o n , decency, and kindness.' A c c o r d i n g t o L e w i s , man must l e a v e r e l i g i o n s , i d e o l o g i e s , and supers t i t i o n , and stand on h i s own. autonomy, h e a l t h and i n t e g r i t y : ^  I n t h i s way he w i l l a c h i e v e freedom, 7  "Come out of death i n t o  "The C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n i s a c r u t c h .  life."88  U n t i l i t i s taken away we can  on  never b e g i n t o walk w e l l . " A l l Lewis's works a r e i n i m i c a l t o r e l i g i o n , because r e l i g i o n i s opposed t o b r o t h e r h o o d , p r o g r e s s , and s c i e n c e , which he n e a r l y always a f f i r m s . ing,  These few b e l i e f s l i e a t the c e n t r e o f L e w i s ' s  think-  and animate h i s a t t a c k s on v a r i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s , c l a s s e s , and  points of view.  A t times h i s anger becomes s h r i l l , and he c u r s e s  r e l i g i o n f o r causing or a l l o w i n g misery, f o r g i v i n g a f a l s e p i c t u r e of  l i f e w i t h i t s poisonous t e a c h i n g . He p o r t r a y s C h r i s t as n e i t h e r 90 f o r g i v i n g nor tender, t h e B i b l e as e n s l a v i n g , and God as an e g o t i s t i c a l b u l l y . C l e a r g y and l a i t y a r e d e c e i v e r s , s e e k i n g power, l i m i t i n g thought and c u l t u r e :  "Do n o t f o r g i v e them, L o r d , f o r they know what  91 they d o . ' j  The w o r l d i s "a booby b l u n d e r i n g s c h o o l b o y , " clumsy, raw, 92 i g n o r a n t , slow, and " t e n p e r c e n t e f f i c i e n t . " I n extreme moments, Lewis f i n d s mankind u n r e g e n e r a t e , and passes b i t t e r judgment on t h e whole 93 damned human r a c e . or  When he saw t h e drunken men and women b r a w l i n g  l y i n g u n c o n s c i o u s i n t h e slums o f Glasgow, Red stopped and r a i s e d h i s c l e n c h e d f i s t s t o h i g h heaven. Tears were s t r e a m i n g down h i s cheeks. " I can't stand i t any more," he c r i e d . " I c a n ' t stand it." A l l t h e way back t o t h e h o t e l he c u r s e d and r a v e d . "God damn t h e s o c i e t y t h a t w i l l p e r m i t such p o v e r t y ! " "God damn t h e r e l i g i o n s t h a t stand f o r such a p u t r i d system. God damn them a l l ! " ^ ^  -15-  L e w i s ' s a t t a c k s on r e l i g i o n a r e u s u a l l y i r r a t i o n a l prejudiced. ficialities:  and  He makes a s u p e r f i c i a l c r i t i c i s m of c h u r c h super"The  amount of time and p a s s i o n t h a t t h e o l o g i a n s have  spent on d e f i n i n g f a i r y - s t o r y words would, i f s e n s i b l y a p p l i e d , 95 have e l i m i n a t e d a l l war and bad c o o k i n g . "  He h a t e s f a l s e  religiosity,  smug d e c e i t f u l b e l i e v e r s , u n e t h i c a l a c t s , and empty f o r m a l i t i e s : " A l l those mouldy barns of c h u r c h e s , and people coughing 96 hymns, and long-winded p r e a c h e r s "  illiterate  r e p e a t i n g " p e r f e c t l y meaning-  97 less doctrine." He makes Elmer G a n t r y a monster, war a g a i n s t the O l d Testament God,  and uses him i n " h i s  against l i t e r a l  p u r i t a n i s m , h y p o c r i s y , b i g o t r y , c r u e l t y , and d o l l a r and through Elmer whole c h u r c h .  interpretation, 98 evangelism,"  ( l i k e p r i e s t , l i k e people) Lewis judges the  He mocks e s t a b l i s h e d creeds and makes a " c o a r s e  m i s p l a c e d , cheap j e s t of e v e r y t h i n g t h a t y e t has v a l u e i n American c u l t u r e , t h a t i s t o say, r e l i g i o n . " ^  fl  e  m i s r e a d s t h e meaning and  f a i t h of A m e r i c a , but h i s b i t t e r n e s s i s based on c o n c e r n , and a f e e l i n g t h a t something i s wrong w i t h r e l i g i o u s l i f e . I have d e c i d e d t h a t no one i n t h i s room, i n c l u d i n g your p a s t o r , b e l i e v e s i n the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n . Not one of us would t u r n t h e o t h e r cheek. Not one of us would s e l l a l l t h a t he has and g i v e t o the poor. Not one of us would g i v e h i s c o a t t o some man who .-took h i s o v e r c o a t . Every one of us l a y s up a l l t h e t r e a s u r e he can. We don't p r a c t i s e the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n . We don't i n t e n d t o p r a c t i s e i t . T h e r e f o r e , we don't b e l i e v e i n i t . T h e r e f o r e I r e s i g n , and I a d v i s e you to q u i t l y i n g and d i s b a n d . L e w i s c r i t i c i s e s C h r i s t i a n s f o r not l i v i n g up t o C h r i s t ' s t e a c h i n g s , and he s c o r n s t h e C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n because he sees i t as f a l s e and i r r e l e v a n t .  I n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d h i s d i s l i k e of  r e l i g i o n , and h i s ambivalency w i t h r e s p e c t t o ether v a l u e s , i t i s  -16-  n e c e s s a r y t o make a study of t h e man  and h i s l i f e .  After;that, his  works w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d i n the l i g h t of t h e s e t e n d e n c i e s i n h i s outlook.  -17-  F o o t n o t e s t o Chapter I ^ S i n c l a i r L e w i s , The Man from M a i n S t r e e t , e d s . H;E. Maule and M.H. Cane (New York: Random House, 1953), p. 6. ^Dooley, A r t , p. 44. ^Dooley, A r t , p. 113. • ^ S i n c l a i r L e w i s , M a i n S t r e e t (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1920), p. 265) •'••'•Mark S c h o r e r , I n t r o d u c t i o n , A C o l l e c t i o n o f C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , ed. Mark S c h o r e r (Englewood C l i f f s : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1962), 17  S i n c l a i r L e w i s , I t Can't Happen Here (New York; C o l l i e r , 1935), p. 441. •^Vernon L. P a r r i n g t o n , " S i n c l a i r L e w i s : Our Own Diogenes" (1927), E s s a y s , p. 64. "^Robert Morss L o v e t t , "An I n t e r p r e t e r o f American L i f e " (1925) , E s s a y s , p. 34. • ^ S i n c l a i r L e w i s , Cass T i m b e r l a n e (New Y o r k : Random House, 1945), p. 373. •^Sinclair L e w i s , Dodsworth Dunlap, 1929), p. 96.  (New York: G r o s s e t and  • ^ F r e d e r i c k J . Hoffman, The Twenties (New York: C o l l i e r , 1953), p. 2 1 . l ^ C a r l L. Anderson, The Swedish A c c e p t a n c e of American L i t e r a t u r e ( P h i l a d e l p h i a : U n i v e r s i t y o f P e n n s y l v a n i a P r e s s , 1957), p. 63. • ^ V i n c e n t Sheean, Dorothy and Red ( B o s t o n : Houghton M i f f l i n , 1963), p. 167. 20  T . K . W h i p p l e , " S i n c l a i r L e w i s " (1928), E s s a y s , p. 72. P a r r i n g t o n , "Diogenes", E s s a y s , p. 69.  2 2  M a n From M a i n S t r e e t , p. 328.  ^Sinclair  L e w i s , The P r o d i g a l P a r e n t s , quoted i n E s s a y s ,  p. 160. 2  ^ D o o l e y , A r t , p. 234.  -18Sinclair 1925), p. 416.  L e w i s , A r r o w s m i t h (New York: H a r c o u r t , B r a c e ,  2 5  2 6  S h e e a n , p. 338.  2 7  D o o l e y , A r t , p. 26.  2 8  Main  S t r e e t , p. 205.  9Q  H a r o l d F r e d e r i c , The Damnation 1896), p. 198. M a i n S t r e e t , p. 415.  3 Q  3  of Theron Ware (New Y o r k ,  ^"Sheean, p. 336.  3 2  Grebstein,  preface.  3 3  S h e e a n , p. 111.  R o b e r t J . G r i f f i n , " S i n c l a i r L e w i s " , American Winners of t h e Nobel L i t e r a r y P r i z e , eds. W.G. F r e n c h and W.E. K i d d (Norman: U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma P r e s s , 1968), p. 48. 3Zf  ^ D o o l e y , A r t , p. 54.  3  3 6  W a l t e r Lippmann, " S i n c l a i r L e w i s " (1927), E s s a y s , p. 91.  37  M a n from M a i n S t r e e t , p. 313.  R o b e r t E. S p i l l e r e t a l . , The L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y of t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s (New York; M a c m i l l a n , 1953), p. 1225. 3 8  3  ^ S h e e a n , p. 4 4 i  4 0  W h i p p l e , "S.L.", E s s a y s , p. 77.  4 1  D o o l e y , A r t , p. 162.  4 2  M a i n S t r e e t , p. 430.  4 3  W h i p p l e , "S.L.", E s s a y s , p. 73.  ^Quoted  i n S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 219.  ^ G r e b s t e i n , p. 105. Sinclair 1917), p. 185. 4 6  4 7  Sinclair  L e w i s , The Job (New York: G r o s s e t and Dunlap,  L e w i s , B a b b i t t (New York: H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1922),  p. 188. 48A r r o w s m i t h , p. 9.  -1949 5 0  I t Can't Happen Here, p. 426.  Henry  D. Thoreau, Walden ( E d i n b u r g h : Douglas, 1884), p. 167,  "^H;L. Mencken, P r e j u d i c e s : Jonathan Cape, 1925), p. 75.  Fourth Series  (London:  5 2  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 372.  5 3  S i n c l a i r L e w i s , The God Seeker (New Y o r k : Random House,  1949), p. 82. -^Quoted  i n S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 178.  G r a c e Hegger L e w i s , With Love From G r a c i e (New York: H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1951), p. 92. 5 5  5 6  S e h o r e r , L i f e , p. 219.  S i n c l a i r L e w i s , Elmer Gantry (New York: 1927), p. 180. 5 7  Harcourt, Brace,  S i n c l a i r L e w i s , Our Mr. Wrenn (New York: H a r p e r , 1915),  5 8  p. 46. 59  God Seeker, p. 53. ^ W i l f r i e d Edener, D i e R e l i g i o n s k r i t i k i n den Romanen^von S i n c l a i r L e w i s , B e i h e f t e zum Jahrbuch f u r A m e r i k a s t u d i e n , No. 10. ( H e i d e l b e r g : C a r l x W i n t e r , 1963), p. 145. 61  Quoted  by G. H. L e w i s , p. 302.  6 2  G o d Seeker, p. 176.  6 3  I b i d . , p. 211.  ^ E d e n e r , p. 86. H . L . Mencken, P r e j u d i c e s : 1926), p. 114. 65  6 6  F i f t h S e r i e s (New York: Knopf,  E l m e r G a n t r y , p . 89. ,  67,Quoted i n Hoffman, T w e n t i e s , p. 28. 6 8  B a b b i t t , p. 394.  6 9  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 348.  7 0  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 449  S^ Si in nccllaaii r LLew e w i s , The T r a i l of the Hawk (New York: G r o s s e t and Dunlap, 1915), p. 383. 7 1  -2072  Mencken, P r e j d u c i e s :  F i f t h , p.111.  T h e Job, p. 261.  7 3  74 S i n c l a i r L e w i s , Ann V i c k e r s (Garden C i t y : Doran, 1933), p. 220.  Doubleday,  ^ E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 61. 7 6  Ibid.,  77  H.G. W e l l s , Joan and P e t e r (New Y o r k : M a c m i l l a n , 1918),  p. 10.  p. 370.  78 God Seeker, p. 6. 7 9  A r r o w s m i t h , p. 258.  80 I t Can't Happen Here, 81, ''Ibid.,  p.65.  p. 66.  82 B a b b i t t , p. 234. 8 3  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 333.  84 Lippmann, "S.L.", E s s a y s , p. 90. 85 P a r r i n g t o n , "Diogenes," E s s a y s , p. 68. (New York:  H o r t o n D a v i e s , A M i r r o r o f the M i n i s t r y i n Modern N o v e l s O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959), p. 30. 8 7  E d e n e r , p. 198.  88 God S e e k e r , p. 345. 89 Quoted i n S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 92. 9 Q  9 1  9 2  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 377. I t Can't Happen Here, p. 384. T h e Job, p..182.  93  George J . B e c k e r , " S i n c l a i r L e w i s : A p o s t l e t o the A m e r i c a n S c h o l a r , XXI (Autumn 1952), 425. Q/i  ^Quoted  from F r a z i e r Hunt i n G r e b s t e i n , p. 148.  9 5  G o d Seeker, p. 179.  9 6  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 87.  Philistines",  -21-  97  Elmer G a n t r y , p. 87.  R o b e r t L i t t r e l l , "The P r e a c h e r F r i e d i n O i l , " R e p u b l i c , 50 (March 16, 1927), 108. 9 8  99  A n d e r s o n , p. 58. 1 0 0  E l m e r G a n t r y , p.  385.  New  CHAPTER I I  S i n c l a i r Lewis was b o r n and brought up i n t h e s m a l l Midwestern  town o f Sauk C e n t r e , and he f u l l y understood i t s v a l u e s .  He had an " a p p a l l i n g regard"'^''" f o r h i s f a t h e r , Dr. E . J . L e w i s , who thought t h a t t h e c h u r c h was a good t h i n g f o r t h e community ( " R e l i g i o n i s a f i n e t h i n g t o keep p e o p l e i n order"-'-^ ) , who b e l i e v e d 2  103 i n and p r a c t i s e d " t h e s t e r n e r and more p u r i t a n i c a l v i r t u e s " e s p e c i a l l y duty.  --  From h i s f a t h e r , young H a r r y " i n h e r i t e d a con104  s i d e r a b l e respect f o r the P u r i t a n v a l u e s , "  and though he  r e b e l l e d a g a i n s t Sauk C e n t r e and Dr. E . J . he was not b l i n d t o t h e i r m e r i t s n o r •_. f r e e .fr.o'm  t h e i r i n f l u e n c e . ^ 5 i n d e e d , i t has been  observed t h a t he "developed  an o v e r t p e r v e r s i t y and h a t r e d f o r 10 6  what he s e c r e t l y l o v e d and i n which he wanted t o s h a r e . " He longed t o j o i n i n the a c t i v i t i e s of h i s b r o t h e r C l a u d e , who was e v e r y t h i n g t h a t H a r r y was n o t -- " s e n s i b l e , s t e a d y , w e l l o r g a n i z e d , happy, g r e g a r i o u s , g o o d - l o o k i n g and w e l l - b u i l t , at  gifted  s p o r t s and a t h u n t i n g and f i s h i n g , u n i m a g i n a t i v e , shrewd w i t h 107  money and t h r i f t y , a m b i t i o u s . "  To w i n a t t e n t i o n f o r h i m s e l f ,  H a r r y f e l t a c o m p u l s i o n t o show o f f , t o do t h e o p p o s i t e of what was expected o f him, t o d e l i g h t i n s a y i n g s u r p r i s i n g t h i n g s . complained:  His father  " H a r r y , why c a n ' t you do l i k e any o t h e r boy ought t o  108 do?"  L e w i s ' s c h a r a c t e r developed i n t o one o f e x t r a o r d i n a r y  -23c o n t r a d i c t i o n , and  throughout h i s l i f e he won  attention with his  c o n t r a r y ways. The and i n s e c u r e . his  dynamo of energy, i d e a s , and words was  He r e a d a v i d l y and w i d e l y , and l i v e d i n w o r l d s of  imagination.  Sensing h i s s u p e r i o r endowments and  he developed a degree of s e l f - r i g h t e o u s n e s s and attended  a l s o shy, l o n e l y ,  a l l the l o c a l c h u r c h e s ,  social  inferiority,  p i e t y . H e  and a t Y a l e w r o t e :  "I certainly  have a keen i n t e r e s t i n the r e l a t i o n between the human s p i r i t  and  110 That Power Not O u r s e l v e s . "  He  experienced  a real  need, and under t h e i n f l u e n c e of an O b e r l i n YMCA man, c a l l e d t o be a C h r i s t i a n m i s s i o n a r y . " s a c r e d and n e c e s s a r y " ;  He  spiritual felt  s a i d that prayer i s  and""Cod's word i s e t e r n a l l i f e . "  However, h i s q u e s t i o n i n g mind and h i s r e a d i n g o f books by Haeckel,  himself  and I n g e r s o l l undermined these new  he w r o t e a paragraph c a l l e d "My  Paine,  religious feelings,  R e l i g i o n " advocating  and  appreciation  of the a r t s , k i n d n e s s , m i n d i n g one's b u s i n e s s , sympathy, p l a i n l i v i n g and h i g h t h i n k i n g .  He was  "committed t o c u r i o s i t y , t o l e r a n c e ,  and skepticism."''''''^ He had  t u r n e d e a g e r l y t o the church  f o r s p i r i t u a l wisdom  and h e l p i n h i s l o n e l i n e s s ; but he soon found many t h i n g s 113 to  b e l i e v e i n C h r i s t i a n theism.  He became d i s i l l u s i o n e d  C h r i s t i a n i t y , and a t Y a l e proposed the a b o l i t i o n o f the He was  always r e b e l l i o u s , g r o p i n g ,  impossible  dissatisfied.  with  chapel.  He had a " r e s t -  l e s s , dynamic, o v e r c h a r g e d , demanding personality,"''''''^ and h i s u g l y cancerous f a c e and affection:  "he was  w i l d t a l k prevented  a meager and r u s t y - h a i r e d youth w i t h p r o t r u d i n g  t e e t h and an uneasy t i t t e r change the w o r l d .  him from a t t r a c t i n g  . . . h i s voice s h r i l l with desire to  -24Originally  called  "God  F o r b i d , " he was  Y a l e f o r h i s h a i r and h i s hazy Utopian s o c i a l i s m :  renamed "Red"  at  " I f a l l the  people worked as a team, we would have a p e r f e c t w o r l d . " B r o t h e r h o o d became a k i n d of r e l i g i o n . wanted t o improve the w o r l d and  of people a n d p l a c e s ,  "Red"  s o c i e t y ; he r e a l l y d i d c a r e about  p e o p l e , and h i s c r i t i c i s m of s o c i e t y was d e s i r e d human p e r f e c t i o n .  Throughout h i s l i f e ,  fundamentally  To make " s y s t e m a t i c  he t r a v e l l e d  moral.  He  observations"-'--'-  t o Europe and  7  t o Panama, and  in  1906  he went t o work a t Upton S i n c l a i r ' s Utopian experiment i n communal l i v i n g , Helicon H a l l .  He enjoyed d i s c u s s i n g i d e a s w i t h the  "worthwhile  118 people"  t h e r e , and a f t e r w a r d s  completed h i s Y a l e s t u d i e s .  He  planned t o be a w r i t e r , but the n e x t y e a r s were "a m i s c e l l a n y of 119 f a l s e s t a r t s , l o s t j o b s , l o s t h o p e s , l o o s e ends, e r r a t i c wandering." He  seemed t o have enormous and i n e x h a u s t i b l e enthusiasm,  but h i s d i s a p p o i n t m e n t s  were many and b i t t e r .  bumbling, poor, r e s t l e s s ,  He was  r e j e c t e d , d e r i d e d , and l o n e l y , " a t once  n a i v e and y e t f a m i l i a r w i t h a q u i t e tough e x p e r i e n c e When he met  own  of  Grace L i v i n g s t o n e Hegger, p r e t t y , s p i r i t e d ,  smart, g i v e n t o a i r s , he f e l l 121 his  gawky and  divided being."  life." arrogant,  i n l o v e w i t h her because "she  objectified  The mixed q u a l i t y of L e w i s i s shown  i n ^ t h i s p h r a s e , and i t i s a l s o shown i n the ambiguous tone of n o v e l t h a t he d e d i c a t e d t o G r a c i e , Our Mr. Wrenn  the  (1914).  I t i s a p a t r o n i z i n g tone, not q u i t e s a t i r i c a l , t h a t t r i e s a t once t o make us take'Wrenn s e r i o u s l y and a t the same t i m e a l l o w us t o be s u p e r i o r t o him, a coy s e n t i m e n t a l i t y about h i s s e n t i m e n t a l i t y t h a t seems a t once t o want b o t h t o s a n c t i o n the c h o i c e as the w i s e , g e n e r a l c h o i c e , and t o d e r i d e him as an unimportant chooser -- an eaten-uneaten cake s i t u a t i o n . 1 2 2 H i s n e x t n o v e l s had the c h e e r f u l exuberance and b r i g h t o p t i m i s m of the y e a r s b e f o r e A m e r i c a e n t e r e d the war. Amid the  -25d i s i l l u s i o n and c r i t i c i s m a f t e r the war many Americans c l u n g t o a b e l i e f i n the s m a l l town as the f r i e n d l i e s t p l a c e , t h e r e a l A m e r i c a . S i n c l a i r L e w i s sometimes thought the same, but i n h i s b e s t - s e l l e r M a i n S t r e e t (1920) he p o r t r a y e d Gopher P r a i r i e as an u n p l e a s a n t f i x e d i n the r i g i d i t i e s of the p a s t .  " H i s a t t i t u d e toward the  West i s as ambiguous as h i s a t t i t u d e toward the m i d d l e c l a s s :  place Middle both  drawn as h o p e l e s s l y narrow, the f i r s t i s shown f i n a l l y as somehow the o n l y s e n s i b l e : p l a c e , and people."  the second as somehow the o n l y s e n s i b l e  1 2 3  I n s p i t e of c o n f l i c t i n g elements i n the n o v e l , M a i n S t r e e t s o l d 500,000 c o p i e s , was gave a new  t r a n s l a t e d i n t o n e a r l y every European language,  phrase t o d i c t i o n a r i e s , and made Lewis a w o r l d f i g u r e .  a l s o i n v o l v e d him i n a storm of c o n t r o v e r s y , but i n s t e a d of  It  worrying  he e a g e r l y wrote o t h e r p r o v o c a t i v e books, B a b b i t t (1922), A r r o w s m i t h and Elmer Gantry (1927). social l i f e .  The  As a s u c c e s s f u l n o v e l i s t , L e w i s l e d a busy  p a i n t e r C.R.W. N e v i n s o n c a l l e d him " r e s t l e s s ,  and i n t e n s e , " - as "he  (1925),  clownish,  poured f o r t h the most remarkable monologue of l o v e  and h a t e , shrewdness and s e n t i m e n t a l i t y . " 1 2 4  L  e w  i.  s  b e l i e v e d i n the  v a l u e of i m a g i n a t i v e i n d e c i s i o n and doubt.  " I don't know,"125 s a i d A a r o n  Gadd, when s e e k i n g r e l i g i o u s u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  A r r o w s m i t h and G o t t l i e b  l o o k e d f o r s c i e n t i f i c t r u t h s , but always w i t h s c e p t i c i s m .  Dodsworth  t r i e d t o a n a l y s e the q u a l i t i e s of A m e r i c a and Europe w i t h o u t  prejudice.  I n h i s s e a r c h f o r knowledge, S i n c l a i r L e w i s s t u d i e d the i d e a s of S o c i a l i s t  Eugene Debs, whom he c a l l e d a " C h r i s t s p i r i t " \  because he was  w i s e and k i n d and  f o r g i v i n g -- y e t a f i g h e r f o r t r u t h . 126  When Debs s a i d :  "Be  t r u e t o the God  w i t h i n o n e s e l f , " L e w i s wept.  He a l s o s t u d i e d the works of Thoreau and Emerson, who i n d i v i d u a l freedom, and wisely.  taught that man  believed i n  c o u l d be r e l i g i o u s , but  nobly,  W i t h M e l v i l l e , Hawthorne, and Whitman, they c r e a t e d an American  1  t r a d i t i o n of r e v o l t .  97 '  L e w i s j o i n e d t h e l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n of c r i t i c i s m o f A m e r i c a n r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s , based o r i g i n a l l y on E i g h t e e n t h Century French E n l i g h t e n m e n t ; he had r e a d t h e works of V o l t a i r e , F r a n k l i n , J e f f e r s o n and  Paine  ("My mind i s my own c h a p e l "  ) . These a u t h o r s  believed  t h a t a r t c o u l d change l i v e s f o r t h e b e t t e r , and were s i n c e r e and courageous i n t h e s e a r c h f o r  reason.  B r i t i s h w r i t e r s a l s o helped and H.G. W e l l s  form L e w i s ' s p o s i t i v e i d e a l s ,  taught t h a t mankind can, by t a k i n g thought, by r e a l e d u c a t i o n , a c q u i r e such s t r a n g e , c r i m s o n - s h o t , a l t o g e t h e r enchanted q u a l i t i e s as c h e e r f u l n e s s , k i n d n e s s , h o n e s t y , p l a i n decency, r e f u s a l t o make o u r s e l v e s m i s e r a b l e and g u i l t y j u s t t o p l e a s e some i n s t i t u t i o n t h a t f o r a c e n t u r y has been a w a l k i n g and t a l k i n g c o r p s e . I 2 9  L e w i s ' s c r i t i c i s m o f t h e church  f o l l o w e d t h a t o f H.G. W e l l s , but  i t was a l s o based on h i s awareness o f a p o w e r f u l , unapproachable God: "an  overwhelming l i g h t w i t h streamers t h a t r e a c h out t o p i e r c e a 130  man's s o u l . "  L e w i s ' s sense o f God was vague, b u t he had s i n c e r e  r e l i g i o u s f e e l i n g s , expressed  i n h i s l o v e o f c h a r i t y and h o n e s t y ,  which made h i m a t t a c k t h e p r a c t i c e o f r e l i g i o n i n A m e r i c a .  He  r e f u s e d a l l o b l i g a t i o n s o f r e l i g i o n because no w o r s h i p s a t i s f i e d h i s own r e l i g i o u s f e e l i n g s :  "As a s a t i r i s t , he saw t o o c l e a r l y t h e  f a u l t s and f o i b l e s and t h e undue p r e t e n s i o n s o f t h e church b r i n g h i m s e l f under i t s wing." -'12  I n addressing  ever t o  t h e Sunday evening  forum  o f t h e Community C h r i s t i a n Church, Kansas C i t y , on t h e s u b j e c t o f a r e l i g i o n f o r t h e modern man, he t r i e d t o i n t r o d u c e t h e i d e a t h a t God i s n o t t h e p e t t y avenging God of some men's i m a g i n a t i o n : t h i n k God i s l i k e t h a t . "  " I don't  1 3 2  133 W i t h i s " c o n s i d e r a b l e s t r e a k of a d o l e s c e n t p i e t y , " he'was a p p a l l e d a t the churches'  presumption and s e l f - r i g h t e o u s n e s s i n  -27-  p r o c l a i m i n g God,  and hated smug s e l f - i m p o r t a n t c l e r g y who  l i t t l e r e s p e c t and u n d e r s t a n d i n g  showed  f o r God:  ... and t h a t , y e s , the Maker of the u n i v e r s e w i t h the s t a r s a hundred thousand l i g h t - y e a r s a p a r t was i n t e r e s t e d , f u r i o u s , and v e r y p e r s o n a l about i t i f a s m a l l boy p l a y e d b a s e b a l l on Sunday afternoon.134 From h i s Sunday School days t o h i s death —  "supposing  a f t e r they throw  the l a s t s p a d e f u l of d i r t on u s , we f i n d out i t ' s a l l t r u e l " 1 3  S i n c l a i r L e w i s was  t r y i n g t o f i n d out t r u t h s about God  and  --  3  religion.  He t a l k e d of the deep h e a r t ' s e x p e r i e n c e , the p e r s o n a l s e a r c h , and " t h e y e a r n i n g f o r u n i o n w i t h the d i v i n e . "  The s e a r c h of the s o u l  137 f o r God he c a l l e d an " a d v e n t u r e , " Commitment was  Rev. G.E.  B e i l b y wrote, " R e l i g i o u s  an i d e a t h a t caused him much t o r t u r e . . .  He d i d sense  p o s i t i v e elements i n C h r i s t i a n i t y , and, I t h i n k , a t l e a s t s u b c o n s c i o u s l y , he l o n g e d t o make them h i s  own."  L e w i s b e l i e v e d i n "decency and k i n d n e s s and f r i e n d s h i p , t o l e r a n c e , i n t e g r i t y , beauty, f a i t h i n j u s t i c e and p r o g r e s s . t h e purpose o f l i f e ? " —  He was  "Work."  1 4 1  intellect,  1 4  1 , 1 4 2  t h a t h i s aim was  L  ^ and a  3?  democratic  d r i v e n by t h e g o s p e l of work ("What's  ) , and i n h i s n e a t n e s s ,  n e s s , sex embar.rassment, and g u i l t shows-"a profound and puritanism.  reason,"• ' love  l a c k of t e n d e r -  provincial  N e v e r t h e l e s s , w i t h a t y p i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n , he  claimed  t o l i v e f u l l y , t o e x p e r i e n c e beauty and j o y and l o v e .  He wanted e/ery i n d i v i d u a l t o a c h i e v e s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , t o be a " f r e e ,  143 inquiring, c r i t i c a l spirit" d i c t a t e s of the churches.  -- and t h i s meant l e a v i n g the f a b l e s and He d e s i r e d a w i s e r and more j u s t s o c i a l o r d e r ,  w i t h p r i d e and f u l f i l m e n t i n good work, and a new Humanitarianism, men  and P r o g r e s s . " ^ 1  s h o u l d be p o i n t e d t o "uncharted  T r i n i t y of "Reason,  I n Elmer G a n t r y , he suggested plateaus c a l l e d Righteousness,  Honesty, S a c r i f i c e , Beauty, S a l v a t i o n . " 1 4  that Idealism,  3  never r l y orr a ci ol ni sn ig s taetn tAmerican l y d e f i n efda u these i d e was als, a but he used He them i n h cilse aangry l t s . He  -28satirist  (more f u l l y d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter I V ) p r e s e n t i n g d i s t o r t e d  p i c t u r e s o f i n s t i t u t i o n s and b e l i e f s so t h a t r e a d e r s c o u l d p e r c e i v e them as i f f o r the f i r s t t i m e .  H i s r e a c t i o n t o s o c i a l wrongs was  immediate, i n t e n s e , and r e b e l l i o u s :  "He l o v e d g e t t i n g angry, e s p e c i a l l y  146 i n a r i g h t e o u s cause,"  s a i d h i s second w i f e , Dorothy Thompson. She  was a b r i l l i a n t and p o p u l a r newswoman, v i t a l , whose o p i n i o n s were m u l t i t u d i n o u s and f i r m .  warm, and i n t e l l i g e n t , L e w i s was enchanted by  h e r a t f i r s t j and proposed s e v e r a l t i m e s ; but she h e s i t a t e d  about  l o v i n g a man who l a c k e d d i r e c t i o n and had "something s l i p p e r y " him.  1 4 7  about  They were m a r r i e d i n May, 1928, i n . ' c i v i l and r e l i g i o u s ceremonies,  but t h e r e were b i t t e r c l a s h e s i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p . d i f f i c u l t man t o l i v e w i t h :  L e w i s was a 148  "he h a t e d p r o h i b i t i o n of any k i n d . "  He s a i d , "My m i s s i o n i n l i f e i s t o be t h e d e s p i s e d c r i t i c , t h e e t e r n a l fault-finder.  I must c a r p and s c o l d u n t i l everyone d e s p i s e s me.  what I was put h e r e  for."  That's  1 4 9  Thomas W o l f e admired t h e s i n c e r i t y b e h i n d t h e anger.  He  d e s c r i b e d Lewis-McHarg i n You Can't Go Home A g a i n : He knew how much i n t e g r i t y and courage and honesty was c o n t a i n e d i n t h a t tormented tenement o f f u r y and l a c e r a t e d h u r t s . R e g a r d l e s s of a l l t h a t was j a n g l e d , s n a r l e d , and t w i s t e d i n h i s l i f e , r e g a r d l e s s of a l l t h a t had become b i t t e r , h a r s h , and a c r i d , McHarg was o b v i o u s l y one o f the t r u l y good, the t r u l y h i g h , t h e t r u l y g r e a t p e o p l e of t h e w o r l d . 1 5 0  L e w i s aimed t o c a s t i g a t e A m e r i c a u n t i l i t was pure and worthy of h i s love.151 He f e l t a s e l f - a p p o i n t e d m i s s i o n t o r e f o r m by e x p o s u r e , . b e l i e v i n g t h a t the  l o t of man c o u l d be improved i f i t s f a u l t s were p o i n t e d o u t ; and h i s  f a v o u r i t e t a r g e t s were smugness, h y p o c r i s y , d i s h o n e s t y , c o n f o r m i t y , snobbery, and p r e j u d i c e .  He made s l a s h i n g a t t a c k s on c r e e d s and p r a c t i c e s ,  d e r i d e d d u l l n e s s and f o r m a l i s m , and was i n d i g n a n t a t narrow p e o p l e f o r 152 t h e i r " c o n s t r i c t i o n o f the s o u l . " All  t h e s e f a u l t s L e w i s found i n A m e r i c a ! r e l i g i o n , and f o r  most o f h i s l i f e , he showed "a complete l a c k o f sympathy f o r any form  -29of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f . "  153  He mimicked clergymen and sang t a s t e l e s s  about Jesus C h r i s t a t p a r t i e s , he dragged h i s s i c k w i f e down B i l l y "sawdust t r a i l "  songs Sunday's  f o r f u n , and l e f t i n s t r u c t i o n s t h a t n o t h i n g of a r e l i g i o u s  n a t u r e was t o occur i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h i s f u n e r a l . " ' ' 1  i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e o l o g y and a b s t r a c t d i s c u s s i o n , i m p r e s s i v e knowledge  1 5 5  He was not  4  but he had an  of r e l i g i o u s m a t t e r s , and i n c o l l e c t i n g m a t e r i a l  f o r Elma r G a n t r y cross-examined h i s Sunday S c h o o l C l a s s of twenty Kansas C i t y clergymen w i t h such q u e s t i o n s a s , "Why pulpits?"  He c a l l e d them "a f i n e bunch.  don't you be honest i n your  You get up and preach t h i n g s 156  t h a t n e i t h e r you nor your c o n g r e g a t i o n s b e l i e v e . "  As i f t o show t h e i r  i n s i n c e r i t y , he h i m s e l f e n t e r e d t h e i r p u l p i t s f o r "damned f o o l p r e a c h i n g ; " and on one c e l e b r a t e d o c c a s i o n , "spoke up t o Papa  1 5 7  God."  S i n c l a i r L e w i s knew t h a t r e l i g i o n , which i s concerned w i t h man's deepest m y s t e r i e s , cannot be r a t i o n a l , cannot be a n a l y s e d -159 " I b e l i e v e because i t i s i m p o s s i b l e , "  -- but he was determined t o w r i t e  a t r a c t t o prove t h a t r e l i g i o n i s i m p o s s i b l e . L e w i s " g o t so e x c i t e d making  I n w r i t i n g Elmer Gantry  f a c e s a t God t h a t he f o r g o t h i s c r a f t s m a n s h i p . " 1 6 0  The s a t i r e goes too f a r ; C h r i s t i a n i t y i s made i n c o n c e i v a b l e , as a l l ^ r e l i g i o u s people a r e p r e s e n t e d as e i t h e r h y p o c r i t e s or morons.  The s a t i r e f a i l s t o  g e n e r a t e a r e a l i s t i c view of r e l i g i o n i n America'; i n s t e a d , i t i s j u s t p e e v i s h 161 "foaming a t t h e mouth."  I t i n d i c a t e s L e w i s ' s r e v u l s i o n and l o a t h i n g f o r  C h r i s t i a n p r a c t i c e s , perhaps a r e a c t i o n t o h i s own i m p u l s e t o be an e v a n g e l i c a l missionary.l^  2  ... p a y i n g my compliments t o the M e t h o d i s t C a r d i n a l s , the L o r d s Day A l l i a n c e , t h e S.P.V., and a l l the r e s t -not s l i g h t l y and meekly as i n M.St, and B a b b i t t but a t : f u l l l e n g t h , and v e r y , v e r y i l o v i n g l y . I t h i n k i t ' l l be j u s t the r i g h t time f o r t h i s n o v e l , and I t h i n k I can do i t con amore ... I l o n g t o d e a l w i t h the r e l i g i o u s e r s soon. The book Elmer G a n t r y caused a s t o r m of c o n t r o v e r s y and p u l p i t f u r y , and L e w i s was t h r e a t e n e d w i t h j a i l and l y n c h i n g . A t the time he was  -30t r a v e l l i n g i n Europe and r e v i s i n g Dodsworth (1929), the n o v e l i n which he t u r n e d back t o a r e a s s e r t i o n of t h e m i d d l e - c l a s s , middle-brow, and M i d d l e Western v a l u e s t h a t he had c r i t i c i s e d i n Main S t r e e t and B a b b i t t . However, the s t o c k market c r a s h d r a s t i c a l l y a l t e r e d the o l d - f a s h i o n e d v a l u e s , and a l s o m o d i f i e d L e w i s ' s p l a n s f o r a l a b o u r n o v e l , never completed.  He was  labors' I J  won  D H  d r i n k i n g h e a v i l y because he l a c k e d the "arduous and  of n o v e l w r i t i n g ; then suddenly he was n o t i f i e d that he  the N o v e l p r i z e i n l i t e r a t u r e f o r 1930.  the news; Dr. Henry Van Dyke w r o t e , "You bawdy t a l e . . . .  had  Americans were d i s g u s t e d a t  say God's dead, and l i f e ' s  You mock mankind w i t h lewd u n g a i n l y m i r t h ; " ^  a the  1  award showed t h a t the importance  godly  of new American l i t e r a t u r e was  recognised  i n Europe. L e w i s c l a i m e d t h a t h i s p u b l i s h e r s , H a r c o u r t , Brace  and  Company, had not t a k e n f u l l advantage of the Nobel p u b l i c i t y , and off h i s contract.  broke  He d i d n o t p e r c e i v e t h a t A l f r e d H a r c o u r t sensed  that  L e w i s ' s v e r s i o n of A m e r i c a n r e a l i t y , which had brought them enormous s u c c e s s , was  no l o n g e r r e l e v a n t i n t h e 1930's.  H i s t o r y had l e f t  Sinclair  L e w i s b e h i n d , though he c o n t i n u e d t o be a p o p u l a r n o v e l i s t , and Ann V i c k e r s (1933) brought l a r g e d i v i d e n d s t o N e l s o n Doubleday, h i s new p u b l i s h e r s . Dorothy Thompson was v e r y much i n v o l v e d w i t h w o r l d a f f a i r s , and h e r knowl e d g e of N a z i Germany and H i t l e r p r o v i d e d m a t e r i a l f o r I t Can't Happen Here (1935), i n which L e w i s d e s c r i b e d a f a s c i s t t a k e o v e r of t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . T h i s s u c c e s s f u l book was  r e c e i v e d as a major p o l i t i c a l  act, 166  not an a r t i s t i c achievement.  L e w i s was c a l l e d "a p u b l i c i s t i n f i c t i o n "  by R i c h a r d P. Blackmur, but he thought "I'm  of h i m s e l f as p r i m a r i l y a n o v e l i s t :  not i n the b u s i n e s s of e x p o s i n g t h i n g s . . .  don't know what t h e h e l l t h i s c o u n t r y needs." Lewis's a t t i t u d e t o h i s own work was  I w r i t e n o v e l s ...  I  According to h i s p u b l i s h e r s ,  one o f detachment, "the absence of 168  any genuine imag-.in.ative commitment t o h i s m a t e r i a l , " books were w r i t t e n w i t h g r e a t enthusiasm and i n d u s t r y .  even though h i s T h i s detachment  -30aa l l o w e d him t o p r e s e n t opposing views w i t h e q u a l c o n v i c t i o n , or t o be angry i n c o n f l i c t i n g , c a u s e s .  I t Can't Happen Here does n o t have the  i n t e l l e c t u a l coherence of A l d o u s Huxley or t h e p e r s u a s i v e v i s i o n of a nightmare f u t u r e of George O r w e l l , but i t caught p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n  at  j u s t the r i g h t time. L e w i s made.-ia s e r i e s , o f l e c t u r e t o u r s , t a l k i n g about  politics  and l i t e r a t u r e , and wrote The P r o d i g a l P a r e n t s (1938) which defended the A m e r i c a n b u s i n e s s and c a p i t a l i s t system.  He a l s o t r i e d a c t i n g and p l a y -  w r i t i n g , but h i s performances l a c k e d d i s c i p l i n e .  However, he enjoyed  the company of the young a c t r e s s , M a r c e l l a Powers, and w i t h her p l a y e d the clergyman i n Shadow and Substance.  H i s n o v e l about a stage-eompany,  B e t h e l M e r r i d a y (1940), was u n s u c c e s s f u l , and h i s b e h a v i o u r became marked by " n e r v o u s n e s s , t h e u n r e m i t t i n g a g i t a t i o n , the i n s i s t e n c e of h i s f i e r c e 169 and f r o t h y energy, the e n d l e s s p l a c i n g up and down, up and down." l o s t h i s f r i e n d s and was d i v o r c e d by Dorothy; h i s s o c i a l conduct was  He un-  p r e d i c t a b l e , and when he addressed u n i v e r s i t y c l a s s e s on the s u b j e c t of w r i t i n g , he made h i s s t u d e n t s wonder what he s t o o d f o r : " H i s l i t e r a r y judgments were always so whimsical."''" ^ 7  I t was r e p o r t e d t h a t he was " w i t h o u t  self-deception"'^''" and r e c o g n i z e d tawdry r e p e t i t i o n and d e c l i n e i n h i s l a t e r work, but when he c a l l e d The God Seeker (1949) h i s b e s t , most s e r i o u s book, h i s b i o g r a p h e r noted:  " h i s m i s c a l c u l a t i o n s about h i s own work 172  are p a r t of h i s m i s c a l c u l a t i o n s about  everything."  L e w i s was never a t ease -- " d r i v e n a l l h i s l i f e , a l l over t h e w o r l d , from house t o house, by h i s unmanageable r e s t l e s s n e s s , he was never a t home, o n l y always w i s h i n g to be." - " 17  5  #  e  drank t o e x c e s s , and  s u f f e r e d two h e a r t a t t a c k s .  No f r i e n d s v i s i t e d him i n h i s Rome h o s p i t a l , and  he d i e d on January 10, 1951.  H i s body was brought back t o A m e r i c a , the l a n d  he l o v e d and h a t e d , documented and made aware of i t s e l f . w r i t i n g one cannot imagine modern A m e r i c a n l i t e r a t u r e . w i t h o u t h i s w r i t i n g , we can h a r d l y imagine o u r s e l v e s . "  "Without h i s T h i s i s because,  -31F o o t n o t e s to Chapter I I 1 0 1  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 463.  ^Main  S t r e e t , p. 325.  1 0 3  S h e e a n , p. 353.  1 0 4  D o o l e y , A r t , p. 25.  1 0 5  G r e b s t e i n , p. 71. I b i d . , p. 2 1 .  1 0 6  1 0 7  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 20.  1 0 8  I b i d . , p. 264.  1 0 9  I b i d . , p. 40.  1 1 0  M a n from M a i n S t r e e t , p. 113.  m  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 50.  1 1 2  I b i d . , p. 89.  1 1 3  I b i d . , p. 64, 77.  1 1 4  S h e e a n , p. 297.  1 1 5  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 7.  1 1 6  1 1 7  T r a i l o f t h e Hawk, p. 81. S c h o r e r , L i f e , p . 110.  1 1 8  I b i d . , p. 115.  1 1 9  I b i d . , p. 139.  120_.. . I b x d . , p. 207. 1 2 1  I b i d . , p. 207.  1 2 2  I b i d . , p. 212.  1 2 3  I b i d . , p. 295.  1 2 4 i d . , p. 395. I b  1 2 5  G o d Seeker, p. 380.  1 2 6  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 456.  127 'Man From M a i n S t r e e t , p. 242.  -32-  128  Thomas P a i n e , The Age o f Reason -- Being an I n v e s t i g a t i o n of True and Fabulous Theology, p. 6. 1 2 9  M a n from M a i n S t r e e t , p. 249.  1 3 Q  G o d Seeker, p. 95. G . H . L e w i s , p. 302.  131  I b i d . , p. 301.  1 3 2  1 3 3  E d e n e r , p. 55.  1 3 4  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 236.  13  ^ Q u o t e d i n G r e b s t e i n , p. 106.  136  T r a i l  o  £  t  h  e  Hawk, p. 426.  1 3 7  G r e b s t e i n , p. 139.  1 3 8  G . H . L e w i s , p. 302.  1 3 9  E l m e r G a n t r y , p . 28.  1 4 0  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 355.  1 4 1  D o d s w o r t h , p. 20.  1 4 2  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 595.  1 Z f 3  1 4 4  I t Can't Happen h e r e , p. 433.  Dooley,  A r t , p. 240.  1 4 5  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 120.  1 4 6  S h e e a n , p. 147.  1 4 7  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p . 489.  1 4 8  G . H . L e w i s , p. 68.  1 4 9  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 311.  Q u o t e d i n G e o f f r e y Moore, " S i n c l a i r L e w i s : Romantic" (1959), E s s a y s , p. 163. 1 5 0  1 5 1  S h e e a n , p.88.  1 5 2  G r e b s t e i n , p. 65.  1 5 3  Dooley,  1 5 4  E d e n e r , p. 70.  1 5 5  S h e e a n , p. 142.  A r t , p. 228.  A Last  -331 5 6  Q u o t e d i n Dooley, A r t , p. 121.  S i n c l a i r L e w i s , L e t t e r s , From Main S t r e e t t o Stockholm H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1952), p. 207.  1 5 7  (New York:  1 5 8  Q u o t e d i n S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 447.  1 5 9  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 71.  1 6 0  D o o l e y , A r t , p. 126.  1 6 1  I b i d . , p. 130.  1 6 2  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 480.  1 6 3  L e w i s , L e t t e r s , p. 150.  1 6 4  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 536.  1 6 5  I b i d . , p. 550.  1 6 6  I b i d . , p. 690.  1 6 7  I b i d . , p. 545.  1 6 8  I b i d . , p. 598.  1 6 9  I b i d . , p.  1 7 0  I b i d . , p. 709.  1 7 1  I b i d . , p. 726.  1 7 2  .  658.  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 776.  173 tanley. I . K u n i t z , T w e n t i e t h Century A u t h o r s : — F i r s t Supplement (New Y o r k : W. H. W i l s o n , 1955), p. 578. S  1 7 4  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 813.  CHAPTER I I I Many of S i n c l a i r L e w i s ' n o v e l s made t h e i r c r i t i c i s m s a t j u s t the r i g h t t i m e .  The Twenties r e j e c t e d V i c t o r i a n i s m and P u r i t a n i s m , a t t a c k e d  p r o v i n c i a l i t y , and l a c k of s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and c u l t u r e , w i t h an i n t e l l e c t u a l superiority  based on s c i e n c e , s o c i o l o g y , and p s y c h o l o g y .  p r o c l a i m e d s c e p t i c i s m and " c r y s t a l l i z e d the m i s g i v i n g s o f  The American  Mercury  thousands," 5 i7  To t h e s e r e a d e r s , Main S t r e e t , B a b b i t t , A r r o w s m i t h , Elmer G a n t r y and I t Can't Happen Here were u p - t o - d a t e , r e a l i s t i c and i m p o r t a n t books. 1 7 fi  Lewis "tapped a s w o l l e n mood o f i n c o n o c l a s m and escapism."  Like h i s  r e a d e r s , he r e b e l l e d a g a i n s t o l d r e s t r i c t i o n s and was i n s e c u r e about new i d e a s . He made people and i n s t i t u t i o n s s e l f - c r i t i c a l , b u t d i d n o t persuade to e r a d i c a t e t h e i r f a u l t s .  them  H i s books s o l d w e l l because, w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n  of Elmer G a n t r y , they p r e s e n t e d a l l t a s t e s and a l l p o i n t s o f v i e w . Elmer Gantry appeared  i n " t h e most h o t l y charged  atmosphere s i n c e t h e Salem w i t c h burnings,"'''  77  religious  when t h e Scopes T r i a l was b e i n g  debated w i t h p a s s i o n a t e e x c i t e m e n t , when B i l l y Sunday, Aimee Semple McPherson, and o t h e r h e l l f i r e e v a n g e l i s t s were c o n d u s t i n g t h e i r c o n v e r s i o n campaigns, when B i b l e F u n d a m e n t a l i s t s and Ku K l u x Klansmen marched through t h e l a n d . There was l i v e l y c o n t r o v e r s y as m o d e r n i s t t h e o l o g y i n t e r p r e t e d t h e B i b l e as myths, and as s o c i o l o g y blamed environment, r a t h e r than s i n , f o r man's  evil-  d o i n g . S c i e n c e promised an e a r t h l y p a r a d i s e , and a l l c o n c e p t s based on s p i r i t u a l i n t u i t i o n s and b e l i e f s r a t h e r than on s c i e n t i f i c p r o o f s were made s u s p e c t . Americans  i n t h e Twenties were l i v i n g i n p l e n t y , and as w e a l t h i n c r e a s e d , 17 8  f e a r of t h e d e v i l d e c r e a s e d ' and p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n : i n witchcraft."-'-  79  The church was viewed as a p u r e l y s o c i a l  "our p r e s e n t churches a r e as absurd as a b e l i e f  MAIN STREET ( 1 9 2 0 ) * i s marked by L e w i s ' s a m b i v a l e n t views on the U n i t e d S t a t e s , Gopher P r a i r i e and i t s p e o p l e , c u l t u r e and b e a u t y , c l a s s - d i s t i n c t i o n and democracy,  thought and a c t i o n ,  women's r i g h t s , l o v e and m a r r i a g e , C a r o l and K e n n i c o t t ; b u t on t h e s u b j e c t o f r e l i g i o n , Lewis i s a n t a g o n i s t i c t h r o u g h o u t . A m e r i c a i s g e n e r a l l y c r i t i c i s e d i n M a i n S t r e e t as l a c k i n g "the  s c i e n t i f i c s p i r i t , t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l mind, which would make  i t g r e a t " ( p . 2 6 7 ) , because i t i s made up o f Gopher P r a i r i e s and t h e i r philosophy of d u l l s a f e t y : are to are  " N i n e - t e n t h s o f t h e American towns  so a l i k e t h a t i t i s t h e c o m p l e t e s t bor^lcm t o wander from one a n o t h e r " ( p . 2 6 8 ) . F a c t o r i e s , houses, shops, c l o t h e s and people standardized.  Americans move on because they hope t o f i n d  a d v e n t u r e of t h e s p i r i t i n changing t h e i r h o r i z o n ( p . 2 4 7 ) . Those who s t a y a r e i n f e c t e d w i t h the V i l l a g e V i r u s ( p . 1 5 6 ) , and f o r g e t the  ideals of " l i f e ,  l i b e r t y , and t h e p u r s u i t o f h a p p i n e s s " ( p . 1 1 7 ) .  F o r e i g n immigrants do n o t p r a c t i s e t h e i r customs, b u t a r e " i r o n e d i n t o mediocrity" (p. 266). Americans d r e s s e d up remain unchanged ( p . 3 0 3 ) . When they t r a v e l on v a c a t i o n they l o n g f o r f a m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n s ( p . 4 0 4 ) ; when they go t o t h e t h e a t r e , t h e y demand n o t h i n g " i m p r o p e r " ( p . 2 1 8 ) . One o f t h e i r movies i s d e s c r i b e d : The f e a t u r e f i l m p o r t r a y e d a b r a v e young Yankee who conquered a South American r e p u b l i c . He t u r n e d the n a t i v e s from t h e i r barbarous h a b i t s o f s i n g i n g and l a u g h i n g t o t h e v i g o r o u s s a n i t y , t h e Pep and Punch and Go, o f t h e N o r t h . . . . He changed n a t u r e i t s e l f . A mountain which had borne n o t h i n g b u t l i l i e s and  *Note: F o r t h e remainder o f t h i s c h a p t e r , t e x t u a l r e f e r e n c e s w i l l be found i n p a r e n t h e s e s a f t e r q u o t a t i o n s .  -3.6-  c e d a r s and l o a f i n g c l o u d s was by h i s H u s t l e so i n s p i r i t e d t h a t i t broke out i n . . . p i l e s of i r o n o r e . (p. 198) The q u a l i t i e s of V i g o r and E n t e r p r i s e a r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of A m e r i c a n s , a c c o r d i n g t o Mr.  Blausser the Booster:  genuwine, honest-to-God homo A m e r i c a n i b u s he's a f r a i d t o t a c k l e .  "you  take a  and t h e r e a i n ' t a n y t h i n g  Snap and Speed a r e h i s m i d d l e name.  He'll  put her a c r o s s i f he has t o r i d e from h e l l t o b r e a k f a s t . . . ." (p.  414)  S i n c l a i r L e w i s , t h e " a l i e n c y n i c " (Head P i e c e ) , c r i t i c i s e s t h i s mad  r u s h of energy because I t l a c k s s p i r i t u a l  He i s s a r c a s t i c (Head P i e c e ) , and  understanding.  "Main S t r e e t i s the c l i m a x of c i v i l i z a t i o n " just look at  it!  There a r e redeeming f e a t u r e s of A m e r i c a .  When K e n n i c o t t  sees h i s t o r i c F o r t S n e l l i n g and t h e work of the p i o n e e r s , he " I t ' s a good c o u n t r y , and I'm  proud of i t .  those o l d boys dreamed about" (p. 1 7 ) .  L e t ' s make i t a l l t h a t  V i d a Sherwin, whose reforms  a r e slower and more r e a l i s t i c than C a r o l ' s , s a y s : So much t o c o n s e r v e .  "I'm  a conservative.  A l l t h i s t r e a s u r e of American i d e a l s .  and democracy and o p p o r t u n i t y " (p. 65).  cries:  She has  Sturdifie&s .  "overwhelming  b e l i e f i n the b r a i n s and h e a r t s o f our n a t i o n , our s t a t e , our town" (p. 66). A m e r i c a i s compared t o the o u t s i d e w o r l d , which i s " t o p s y t u r v y " (p. 4 4 1 ) , and a l s o " t h e w o r l d of g a i e t y and  adventure,  of music and t h e i n t e g r i t y of b r o z e , of remembered m i s t s from t r o p i c i s l e s and P a r i s n i g h t s and the w a l l s of Bagdad" ( p . I l l ) , C a r o l dreams r o m a n t i c a l l y of Mentone, "a p i c t u r e drenched w i t h g o l d and h a r d b r i g h t b l u e s " (p. 234), o f " s t a r t l i n g e x o t i c t h i n g s " (p. 270), and  of "a  think, black-bearded,  and^drink  c y n i c a l Frenchman who would s i t about  and s i n g opera and t e l l bawdy s t o r i e s and l a u g h a t our  proprieties  -37and quote R a b e l a i s and n o t be ashamed t o k i s s my hand" ( p . 2 7 0 ) . C a r o l ' s n o t i o n s o f c i v i l i z e d l i v i n g a r e vague, b u t she l o o k s f o r c u l t u r e i n Washington, D.C. P e o p l e go t o t h e E a s t t o conquer themselves ( p . 440), and they f i n d good and bad. The E a s t e r n c i t i e s have eager e n t h u s i a s m and mystery (p. 426), b u t they a l s o s u f f e r from "a thie;k s t r e a k o f M a i n S t r e e t " ( p . 427), c a u t i o u s d u l l n e s s and g o s s i p . easy g e n t l e n e s s , c h e e r f u l n e s s and e f f i c i e n c y  C i t y p e o p l e have  ( p . 4 2 8 ) ; but t h e  Bohemians shock C a r o l ( p . 1 0 ) , and she h a t e s "creamy s k i n n e d f a t women, smeared w i t h grease and c h a l k , . . . p l a y i n g b r i d g e w i t h p u f f y pink-mailedjjeweled  f i n g e r s , women who a f t e r much e x p e n d i t u r e o f  l a b o r and bad temper s t i l l lap-dogs"  g r o t e s q u e l y resemble t h e i r own f l a t u l e n t  (p. 25).  C a r o l r e t u r n s t o t h e West:  " t h e newest empire o f t h e  w o r l d ; t h e N o r t h e r n M i d d l e w e s t ; a l a n d o f d a i r y h e r d s and e x q u i s i t e l a k e s , o f new a u t o m o b i l e s towers,  and t a r - p a p e r  s h a n t i e s and s i l o s l i k e r e d  of clumsy speech and a hope t h a t i s b o u n d l e s s "  (p. 24).  T h i s mixed v i e w i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f L e w i s ' s a m b i v a l e n c e . the b l e a k n e s s ,  "the vastness  "the unprotected  He d e s c r i b e s  and t h e emptiness o f t h e l a n d " where  houses would crouch  t o g e t h e r i n t e r r o r o f storms  g a l l o p i n g out o f t h e w i l d waste" ( p . 3 3 ) , " t h e p a n t i n g summer and the s t i n g i n g w i n t e r " ( p . 8 2 ) . Though t h e l a n d can be f r i g h t e n i n g (p. 2 5 ) , i t has " d i g n i t y and g r e a t n e s s "  ( p . 58) and b e a u t y .  L i k e e a r l i e r w r i t e r s c r i t i c i s i n g America, Lewis i s d i s t r e s s e d a t t h e descrepancy between t h e promises o f t h e New World j u s t i c e , e q u a l i t y , and h a p p i n e s s f o r a l l men - - a n d t h e r e a l i t y . has a r o m a n t i c  — He  l o n g i n g f o r what might have been, b u t h i s a n a l y s i s i s  m a i n l y concerned  with current  conditions.  Sometimes  -38-  L e w i s b e l i e v e s i n A m e r i c a and A m e r i c a n myths, and a t o t h e r times he a t t a c k s them.  " I t ' s one of our f a v o r i t e American myths t h a t broad  p l a i n s n e c e s s a r i l y make broad minds" ( p . 343), b u t the p i o n e e r s tamed t h e l a n d (pp. 150-151) w i t h h a r d s h i p philosophies  who  and j o y have narrow  ( p . 1 5 2 ) . A n o t h e r t r a d i t i o n i s t h a t " t h e American  v i l l a g e remains t h e one sure abode o f f r i e n d s h i p , h o n e s t y , and c l e a n sweet m a r r i a g e a b l e  girls"  ( p . 264); but M a i n S t r e e t was w r i t t e n t o  show t h e d u l l deadness o f s m a l l towns.  America i s great, but i t  k i l l s the s p i r i t : a dominion which w i l l r i s e t o unexampled g r e a t n e s s when o t h e r empires have grown s e n i l e . B e f o r e t h a t time .-. . a hundred g e n e r a t i o n s o f C a r o l s w i l l a s p i r e and go down i n tragedy d e v o i d o f p a l l s and solemn c h a n t i n g , the humdrum i n e v i t a b l e tragedy o f s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t i n e r t i a , ( p . 450)  (f  But C a r o l would n o t be u t t e r l y d e f e a t e d . She was g l a d o f h e r r e b e l l i o n . The p r a i r i e was no l o n g e r empty l a n d i n t h e s u n - g l a r e . . . i n t h e v i l l a g e s t r e e t s were shadows of h e r d e s i r e s and t h e sound o f h e r marching and t h e seeds o f mystery and g r e a t n e s s , ( P . 442)  She w i l l l o o k a t e v e r y t h i n g , and a s k why i t i s , and who f i r s t down t h e law t h a t i t had t o be t h a t way. the s p i r i t  of t h a t b e w i l d e r e d  laid  "A r e b e l l i o u s g i r l i s  empire c a l l e d t h e A m e r i c a n M i d d l e w e s t "  (P- 1 ) . A l l t h e bewilderment i s summed up i n Gopher P r a i r i e , the u n a t t r a c t i v e s m a l l town: unapologetic  " I t was n o t o n l y t h e u n s p a r i n g  u g l i n e s s and t h e r i g i d  overwhelmed h e r .  straightness that  I t was t h e planlessness, t h e f l i m s y t e m p o r a r i n e s s  of t h e b u i l d i n g s , t h e i r faded u n p l e a s a n t c o l o r s " ( p . 3 7 ) . However, Bea  Sorenson f i n d s Gopher P r a i r i e b e a u t i f u l , and C a r o l  l e a r n s t o enjoy i t :  "everybody bowed t o h e r , s t r a n g e r s and a l l ,  a n d made h e r f e e l t h a t they wanted h e r , t h a t she belonged h e r e " (p.  62). The l o c a l c i t i z e n s b e l i e v e " i t ' s a darn p r e t t y town"  (p. 1 4 ) , but t o a newcomer i t i s "a f r o n t i e r camp. . . not a p l a c e to l i v e "  (p. 2 7 ) , " t h i s j u n k - h e a p l " (p. 29)  "Main S t r e e t was  b l a c k swamp from c u r b t o c u r b . . . the town was bleak sky. houses  b a r r e n under  a the  S o f t e n e d n e i t h e r by snow n o r by waving boughs the  s q u a t t e d and s c o w l e d , r e v e a l e d i n t h e i r unkempt h a r s h n e s s "  (p. 139).  C a r o l ' s dreams of c r e a t i n g a b e a u t i f u l town a r e l u d i c r o u s  "she f e l t a f o r b i d d i n g s p i r i t which she c o u l d never conquer"  (p. 34)  Her house squeaks, "Choke h e r - choke h e r - smother h e r " (p. 3 1 ) . C o n v e r s a t i o n ' d o e s not e x i s t i n Gopher P r a i r i e (p. 4 6 ) , but everybody g o s s i p s .  C a r o l i s f u l l y d i s c u s s e d , and judged t o  be "showing o f f " and " f r i v o l o u s " derision:  (p. 9 5 ) .  She cannot endure  their  "she had t r i p p e d i n t o a meadow t o t e a c h the lambs a  p r e t t y e d u c a t i o n a l dance and found t h a t the lambs were w o l v e s . There was no way was  out between t h e i r p r e s s i n g gray s h o u l d e r s .  surrounded by fangs and s n e e r i n g eyes" (p. 9 9 ) .  She  The town i s  " f i l l e d w i t h b u s y b o d i e s , t h a t have p l e n t y o f time t o s t i c k t h e i r noses i n t o o t h e r f o l k s ' b u s i n e s s " (p. 395). C a r o l moans:  " I came h e r e t r u s t i n g  me w i t h rods of d u l l n e s s . how  them.  They don't know, they don't u n d e r s t a n d  a g o n i z i n g t h e i r complacent d u l l n e s s i s " (p. 364).  c i t i z e n s b e l i e v e they a r e l i v i n g t h a t they a r e b o r e d , l i v i n g  They beat  i n a p a r a d i s e , but C a r o l p e r c e i v e s  l i v e s of "vacuousness  and s p i t e f u l g o s s i p " (p. 284).  Gopher P r a i r i  and bad manners  W i l l Kennicott protests:  "This i s  -40an independent town, not l i k e t h e s e E a s t e r n h o l e s where you have t o watch your step- a l l the t i m e , and l i v e up t o f o o l demands and s o c i a l customs, and a l o t o f o l d t a b b i e s always busy Everybody's  criticizing.  f r e e h e r e t o do what he wants t o " (p. 9 8 ) .  K e n n i c o t t i s a l o c a l , and p e r c e i v e s t h i n g s d i f f e r e n t l y from C a r o l .  When she sees h o p e l e s s houses, v i l e garbage, s c a r e -  crow p e o p l e , he sees new (p.  408).  f e n c i n g , improved s i g n s , and  She r e s o l v e s t o " l o v e the f i n e W i l l K e n n i c o t t q u a l i t y  t h a t t h e r e i s i n Gopher P r a i r i e . (p.  405).  friends  The n o b i l i t y of good sense"  She r e a l i z e s t h a t the p r y i n g c u r i o s i t y and g o s s i p of the  c i t i z e n s i s a form of a f f e c t i o n :  "Nobody i n Washington c a r e d  enough f o r h e r to f r e t about her s i n s as Sam-did" (p. 4 3 2 ) .  She  remembers w i t h sympathy h e r husband's d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e p e o p l e : "a l o t of p r e t t y good f o l k s , w o r k i n g h a r d and t r y i n g t o b r i n g up t h e i r f a m i l i e s the b e s t they can" (p. 4 4 2 ) .  Gopher P r a i r i e  not be as w o n d e r f u l as the town d e s c r i b e d i n the Commercial  may Club  b o o k l e t (p. 4 1 6 ) , but i t i s much b e t t e r than many o t h e r p l a c e s (p. 429). Gopher P r a i r i e c i t i z e n s b e l i e v e they a r e s u p e r i o r t o the/L simple hardworking farmers. and;,/profit s h a r i n g . patriotic:  The town l e a d e r s a r e opposed t o s o c i a l i s m  J a c k E l d e r becomes e x c i t e d and b e l l i g e r e n t and  " I s t a n d f o r freedom and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r i g h t s .  l i k e what I pay  'em,  or they get out" (p. 5 0 ) .  . . they  A l l agitators  s h o u l d be hanged, agrees K e n n i c o t t . The a r i s t o c r a c y of Gopher P r a i r i e c o n s i s t s of " a l l persons engaged i n a p r o f e s s i o n , or e a r n i n g more than t w e n t y - f i v e hundred d o l l a r s a y e a r , or possessed o f grandparents born i n A m e r i c a "  (p. 7 4 ) .  They b e l i e v e i n democracy -- the d o c t o r hunts w i t h the t a i l o r  and  the u n d e r t a k e r  (p. 42) —  but they d e s p i s e t h e i r s e r v a n t s .  "Juanita •  -41Haydock r a t t l e d ,  'They're u n g r a t e f u l , a l l t h a t c l a s s o f p e o p l e . . .  I don't know what t h e c o u n t r y ' s coming t o , w i t h these  Scandahoofian  c l o d h o p p e r s demanding every cent you save, and so i g n o r a n t and i m p e r t i n e n t ' . " ( p . 89) C a r o l l o v e s common workmen ( p . 4 ) , sees the S c a n d i n a v i a n s as " t h e h a r d i e s t and b e s t p e o p l e " ( p . 8 9 ) , and i s f r i e n d l y w i t h h e r maid ( p . 6 2 ) ; but she dares not share  .her t a b l e  w i t h Bea and M i l e s ( p . 2 0 4 ) . C a r o l i s happy t o be i n v i t e d t o t h e T h a n a t o p s i s : are the r e a l people.  "These  When t h e housewives, who bear t h e burdens,  a r e i n t e r e s t e d i n p o e t r y , i t means something"  ( p . 2 0 4 ) . The  s e l f ^ s a t i s f i e d women f i n i s h t h e E n g l i s h poets i n a s i n g l e meeting -" t h e y have t h e i r c u l t u r e s a l t e d and hung up" ( p . 1 2 7 ) . Shaw's p l a y s a r e r e j e c t e d because they a r e " r i s k y "  ( p . 2 1 8 ) , and B a l z a c ' s  novels a r e taken o f f the l i b r a r y s h e l v e s . The Gopher P r a i r i e L i b r a r i a n i n s i s t s t h a t t h e f i r s t  duty  of a c o n s c i e n t i o u s l i b r a r i a n i s t o p r e s e r v e t h e books, r a t h e r t h a n t o g e t people t o r e a d ( p . 9 2 ) . C a r o l r e t o r t s t h a t h>ooks a r e cheaper than minds; and i s d e l i g h t e d when she i s a p p o i n t e d t o t h e town l i b r a r y b o a r d , f o r she c o n s i d e r s h e r s e l f t h e o n l y one w i t h knowledge o f books and l i b r a r y methods.  Her c o n d e s c e n s i o n i s r u i n e d when she  d i s c o v e r s t h a t t h e men on t h e board a r e e x t r e m e l y w e l l - r e a d —  even  though they l e a v e t h e l i b r a r y "as dead as Moses" ( p . 2 3 2 ) . Such committees as t h e l i b r a r y - b o a r d a r e hampered by l a c k of f u n d s . pocket-books" taste:  Every r e f o r m i s b l o c k e d by s t u p i d i t y and " s c a r e d ( p . 1 3 8 ) , and t h e d i f f i c u l t y o f d e c i d i n g m a t t e r s of  " I t ' s a r t b u t i s i t p r e t t y ? " ( p . 66) K e n n i c o t t p o i n t s out  the f o o l i s h n e s s o f " a r t i s t i c guys" l i k e Raymie Wutherspoon and E r i k "Elizabeth" Valborg.  Most a r t i s t s , he s a y s , a r e " g r i n d i n g out a bum  -42l i v i n g " (p. 3 9 7 ) . C a r o l has i d e a s about a r t and beauty and romance: We're g o i n g t o f i n d e l e p h a n t s w i t h g o l d e n howdahs from which peep young maharanees w i t h n e c k l a c e s o f r u b i e s , and a dawn s e a c o l o r e d l i k e the breast o f a dove, and a green house f i l l e d w i t h books and s i l v e r t e a - s e t s . (p. 424) but h e r n o t i o n s  a r e vague and o f t e n s i l l y , and soon swamped by t h e  deadness o f M a i n S t r e e t :  "She f e l t o o z i n g through t h e w a l l s t h e  s p i r i t o f s m a l l houses and r i g h t e o u s  p e o p l e " (p.409).  Her attempts  t o r e d e c o r a t e the house and e n l i v e n t h e p a r t y a r e p a t h e t i c and  she i s n o t a r t i s t i c enough t o answer Mr. B l a u s s e r ' s  (p. 70),  claim that the  town has "as much r e f i n e m e n t and c u l t u r e as any burg on the whole b l o o m i n ' expanse of God's Green F o o t s t o o l "  (p. 416).  does n o t l a y down canons o f t a s t e i n t h e n o v e l : c u l t u r e and s a t i s f a c t i o n i n l i f e a r e i n d e f i n i t e .  S i n c l a i r Lewis  H i s longings In this  for  respect  he d i f f e r s from h i s models, V o l t a i r e and D i c k e n s , s a t i r i s t s who suggest or i n f e r v e r y r e a l v a l u e s by which t o measure t h e f a u l t s o f s o c i e t y . L e w i s i s vague about s t a n d a r d s , b u t h i s mockery i s c l e a r :  "Whatsoever  E z r a does n o t know and s a n c t i o n , t h a t t h i n g i s h e r e s y , w o r t h l e s s f o r knowing and w i c k e d t o c o n s i d e r " The of;-poverty  respectability  (Head P i e c e ) .  o f Gopher P r a i r i e i s " r e i n f o r c e d by vows  and c h a s t i t y i n the m a t t e r o f knowledge . . . t h e c i t i z e n s  a r e proud o f t h a t achievement o f i g n o r a n c e " (p. 266).  The p e o p l e do  not think:.(p. 2 0 ) , b u t remain peasants " s o sunk i n the mud" ( p . 2 2 ) . Carol i s disgusted w i t h her:  a t t h e s i g h t and s m e l l of t h e farm f o l k who t r a v e l  "a s o i l e d man and woman . . . a l a r g e b r i c k - c o l o r e d Norwegian  . . . and an o l d woman whose t o o t h l e s s mouth shuts l i k e a mud t u r t l e ' s " ( p . 2 1 ) .  -43K e n n i c o t t defends them:  " t h e s e farmers are mighty  keen and up-and-coming" (p. 2 2 ) , aid they l i v e in-"good h u s t l i n g b u r g s " (p. 23)  -- but he w i l l not a l l o w them p o l i t i c a l power (p.  Gopher P r a i r i e l e a d e r s agree w i t h him: solemnly and  "the o t h e r s nodded,  i n t u n e , l i k e a shop-window of f l e x i b l e  comic mandarins and  toys,  judges and ducks and clowns" (p. 5 0 ) .  Their  are "monotonous, t h i c k , emphatic . . . h a r s h l y pompous" (p. and  frighten Carol:  " G o l d h e l p me  i f I were an o u t s i d e r ! " (p.  but become " h o r r i b l y h y p o c r i t i c a l " (p. 158).  l i f e miserable"  (p. 158).  just for pleasure"  N a t u r e i s tamed, so men  (p. 158) , a c c o r d i n g  t o Guy  to  of making  " r a i s e the  Pollock.  52)  142),  They a r e a f r a i d  " I t ' s the h i s t o r i c a l Anglo-Saxon way  voices  52),  The Gopher P r a i r i e r i c h do not h e l p the poor (p.  act.,on i m p u l s e :  57).  He  devil  does  not t r y t o wake up and r e f o r m Gopher P r a i r i e , because he i s t i m i d (p. 202)  and knows how  impossible i t i s .  Had she a c t u a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t she c o u l d p l a n t a seed of l i b e r a l i s m i n the b l a n k w a l l of m e d i o c r i t y ? How had she f a l l e n i n t o the f o l l y of t r y i n g t o p l a n t a n y t h i n g whatever i n a w a l l so smooth and sun-glazed, and so s a t i s f y i n g t o the happy s l e e p e r s w i t h i n ? (p. 144) U n c l e W h i t t i e r and Aunt B e s s i e a r e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of v i l l a g e n o t i o n s . They are s t a g g e r e d  t o l e a r n t h a t C a r o l can b e l i e v e " t h a t men  drunk wine y e t not d i e d i n the g u t t e r ; t h a t the c a p i t a l i s t i c of d i s t r i b u t i o n and  have system  the B a p t i s t wedding-ceremony were not known  i n the Garden of Eden . . . t h a t t h e r e are M i n i s t e r s of the G o s p e l who  a c c e p t e v o l u t i o n " (p.  245).  However, t h e i r bewilderment and of l o v e .  They want to do t h i n g s  h i t upon the tragedy t h a t i t s l o v e and  of o l d age.  i n t e r f e r i n g a r e a form  f o r the K e n n i c o t t s .  "Thus C a r o l  . . t h a t i t i s not needed by y o u t h ;  prosy sageness. . . a r e r e j e c t e d w i t h l a u g h t e r " (p.  447).  -44C a r o l l e a r n s t o u n d e r s t a n d Midwest p e o p l e , t o a c c e p t t h e i r l a c k o f p o l i s h as a form o f r e l a x a t i o n ( p . 171),  t o f e e l " t h e secure  q u i e t o f Gopher P r a i r i e " ( p . 2 1 0 ) . Carol's  a c t i v e hatred  o f t h e town and i t s people runs  out. She r e c a l l e d t e n d e r l y t h e young awkwardness of M a i n S t r e e t . . . she p i t i e d t h e i r shabbiness and i s o l a t i o n ; had compassion f o r t h e i r a s s e r t i o n o f c u l t u r e . . . f o r t h e i r p r e t e n s e o f g r e a t n e s s . She saw M a i n S t r e e t i n the d u s t y p r a i r i e s u n s e t , a l i n e o f f r o n t i e r s h a n t i e s w i t h solemn l o n e l y people w a i t i n g f o r h e r . ( p . 442) The happy e n d i n g i s d i s t u r b i n g .  I f Gopher P r a i r i e i s so bad,  does S i n c l a i r L e w i s make C a r o l a c c e p t i t ?  The m a t e r i a l o f t h e n o v e l  i s ; p r o s a i c b u t t h e u n d e r l y i n g mood i s r o m a n t i c :  "She was of some  s i g n i f i c a n c e because she was commonplace, t h e o r d i n a r y the age made a r t i c u l a t e and p r o t e s t i n g " ( p . 439). l o v e s t h e Midwest:  why  l i f e of  L e w i s h a t e s and  "Why, t h e f a u l t s y o u f i n d i n t h i s town a r e  s i m p l y human n a t u r e , and never w i l l be changed" ( p . 2 8 4 ) . M i l e s B j o r n s t a m , t h e s o c i a l i s t , would o v e r h a u l Gopher P r a i r i e c o m p l e t e l y , b u t he admits h i s i d e a s a r e " h a l f - b a k e d " When he a c q u i r e s  ( p . 115i).  a f a m i l y and a farm, he t r i e s t o conform t o Main  S t r e e t s t a n d a r d s , b u t i s c r u e l l y r e j e c t e d , i n t h e most moving i n c i d e n t i n t h e n o v e l , when people come t o o l a t e t o h e l p h i s d y i n g w i f e , Bea. V i d a Sherwin i s a p a t i e n t r e f o r m e r , who b e l i e v e s i n w o r k i n g from t h e i n s i d e ( p . 138) t o a l t e r o n l y d e t a i l s :  "things-  i n - g e n e r a l were comely and k i n d and immutable" (p. 2 5 4 ) . She i s n o t a destructive " r e v o l u t i o n i s t " l i k e Carol moderate a d v i c e : conventional scrupulously"  ( p . 254),  b u t she g i v e s  " t h i n k how much b e t t e r you can c r i t i c i z e  customs i f you y o u r s e l f l i v e up t o them, ( p . 373).  They t a l k e n d l e s s l y , " t h e e t e r n a l Mary  -45and M a r t h a -- an i m m o r a l i s t Mary and a r e f o r m i s t M a r t h a " (p. I s t a l k b e t t e r than work? t h i n k " (p. 422).  C a r o l wants " t o be q u i e t  She admires the poets and  271). and  t h o u g h t f u l w r i t e r s and  r e l i s h e s the d i s c u s s i o n s of Washington f r i e n d s ; but she can h e a r Kennicott grunting: sittin'  "They're s i m p l y a bunch of w i l d i m p r a c t i c a l t h e o r i s t s  round chewing the r a g " (p. 428).  " c r y i n g out f o r j o y of freedom r e g a i n e d The woodland gods s t i l l to admiration  life!'"  (p. 146)  C a r o l runs i n t o the woods, a f t e r W i n t e r . . . 'I b e l i e v e ! But a t o t h e r times she  f o r her p r a c t i c a l d o c t o r husband:  turns  "We're a p a i r of  h y p e r c r i t i c a l l o a f e r s . . . w h i l e he q u i e t l y goes and does t h i n g s " (p. 180).  I t i s noteworthy t h a t on her r e t u r n t o Gopher P r a i r i e ,  C a r o l works (p.  445).  She has been busy i n a Washington o f f i c e . i s d u l l and u n h e a l t h y , affairs.  The war  The  routine  but i t g i v e s freedom and a sense of w o r l d  i s " t o b r i n g a b a s i c change i n p s y c h o l o g y , t o  p u r i f y and u p l i f f e e v e r y t h i n g from m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s t o n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c s " (p. 275), but why The war  s h o u l d P r u s s i a n s be h a t e d and bayonetted? (p.  276)  i n v o l v e s "common p e o p l e " : The c o n c e p t i o n of m i l l i o n s of workman l i k e M i l e s t a k i n g c o n t r o l f r i g h t e n e d h e r , and she s c u t t l e d r a p i d l y away from the thought of a time when she might no l o n g e r r e t a i n the p o s i t i o n of Lady B o u n t i f u l t o the Bjornstams and Beas and O s c a r i n a s whom she l o v e d — and p a t r o n i z e d , (p. 276)  Guy  P o l l o c k has  s i m i l a r doubts:  "Democracy i s a l l r i g h t  theoretically,  and I ' l l admit t h e r e a r e i n d u s t r i a l i n j u s t i c e s , but I'd r a t h e r have them than see t h e w o r l d reduced t o a dead l e v e l of m e d i o c r i t y " The  (p.  202).  i n d u s t r i a l l e a d e r , P e r c e Bresnahan, i s "a good, d e c e n t ,  f r i e n d l y , e f f i c i e n t man"  (p. 279); but he i s a l s o "a s p i r i t u a l  bully",  an a c t o r and a h y p o c r i t e ( p . 2 7 8 ) . He preaches h i s g o s p e l -- " l o v e of o u t d o o r s ,  P l a y i n g t h e Game, l o y a l t y t o f r i e n d s " (p. .285)  — and  answers t h e i c o n o c l a s t C a r o l w i t h " a g i l i t y and c o n f u s i n g s t a t i s t i c s " (p. 285).  He t e l l s h e r t h a t t h e r e a r e thousands o f women as d i s s a t -  i s f i e d as h e r s e l f :  "Women haven't any p l a c e i n p o l i t i c s .  They would  l o s e t h e i r d a i n t i n e s s and charm i f they became i n v o l v e d i n . . . t h i s a w f u l p o l i t i c a l s t u f f " ( p . 1 4 3 ) . But C a r o l i s c o n s c i o u s " d i s c o n t e n t " i n women.  "What i s i t we want -- and need?"  of c h i l d r e n and h a r d work ( p . 296), b u t "a more c o n s c i o u s  of a  Not l o t s life"  ( p . 201)  "we-»want our U t o p i a now" ( p . 2 0 2 ) . From r e a d i n g many modern books "she g o t t h e same confused  d e s i r e which t h e m i l l i o n other women  f e l t ; t h e same d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o be c l a s s - c o n s c i o u s w i t h o u t c o v e r i n g t h e c l a s s o f which she was t o be c o n s c i o u s "  dis-  (p. 263).  "Confused d e s i r e " a p t l y d e s c r i b e s C a r o l K e n n i c o t t , and S i n c l a i r L e w i s ' s i n t e n t i o n s i n u s i n g h e r as h i s . p r o t a g o n i s t : " t h e l i n e s a r e b r o k e n and u n c e r t a i n o f d i r e c t i o n "  ( p . 430).  Carol i s  v i t a l l y a l i v e ( p . 2) y e t a dreamer ( p . 5 ) . She wants t o "do something w i t h l i f e "  ( p . 8) but she has no system ( p . 7 3 ) . One  minute she i s "drunk w i t h h e a l t h , m i s t r e s s o f l i f e " the n e x t she i s b r o o d i n g in  (p. 8 4 ) ;  ( p . 8 4 ) . She y e l l s " Y i p p e e l " and jumps  t h e snow, then t u r n s i n t o t h e sedate Mrs. D r . K e n n i c o t t  (p..86).  She i s d i s t r e s s e d a t Gopher P r a i r i e c r i t i c i s m ( p . 9 5 ) , then takes Bjornstam's a d v i c e :  " K i c k 'em i n t h e f a c e l  Say, i f I were a  s e a g u l l and a l l over s i l v e r , t h i n k I ' d c a r e what a pack o f d i r t y s e a l s thought about my f l y i n g ? "  ( p . 118) She l o v e s p o e t r y , b u t  i s n o t t r a n s p o r t e d t o Camelot ( p . 1 2 1 ) . She l o a t h e s v u l g a r movies, but t i t t e r s ( p . 1 2 1 ) .  -47When she d i s c o v e r s the c i v i c o r g a n i z a t i o n s of Gopher P r a i r i e , she i s "a proud and p a t r i o t i c c i t i z e n , a l l evening" (p.  128); and when she l e a r n s the town's h i s t o r y , she d e c l a r e s  " t h e G.P.  had the c o l o r of A l g i e r s and the g a i e t y of M a r d i Gras" ( p . 136):  but u s u a l l y she i n s i s t s t h a t " t h i s morass" i s "not h e r home" (p. 139), and p l a n s t o r u n away. in  town she laments:  tried.  . . . I'm  She i s c o n t e n t a t the l a k e (p. 149), but " I ' v e f a i l e d a t every p o s i t i v e t h i n g  a t i n y l e a s h e d hawk, pecked  t o death by  I've  these  l a r g e , w h i t e , f l a b b y , wormy hens" (p. 160). Her husband c r i t i c i s e s h e r f o r f e e l i n g so s u p e r i o r t o f o l k s , w i t h o u t cause (p. 173), and she i s a p p a l l e d a t b e i n g a r e f o r m e r l i k e Widow Bogart (p.186). of  all.  I'm  Her p l a y i s "the worst d e f e a t  beaten" (p. 228), but she c a r r i e s on.  a l w a y s , an u n r e s o l v e d B u t ? " (p. 410)  " I s a l l my  life,  To the c a s u a l eye she i s not  d i s c o n t e n t e d , but i n s i d e she rages mutely a g a i n s t t h e i n d i f f e r e n t gods: (p.  " I am I I . . . I'm  273)  n o t c o n t e n t . . . . Damn a l l  of them!"  Bresnahan says t h a t she j u s t l i k e s b e i n g d i f f e r e n t (p. 284),  V i d a t e l l s h e r , "You're n o t a sound r e f o r m e r a t a l l .  You're an  impossiblist.  Kennicott  And you g i v e up too e a s i l y " (p. 271).  complains t h a t she had no p a s s i o n (p. 307), and C a r o l sees h e r s e l f as " t h a t wedded s p i n s t e r " (p. 354), a b l o o d l e s s , m o r a l ,  small-town  woman. Y e t she i s w o n d e r f u l as the n u r s e t o the Bjornstams and she wants t o be h e r s e l f , w i t h " g r e a t n e s s of l i f e "  (p. 4 2 2 ) .  runs away from K e n n i c o t t , but remembers h i s t e n d e r n e s s : h e r freedom, and i t was  empty" (p. 423).  ( p . 321),  "she  had  One y e a r l a t e r , when he  v i s i t s h e r i n Washington, she f e e l s " n o t h i n g d e f i n i t e t o a g o n i z e o v e r " (p. 4 3 6 ) .  On h e r r e t u r n t o Gopher P r a i r i e , she i s " n e i t h e r  She  g l a d n o r s o r r y t o be back" ( p . 444).  She expects  t o be " a t once  a h e r e t i c and a r e t u r n e d h e r o ; she was v e r y r e a s o n a b l e about i t ; and i t h u r t j u s t as much as e v e r " thoroughly  and merry  ( p . 4 4 8 ) . She i s  beaten by Gopher P r a i r i e ; b u t she has fought a good  f i g h t and kept t h e f a i t h ( p . 4 5 1 ) . C a r o l ' s f a i t h i s a vague and changing t h i n g , and L e w i s ' s a t t i t u d e t o C a r o l keeps a l t e r i n g . he mocks.  Sometimes he a d m i r e s , sometimes  The n o v e l i s p r i m a r i l y an exposure o f American s m a l l  town f a u l t s , w i t h C a r o l as t h e v i e w e r  and s u f f e r e r , w i t h  as t h e u p h o l d e r o f A m e r i c a n and s m a l l town v i r t u e s .  Will  Kennicott Kennicott  i s "a t h i c k t a l l man of t h i r t y - s i x or -seven, w i t h s t o l i d brown h a i r , l i p s used t o g i v i n g o r d e r s , eyes which f o l l o w e d good-naturedly"  everything  ( p . 1 2 ) . He i s k i n d and p o s i t i v e and v i r i l e  (p. 15),  and C a r o l l i k e s and m a r r i e s him. When he t a l k s o f home, she suddenly sees h i m as "a s t r a n g e r , " n o t o f h e r k i n d , w i t h "none of t h e magic of shared  a d v e n t u r e s and eagerness" ( p . 2 6 ) . However, he i s com-  f o r t i n g and s t r o n g , and she f i n d s " i n t h e courage and k i n d n e s s o f her man a s h e l t e r from t h e p e r p l e x i n g w o r l d "  (p. 30).  He i s awed by h e r beauty ( p . 7 4 ) , and clumsy i n c r i t i c i s m (p. 8 0 ) , but he g i v e s up tobacco-chewing and other h a b i t s t o p l e a s e her  ( p . 1 0 4 ) . He scorns t h e o t h e r v  doctors i n the crudest  terms  (p. 164), b u t Bresnahan p r a i s e s him: " I t ' s t h e o l d doc t h a t keeps a community w e l l , mind and body.  And s t r i k e s me t h a t W i l l i s one  of t h e s t e a d i e s t and c l e a r e s t - h e a d e d  country p r a c t i t i o n e r s " (p. 283).  K e n n i c o t t i s mean about money, and when he c r i t i c i s e s C a r o l f o r a r g u i n g , he r e a r s up h i s t h i c k s h o u l d e r s , " i n absurd p i n k and green f l a n e l e t t e pajamas.  He s a t s t r a i g h t , and i r r i t a t i n g l y  snapped h i s f i n g e r s , and g r o w l e d " ( p . 1 6 8 ) .  -.42However, he i s courageous i n making arduous n i g h t c a l l s (p. 177) and a d m i r a b l e i n h i s o p e r a t i o n on A d o l p h Morgenroth ( p . 1 9 2 ) . On t h e o t h e r hand, C a r o l knows h i s anger and mockery, and d e s p i s e s " h i s g u t t e r p a t o i s " ( p . 199), h i s d r e a d f u l c l o t h e s ( p . 2 8 9 ) , and h i s t a b l e manners:  "He v i o l e n t l y chased fragments o f f i s h about h i s  p l a t e w i t h a k n i f e and l i c k e d t h e k n i f e a f t e r g o b b l i n g them" ( p . 2 8 9 ) . Sometimes he i s t h e b u l l y i n g A m e r i c a n p a t r i o t : "There's t o o much f r e e speech and f r e e gas and f r e e beer and f r e e l o v e and a l l the r e s t of your damned mouthy freedom, and i f I had my way I ' d make you f o l k s l i v e up t o t h e e s t a b l i s h e d r u l e s of decency even i f I had t o t a k e you --" ( p . 420) K e n n i c o t t has f i v e h o b b i e s : m e d i c i n e , l a n d - i n v e s t m e n t , C a r o l , m o t o r i n g , and h u n t i n g .  " I t i s n o t c e r t a i n i n what o r d e r he  p r e f e r r e d them" ( p . 195). He i s "as f i x e d i n r o u t i n e as an i s o l a t e d o l d man" ( p . 2 9 1 ) , and complains t h a t "she's always t r y i n g t o make me over from a p e r f e c t l y good M.D. i n t o a damn poet w i t h a s o c i a l i s t n e c k - t i e " (p. 306).  He t u r n s t o Maud Dyer f o r c o m f o r t , b u t when  C a r o l i s f o o l i s h about E r i k V a l b o r g he i s "mature and s l o w , y e t b e s e e c h i n g " ( p . 3 9 6 ) , and a s k s :  " C a r r i e , do you u n d e r s t a n d my  work?" ( p . 7 9 6 ) . He i s t h e s c i e n t i s t of Gopher P r a i r i e , who works a l l h o u r s t o h e a l everybody, r i c h or poor, and a l l he needs i s t o have C a r r i e welcome h i m .  She i s h i s s o u l ( p . 3 9 6 ) . C a r o l . does  not r e a l i s e t h a t W i l l has " b e w i l d e r m e n t s and concealments as i n t r i c a t e as h e r own" ( p . 4 3 9 ) . M a i n S t r e e t i s , i n some ways, a l o v e s t o r y . making o f C a r o l and W i l l i s o r d i n a r y :  The l o v e -  "They were b i o l o g y and m y s t e r y ;  t h e i r speech was s l a n g phrases and f l a r e s o f p o e t r y ; t h e i r were contentment or shaky c r i s e s "  silences  (p. 1 5 ) . They l i k e each o t h e r h o n e s t l y ,  and put o f f c h i l d r e n u n t i l W i l l has more money:  "perhaps he had made  -50-  a l l t h e mystery o f l o v e a m e c h a n i c a l c a u t i o u s n e s s " ( p . 8 5 ) . C a r o l i s n o t s t i r r e d by W i l l , b u t she depends on h i m ( p . 1 6 1 ) . She has t o a s k f o r money, and i n t h e e n s u i n g argument h a t e s him (p.  1 7 3 ) . Then she sees she has n o t been j u s t , and " t h a t December  she was i n l o v e w i t h h e r Husband" ( p . 1 7 6 ) . She t h i n k s o f games and s u r p r i s e s t o v a r y t h e days, r e f u s i n g t o l i s t e n t o h i s t h e o r y t h a t " a l l t h i s romance s t u f f i s s i m p l y moonshine" ( p . 1 8 1 ) . When h e r baby i s born she f i r s t h a t e s i t then l o v e s " w i t h a l l t h e d e v o t i o n and i n s t i n c t a t which she had s c o f f e d " (p. 2 4 1 ) . K e n n i c o t t w i l l g i v e Hugh d i s c i p l i n e , but C a r o l w i l l g i v e h i m t h e r i g h t s o f a human b e i n g ( p . 4 4 8 ) . K e n n i c o t t ' s r e l a t i v e s a r e u n b e a r a b l e t o C a r o l ; she d i s c o v e r s " t h a t t h e one t h i n g t h a t can be more d i s c o n c e r t i n g than i n t e l l i g e n t h a t r e d i s demanding l o v e " ( p . 2 4 4 ) . She babbles h e r t r o u b l e s t o M r s . W e s t l a k e , d o c t o r ' s w i f e and g o s s i p , who approves of h e r h a v i n g a s e p a r a t e bedroom: "Why, c h i l d , every woman ought t o g e t o f f by h e r s e l f and t u r n o v e r h e r thoughts -- about c h i l d r e n , and God, and how bad h e r c o m p l e x i o n i s . . . and how much p a t i e n c e i t t a k e s t o endure some t h i n g s i n a man's l o v e . " ( p . 295) C a r o l , " s n a r l e d w i t h l i e s and foggy a n a l y s e s and d e s i r e s " ( p . 3 6 6 ) , i s n o t as l o v i n g t o W i l l as he w i s h e s .  She cannot put on an a c t ,  though she wants t o l o v e him: "Am I t o o honest -- a funny t o p s y t u r v y h o n e s t y -- t h e f a i t h f u l n e s s o f u n f a i t h ? " ( p . 367)  She wants  to be l e t a l o n e , b u t " m a r r i a g e weaves people t o g e t h e r " ( p . 3 9 8 ) . The m a r r i a g e s t o r y of C a r o l and W i l l K e n n i c o t t i s f u l l o f t w i s t s and changes.  Sometimes Lewis preaches the v i r t u e s o f l o y a l t y  and obedience, a t o t h e r times he advocates freedom and open mindedness.  Sometimes he i s on t h e s i d e o f W i l l ; a t o t h e r times he sympathises  -51with Carol.  He p r a i s e s  will  f o r b e i n g steady and blames him f o r b e i n g  f i x e d i n h i s ways; he approves C a r o l ' s adventurous i d e a s and her f l i g h t i n e s s .  criticises  The n o v e l d i f f e r s from an o r d i n a r y l o v e - s t o r y because  of the L e w i s i a n c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and q u e s t i o n i n g s w i t h r e s p e c t t o the v a l u e s w h i c h a r e embedded i n the c h a r a c t e r s and t h e i r  situations.  However,there i s no a m b i v a l e n c e i n the r e f e r e n c e s t o r e l i g i o n i n Main S t r e e t :  S i n c l a i r L e w i s c o n s t a n t l y a t t a c k s the church and i t s  t e a c h i n g s and i t s p e o p l e .  The g i r l s who  ask God  t o guide t h e i r f e e t  a r e the "bulbous-browed and pop-eyed maidens" (p. 3 ) .  V i d a prays  to  J e s u s , " o f f e r i n g him the t e r r i b l e power of her a d o r a t i o n , a d d r e s s i n g him as the e t e r n a l l o v e r , growing p a s s i o n a t e , e x a l t e d , l a r g e . . . . 'Bius she mounted t o endurance and "dear nebulous L o r d " i s so foggy"  surcease"  (p. 251).  C a r o l prays t o the  (p. 32) when she i s s c a r e d , and  admits, "My  religion  (p. 6 5 ) ; but she w i l l not a l l o w an i g n o r a n t young man  f r o c k c o a t t o s a n c t i o n Hugh by c h r i s t e n i n g : t o any d e v i l c h a s i n g r i t e s i "  (p. 241)  She  " I refuse to subject  i s "an uneasy and  in a him  dodging  a g n o s t i c " (p. 328), w h i l e K e n n i c o t t , whose f a i t h i s h i s B u i c k , b e l i e v e d i n t h e C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n , and never thought about i t ; he b e l i e v e d i n t h e c h u r c h , and seldom went near i t ; he was shocked by C a r o l ' s l a c k of f a i t h , and wasn't q u i t e s u r e what was the n a t u r e of the f a i t h t h a t she l a c k e d , (p. 328) The P e r r y s a r e c o m p l e t e l y  sure:  "The  B a p t i s t Church i s  the p e r f e c t , the d i v i n e l y o r d a i n e d s t a n d a r d i n m u s i c , o r a t o r y , p h i l a n t h r o p y , and  ethics.  . ,j .  What we need i s t o get back to the t r u e Word of  and a good sound b e l i e f i n h e l l " added on the New  (p. 152).  God,  This P r a i r i e P u r i t a n i s m i s  England P u r i t a n i s m (p. 4 4 1 ) , w h i c h i s s l i g h t l y  less  crude andvunthinking,  so t h a t C a r o l i s "dismayed t o f i n d the C h r i s t i a n  r e l i g i o n , i n America,  i n t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , as abnormal as Z o r o a s t r i a n i s m  —  w i t h o u t t h e splendor" (p. 328).  I t i s f u l l of p r i m i t i v e e r o t i c symbols  and gory C h a l d e a n phrases -- a " s a n g u i n a r y compelling  respectability.  and a l i e n t h e o l o g y "  (p.  328)  -52A l l the courageous i n t e l l i g e n t people a r e f i g h t i n g M a i n S t r e e t ' s god,  the god  of Mrs.  " I went to a denominational  B o g a r t who  c o l l e g e and  spake i n d o g g e r e l  hymns (p.  learned that since d i c t a t i n g  the B i b l e , and h i r i n g a p e r f e c t r a c e of m i n i s t e r s t o e x p l a i n i t , has never done much but creep around and it"  (p. 156).  cunningly.  Mrs.  She  (p. 185)  She  t r y t o c a t c h us  God  disobeying  B o g a r t a l s o c r e e p s around, her l a r g e f a c e " w r i n k l e d  showed the decayed t e e t h i n a r e p r o v i n g s m i l e ,  i n the c o n f i d e n t i a l v o i c e of one who she b r e a t h e d :  scents  s t a l e bathroom  and  scandal  'You don't know the t h i n g s t h a t go on under  cover'."  i s the o n l y p e r s o n i n town not l i v i n g i n shame, but f o l k s  can be c u r e d by k n e e l i n g a t Wednesday P r a y e r - m e e t i n g w i t h her and "0 God,  384):  I would be a m i s e r a b l e  s i n n e r except f o r thy g r a c e "  (p.  saying, 186).  T h i s d r e a d f u l woman's son causes a s c a n d a l i n v o l v i n g h i s t e a c h e r , F e r n M u l l i n s , and  the board d i s c u s s e s the c a s e .  On  the  board i s the Reverend Z i t t e r e l -- " S i s t e r B o g a r t about h a l f r u n s h i s church,  so of c o u r s e h e l l t a k e h e r say-so" (p. 386).  "a thin,-, swart, i n t e n s e young man" does as Mrs.  Bogart t e l l s him.  (p. 329)  Reverend Z i t t e r e l ,  w i t h a " h o l y l e e r " (p. 387)",  They b o t h b e l i e v e t h a t the g r e a t  w i t h t h i s n a t i o n i s l a c k of s p i r i t u a l f a i t h (p. 70); he i s g i v e n  trouble one  hundred d o l l a r s by P e r c e Bresnahan " f o r A m e r i c a n i z a t i o n work" (p. M i l e s B j o r n s t a m contends t h a t " t h e d o l l a r - s i g n has the c r u c i f i x c l e a n o f f t h e map"  (p. 115).  When C a r o l asks  282).  chased  the  T h a n a t o p s i s t o h e l p t h e poor of the town, Mrs. Warren,the clergyman's w i f e , agrees t h a t c h a r i t y i s "the c h i e f adornment of the t r u e C h r i s t i a n and  the Church" (p. 142), but " t h e s e s h i f t l e s s f o l k s " must r e a l i s e  i t i s c h a r i t y , not a r i g h t , and be much more g r a t e f u l .  Mrs.  w i l l r e b u i l d Gopher P r a i r i e when a l l the e v a n g e l i c a l churches a r e u n i t e d , " o p p o s i n g C a t h o l i c i s m and C h r i s t i a n S c i e n c e ,  Warren  -53and p r o p e r l y g u i d i n g a l l movements t h a t make f o r m o r a l i t y and p r o h i b i t i o n " (p. 132).  Even though c h u r c h suppers are f r i e n d l y  and human (p. 328), the c h u r c h people w i l l not welcome a " p i o u s " M i l e s B j o r n s t a m (p. 318), and Washington " v e r y unhappy and l o n e l y " (p. 4 2 7 ) . c h u r c h e s , t h e i r b e l i e f s , and  church members make C a r o l  S i n c l a i r Lewis damns the  practices.  I n A r r o w s m i t h (1925), s c e p t i c i s m i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the h e r o , M a r t i n A r r o w s m i t h , who argues t h a t " t r u t h i s a s k e p t i c a l a t t i t u d e to l i f e "  (p. 284).  The p o s i t i v e elements of L e w i s ' s  b e l i e f s a r e e x p r e s s e d i n t h i s nor e l , o r i g i n a l l y named The Gods of M a r t i n A r r o w s m i t h . Q xhe book shows Arrowsmith's 1S  and s e l f l e s s d e d i c a t i o n t o t r u t h .  spiritual  I t i s a "moralistic allegory j" -'1 8  a P i l g r i m ' s P r o g r e s s w i t h the T w e n t i e t h Century man  of p i e t y i n pur-  s u i t of t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y d e i t y , s c i e n t i f i c t r u t h . new Red C r o s s K n i g h t , s a v i n g l i v e s . on the o t h e r V i r t u e  He i s the  On one s i d e i s V i c e ( P i c k e r b a u g h ) ,  (Gottlieb).  G o t t l i e b ' s name means ' l o v e of God', C h r i s t of the new r e l i g i o n , S c i e n c e . i n t e g r i t y , u n d e r s t a n d i n g , and l o v e .  and he i s the  G o t t l i e b has i n t e l l e c t and He b e l i e v e s t h a t man  i s not dijvine  or i m m o r t a l , but a machine d e s i g n e d by God the m a t h e m a t i c i a n . prays:  He  "God g i v e me a q u i e t and r e l e n t l e s s anger a t p r e t e n c e and  a l l p r e t e n t i o u s work and a l l work l e f t s l a c k or u n f i n i s h e d . . | . God  g i v e me s t r e n g t h n o t t o t r u s t t o God!"  (p. 139).  The s c i e n t i s t advances mankind, but r e j e c t s  respectability.  He i s s i n c e r e l y a l t r u i s t i c , y e t people c o n s i d e r him a c r a n k .  So he i s o l a t e s  -54-  h i m s e l f from a s o c i e t y which m e r e l y wants to keep t h i n g s as are.  they  He i s concerned w i t h h i s s c i e n t i f i c work, not i t s meta-  p h y s i c a l or p h i l o s o p h i c a l meanings. A r r o w s m i t h works w i t h a f i n e i n t e l l i g e n c e and i n t e r e s t e d motives, even i n d e f e a t .  dis-  f a c i n g i s s u e s o f l i f e and death w i t h  L e w i s ' s standards  and  integrity,  l o y a l t i e s are c l e a r ;  know where he s t a n d s , a p p r e c i a t e h i s frame of r e f e r e n c e .  we  Just  as r e l i g i o n i s r e p e a t e d l y r i d i c u l e d by L e w i s , s c i e n c e i s one k i n d of t r u t h he c o n s i s t e n t l y r e c o g n i z e s ; he possessed "a humani s t i c f a i t h i n s c i e n c e and a c o n c e r n w i t h the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of man's 182 p e r f e c t i b i l i t y through h i s own  efforts."  p a r a d i s e on e a r t h , can a b o l i s h "war,  S c i e n c e can make a  p o v e r t y , c a s t e , uncouthness,  i • nl83 clumsiness." L e w i s ' s s i n c e r i t y about s c i e n c e makes the book p o s i t i v e in i t s idealism. f a t e and  I t - i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o v e l , concerned w i t h  f r e e w i l l , and man's s e a r c h f o r l i f e ' s s e c r e t s .  p a r t of what S i n c l a i r L e w i s b e l i e v e d i n i s expressed  p u b l i c h e a l t h , war,  " l i e - h u n t e r s " , surgeons and  scientists: (p. 266)  c h a r a c t e r s a r e changeable -- though L e o r a r e t o r t s : I'm  wealth,  c u l t u r e , b e a u t y , l o v e , n a t u r e , the West,  c u r s e i t , i s n ' t a n y t h i n g i n the w o r l d s i m p l e ? "  to be c o n s i s t e n t .  great  i n Arrowsmith.  There i s a m b i v a l e n c e i n A r r o w s m i t h c o n c e r n i n g power, s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r ,  A  a mere woman." (p. 227)  "Oh,  The  " I don't have  There i s an  important  c o n f l i c t between s c i e n c e ( l e t t i n g h a l f the n a t i v e s be ' c o n t r o l s , ' and maybe d i e ) and humanity ( g i v i n g the phage t o every M a r t i n preaches t o h i m s e l f :  islander).  -55th e l o y a l t y of d i s s e n t , the f a i t h of b e i n g v e r y d o u b t f u l , the g o s p e l of not b a w l i n g g o s p e l s , the wisdom of a d m i t t i n g the p r o b a b l e i g n o r a n c e of one's s e l f and of everybody e l s e . (p. 237) R e f e r e n c e s to r e l i g i o n i n A r r o w s m i t h are-.-nearly always  adverse.  D e a l i n g w i t h a cadaver damages M a r t i n ' s " a l r e a d y f e e b l e b e l i e f i n man's d i v i n i t y and  i m m o r t a l i t y " (p. 1 6 ) .  "No  s t e e r ever  bellowed  more enormously" than I r a H i n k l e y , the " b r i g h t and Happy C h r i s t i a n " (p. 15) who killing  " r e v e r e n t i a l l y accepted  e v e r y t h i n g " (p. 3 8 ) , who  but l o v e s s i n g i n g hymns about b l o o d  hates  (p. 3 8 ) , and who  is  a "maniac" about the damned s o u l s o f t h e n a t i v e s (p. 380).  Gottlieb  mocks p r e a c h e r s  and  who  t a l k meaninglessly  about S i n and T r u t h  Honesty (p. 144), and he w i l l not " s t o o p i n f e a r b e f o r e t h e i r  God  of Wrath" (p. 145).  To win p a t i e n t s , a d o c t o r s h o u l d a t t e n d c h u r c h , he b e l i e v e s the s t u f f or n o t " (p. 184); and,  once d i s t r u s t e d ,  M a r t i n i s a t t a c k e d by " a l l the f a s h i o n a b l e churches" S o n d e l i u s , the d y i n g a g n o s t i c , c r i t i c i s e s God  "whether  (p.  274).  for laughingly  p u t t i n g d i s e a s e i n t o the b e a u t i f u l t r o p i c s (p. 394).  The  book  ends w i t h a h y p o c r i t e C h r i s t i a n e n j o y i n g the m i n i s t e r ' s g l o a t i n g : "The r i g h t e o u s , even the C h i l d r e n of L i g h t , they s h a l l be rewarded w i t h a g r e a t reward and t h e i r f e e t s h a l l w a l k i n g l a d n e s s , s a i t h the L o r d of H o s t s ; but the mockers, the Sons of B e l i a l , they s h a l l be s l a i n betimes and c a s t down i n t o darkness and f a i l u r e , and i n the busy marts s h a l l they be f o r g o t . " (p.  The  f i r s t p a r t o f Elmer Gantry (1927) d e s c r i b e s Elmer's  B a p t i s t e d u c a t i o n , h i s o r d i n a t i o n , h i s f i r s t p u l p i t , and h i s escape from L u l u ; the second d e s c r i b e s h i s c a r e e r as an e v a n g e l i s t w i t h f a n t a s t i c Sharon F a l c o n e r ; the t h i r d d e s c r i b e s h i s e x p e r i e n c e  of  the New  464)  -56Th ought and h i s r i s e i n Methodism, t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e d e c l i n e o f h i s m a r r i a g e t o C l e o and h i s escape from H t e t t i e , who t h r e a t e n s t o b r i n g him t o p u b l i c r u i n , b u t who i s h e r s e l f r o u t e d a s , i n t h e f i n a l s e n t e n c e , Elmer promises:  "We s h a l l y e t make t h e s e U n i t e d S t a t e s a  moral n a t i o n . " ( p . 432) There i s some ambivalence i n Elmer G a n t r y , b u t i t i s c o m p l e t e l y overshadowed by L e w i s ' s c o n s t a n t d i s l i k e oM r e l i g i o n .  He aimed t o  g i v e r e l i g i o u s c h a r l a t a n r y a f a t a l blow i n a " d r a g o n - k i l l i n g  exhibition,"  184 " S t . George and t h e P a r s o n . "  The b a t t l e i s b e l l i g e r e n t l y o n e - s i d e d -185 "a p a u s e l e s s s e r i e s of knockdowns." With " t h e b i g o t r y o f t h e a n t i -1  religious,"  o r  L e w i s p o r t r a y s a s e r i e s o f wicked clergymen and con-  f u s e d , i g n o r a n t , narrow-minded, and d u l l c h u r c h e s ; then he bashes them w i t h rough and tumble anger, and e x p e c t s a t o r n a d o o f boos and a p p l a u s e . L e w i s does n o t base h i s c r i t i c i s m on a deep u n d e r s t a n d i n g of C h r i s t i a n p h i l o s o p h y , b u t h i s c r i t i c i s m s of American  religious  p r a c t i c e s , even t h e d i s t o r t i o n s o f G a n t r y ' s c h u r c h , a r e based on 187 C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s , such a s :  "Ye cannot s e r v e God and Mammon."  His  h i g h e s t p r a i s e o f t h e church o c c u r s when McGarry answers t h e q u e s t i o n : "Why have a c h u r c h a t a l l ? " I t has t h e unique p e r s o n a l i t y and t e a c h i n g s o f Jesus C h r i s t , and t h e r e i s something i n J e s u s , t h e r e i s somet h i n g i n t h e way he spoke, t h e r e i s something i n t h e f e e l i n g o f a man when he suddenly has t h a t i n e x p r e s s i b l e e x p e r i e n c e o f knowing t h e M a s t e r and h i s p r e s e n c e , which makes the c h u r c h o f Jesus d i f f e r e n t from any o t h e r merely human i n s t i t u t i o n o r i n s t r u m e n t whatsoever! Jesus i s n o t s i m p l y g r e a t e r and w i s e r than S o c r a t e s or V o l t a i r e ; he i s e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t . Anybody can i n t e r p r e t and t e a c h S o c r a t e s or V o l t a i r e — i n s c h o o l s or books o r c o n v e r s a t i o n . But t o i n t e r p r e t t h e p e r s o n a l i t y and t e a c h i n g s o f J e s u s r e q u i r e s an e s p e c i a l l y c a l l e d , chosen, t r a i n e d , c o n s e c r a t e d body o f men, u n i t e d i n an e s p e c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n -- t h e c h u r c h . ( p . 376)  -57Elmer G a n t r y i s a f o r m i d a b l e warning a g a i n s t h y p o c r i s y , s k i n - d e e p c o n v e r s i o n , and a narrow s u p e r f i c i a l C h r i s t i a n c u l t u r e .  The  p i o u s humbugs succeed, and the good m i n i s t e r s f a i l ; Elmer's church i s not i n t e r e s t e d i n r a t i o n a l , h o n e s t , humble, t o l e r a n t , humane i d e a s or p e r s o n s .  The book i s an account of morbid symptoms of  r e l g i o n i n a l a n d where t h e r e l i g i o u s s p i r i t i s dead.  No  fraud,  quackery, h y p o c r i s y , or i n i q u i t y i s ' o m i t t e d -- " n o t h i n g i s ^ m i s s i n g but religion."•'•88  p  o r  Elmer G a n t r y i s not a symbol of the death 189  of r e l i g i o n ; h i s essence i s s w i n i s h n e s s .  I n h i s essay " S i n c l a i r  L e w i s and the Method of H a l f - T r u t h s , " S c h o r e r says Elmer i s " t o t a l death."190  He r e p r e s e n t s a decayed, dehumanized,  barren r e l i g i o n ;  and he has no genuine human v a l u e s t o f i g h t a g a i n s t .  On the f r i n g e s  o f the n a r r a t i v e , L e w i s p e r m i t s a few shadowy f i g u r e s of good, such as S h a l l a r d and P e n g i l l y , t o appear, but they do n o t impede Elmer's "barbarous r i s e from c o u n t r y boob t o i n f l u e n t i a l  preacher."191  L e w i s shares S h a l l a r d ' s b e l i e f i n i n d i v i d u a l freedom and P e n g i l l y ' s sense of r i g h t e o u s n e s s , but he i s more i n t e r e s t e d i n a clergyman who can r e j e c t such i d e a l s .  L e w i s i m p l i e s f a c e t s of human  b e h a v i o u r t h a t he admires by s a t i r i z i n g f a c e t s of human b e h a v i o u r t h a t he h a t e s i n Elmer G a n t r y , t h a t b r u t a l , s e n s u a l , l y i n g , s n e a k i n g b u l l y , w i t h o u t honour, decency or a s p i r a t i o n .  He i s monster, a g r o t e s q u e 192  h o b g o b l i n , a c a r i c a t u r e , " t o o s a t a n i c t o be r e a l . " i s inhuman, w i t h o u t f u l f i l m e n t .  His sexuality  He i s i n c a p a b l e of f e e l i n g  ("Elmer  c o u l d n o t c o n s i d e r the c o n v e r t s human" p. 119) or thought ("he  had  n e v e r been^sure but t h a t t h e r e might be something t o t h e d o c t r i n e s he had preached" (p. 2 2 9 ) , though he has shrewdness  and a n i m a l c u n n i n g .  To him, p r e a c h i n g i s an easy j o b , w i t h "no b a c k - t a l k or c r o s s e x a m i n a t i o n a l l o w e d . " (p. 51)  -5,8-  " I may n o t , " Elmer m e d i t a t e d , "be as s w e l l a s c h o l a r as o l d Toomis, b u t I can i n v e n t a l o t of s t u n t s and e v e r y t h i n g t o wake t h e church up and a t t r a c t t h e crowds, and t h a t ' s worth a whole l o t more than a l l t h i s yowl i n g about t h e prophets and t h e o l o g y l " ( p . 278) 193 Elmer Gantry i s "a mendacious w o l f i n p a s t o r a l c l o t h i n g " , a melodramatic  f i g u r e c a p a b l e of f o r c e f u l i n f l u e n c e .  He i s f r i g h t e n i n g 194  because he r e p r e s e n t s t h e " s i n i s t e r f o r c e s of r i g h t e o u s n e s s " , the s e l f - i n t e r e s t of some c h u r c h l e a d e r s .  He i s p a r t of t h e " r e l i g i o u s  195 vaudeville",'  and c a r r i e s t h e r e l i g i o n of success i n t o t h e c h u r c h , 196 197 making a d e a l w i t h Mammon. He i s "Mr. O p p o r t u n i s t ' ^ insisting t h a t a " S o u l Saver" must " s e l l t h e goods." ( p . 208) Elmer resembles " t h e v u l g a r e s t contemporary pulpit-thumping m a t e r i a l i s t " ' -  type of  He i s of t h e same c l a y as h i s  p e o p l e , n o t s e t a p a r t by l e a r n i n g or i n t e g r i t y or s p i r i t u a l i t y : "Mr. G a n t r y , why don't you b e l i e v e i n God?" ( p . 367) of  He i s i n c a p a b l e  deep s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n . I n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n , D. A a r o n has  written: The weight of t h e s a t i r e f a l l s on an e d u c a t i o n a l system t h a t p e r m i t s an i g n o r a n t boor t o pass as educated, and a cunning a n i m a l , t o o t h i c k h e a d e d t o be s c e p t i c a l , t o p r o f e s s a t h e o l o g y t h a t he does not understand and t e a c h a C h r i s t i a n i t y which he understands o n l y i n i t s f o r m u l a s and i t s p r o f i t a b l e fmiits. Elmer Gantry "had, i n f a c t , got e v e r y t h i n g from t h e c h u r c h and Sunday S c h o o l , e x c e p t , perhaps, any l o n g i n g whatever for  decency and k i n d n e s s and r e a s o n . " ( p . 28)  him i n t h e churches d e s c r i b e d i n t h e n o v e l .  H i s f a i l i n g s promote  An e g o t i s t w i t h o u t any  c a l l i n g , s e l f - k n o w l e d g e , or i d e a s , he somehow b e l i e v e s ( l i k e Sharon F a l c o n e r ) t h a t God w i l l t u r n h i s s i n s t o g l o r y , ( p . 174) be " t h e most p o w e r f u l man s i n c e the b e g i n n i n g of h i s t o r y ^  He w i l l ....  -59"l'm  g o i n g t o be t h e emperor o f A m e r i c a -- maybe o f t h e w o r l d . "  (p. 410) We do n o t b e l i e v e i n Elmer as a p e r s o n ; he i s an e f f i g y w i t h out human l i k e n e s s d e s i g n e d f o r a p u b l i c w i t c h b u r n i n g : fried i n o i l . " ^ 2  "The p r e a c h e r  S i n c l a i r Lewis, the revolted p u r i t a n , attacks the  whole c h u r c h a t Elmer's l e v e l .  He i s n o t b e i n g n o v e l i s t b u t p r o s e c u t i n g  201 attorney.  There a r e moments when he h i n t s a t opposing n o t i o n s  —  the j o y o f c h u r c h C h r i s t m a s , t h e h a p p i n e s s o f Elmer's mother a t h i s conversion, saving  and t h e t e n d e r n e s s of o l d p r e a c h e r s who b e l i e v e they a r e  t h e w o r l d . Even Sharon F a l c o n e r  w o r l d ' s "poor t r o u b l e d  s o u l s " ( p . 226).  recognises  t h e need t o h e l p t h e  Among C h r i s t i a n s a r e honest  t h i n k e r s l i k e B r u n o Z e c h l i n and s i n c e r e s e a r c h e r s l i k e F r a n k S h a l l a r d ; and  t h e c h u r c h has elements of p o e t r y and power.  Elmer i s moved by  the beauty o f l a n d and sea; he r e j o i c e s i n h i s work o f p r e a c h i n g God's word and a b o l i s h i n g s o c i a l e v i l s .  Nevertheless,  t h e book i s  p r i m a r i l y a c a r i c a t u r e o f A m e r i c a n r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s which Lewis sees as b e i n g b r u t a l and h a t e f u l . His attack i s i n l i n e with a long t r a d i t i o n of r e l i g i o u s criticism.  The P r o t e s t a n t i s m  of Lewis's upbringing  grew f i n a l ^ out  of L u t h e r ' s and C a l v i n ' s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h t h e Roman C a t h o l i c Church.  Their doctrines  of the priesthood  o f a l l b e l i e v e r s and  man's need o f Grace were brought t o America by t h e P i l g r i m s and P u r i t a n s , who had r e j e c t e d t h e e s t a b l i s h e d churches i n Europe. t h e r e were d i s p u t e s  From the f i r s t ,  over c h u r c h and B i b l e a u t h o r i t y -- by what r i g h t  c o u l d a c h u r c h f o r c e d o c t r i n e and conduct on a b e l i e v e r w i t h light?"  The second g e n e r a t i o n  P u r i t a n s were " g o s p e l - g l u t t e d ,  "inner sermon-  202 proof,"  and i n t e r e s t e d i n l i v i n g w e l l i n A m e r i c a .  A c q u i r i n g of  r i c h e s was a c c e p t e d as a s i g n o f grace by t h e P u r i t a n s , even i n t h e OA  s i n f u l world.  K i l l i n g o f I n d i a n s ("limbs of Satan")  O J  and e x p l o i t i n g  t h e i r l a n d demonstrated man's courage, i n g e n u i t y , and s e l f - r e l i a n c e ,  -60r a t h e r than God's p l a n . "Where do the m i s s i o n a r i e s come i n t o your p i c t u r e ? " "They don't!"204 The righteousness "My  P u r i t a n s o u l - s e a r c h i n g l e d b o t h t o overweening s e l f and  t o n e u r o t i c i s m i n f e a r of an a r b i t r a r y inhumane  God:  h e a r t i s f i l t h and p o l l u t i o n , contaminated w i t h loathsome s o f t n e s s 205  and decay!"  Preachers  exaggerated man's h e l p l e s s n e s s and  S c o t t i s h P r e s b y t e r i a n s took C a l v i n i s t d o c t r i n e t o the H i l l s , where the Book o f G e n e s i s was account o f man's o r i g i n s , and  s i n , and  Appalachian  h e l d t o be the o n l y p o s s i b l e  to the Mid-West p l a i n s , where developed  the P r a i r i e P r o t e s t a n t i s m t h a t Lewis knew. The A m e r i c a n C o l o n i e s became more w o r l d l y and commercial -" t h e man and  of b u s i n e s s  i s not o n l y n o b i l i t y but judge and p r i e s t "  the gap between t h e i r p r a c t i c a l l i f e and  t h e i r symbolic  2 0  aura  ^  --  increased,  though m i n i s t e r s i n s i s t e d the more s t r o n g l y t h a t New England was "an 207 emblem of God's thought." God's Word was the B i b l e , and the P u r i t a n s were deeply concerned w i t h words, but not always w i t h the i d e a s behind the words.  "Does a l l t h a t mean a n y t h i n g ?  Or i s i t j u s t a r a s h of  208 words?"  T h e i r j u g g l e d terms of d i a l e c t i c d i v e r g e d from r e a l  and P a i n e mocked " t h e C h r i s t i a n system of a r i t h m e t i c , t h a t t h r e e one,  experience, are  and one i s t h r e e . " J e f f e r s o n wrote: ' The r e l i g i o u s b u i l d e r s have so d i s t o r t e d and deformed the d o c t r i n e s of J e s u s , so m u f f l e d them i n m y s t i c i s m s , f a n c i e s , and falsehoods, have c a r i c a t u r e d them i n t o forms so monstrous and i n c o n c e i v a b l e , as t o shock r e a s o n a b l e t h i n k e r s . 2 1 0 2 0 9  Even though t h e r e were changes and d e v e l o p m e n t s _ i n American churches throughout the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , S i n c l a i r L e w i s i s shocked by t h e i r l a c k of reason and t h e i r undue i n f l u e n c e : ' i t i s t h i n k e r s l i k e Dr. /Elmer/ G a n t r y . . . who  f i n a l l y determine our  philosophy,  -61-  our i d e a l s , our judgment i n l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c m a t t e r s , and 211  our e t h i c s i n b u s i n e s s . "  L i k e many o f h i s  contemporaries,  L e w i s r e j e c t s t h e churches and t h e i r dogma, b u t remains aware of t h e f o r c e o f C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s . In t h e moral c o n f u s i o n o f a c h a r a c t e r such as George F. B a b b i t t we see something o f the dilemma of modern man -- eager t o g i v e h i m s e l f over t o complete enjoyment o f them because o f vague s c r u p l e s o f c o n s c i e n c e ; b e l i e v i n g i n t h e American i d e a l s o f Work and P r o g r e s s , w i t h o u t any r e a l o b j e c t i n l i f e t o make them w o r t h w h i l e ; d e p r i v e d o f t h e p o s s i b l i t y of r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n , yet f u l l of i n d e f i n i t e l o n g i n g s and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s ; s t u m b l i n g i n t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f husband and f a t h e r , o n l y to be caught i n a d u l l and p e t t y r o u t i n e o f domestic b i c k e r i n g and v u l g a r i t y . T r u l y , t o paraphrase t h e b r i l l i a n t words o f Matthew A r n o l d , B a b b i t t i s l o s t between two w o r l d s , t h e one dead t o h i m f o r e v e r , and t h e other powerless t o be born. -'2  One o f S i n c l a i r L e w i s ' s c a t c h i n g t h e temper of h i s t i m e s .  2  prime g i f t s was h i s s k i l l i n He understood  t h e moral c o n f u s i o n  and t h e d i s l i k e o f r e l i g i o n i n B a b b i t t and many modern A m e r i c a n s . He was " t h e c o n s c i e n c e o f h i s g e n e r a t i o n ,  d e s c r i b i n g the 214  s e c u l a r p i l g r i m a g e of the twentieth century;  b u t i n one  n o v e l he d e s c r i b e s A m e r i c a i n t h e 1840's. Because o f i t s h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g , The God Seeker (1949) i s d i f f e r e n t from L e w i s s o t h e r n o v e l s , b u t t h e u s u a l a m b i g u i t i e s a r e e v i d e n t . The e a r l y s e t t l e r s o f M i n n e s o t a a r e p o r t r a y e d as 1  -62-  v u l g a r , i g n o r a n t , and b i g o t e d :  "When any of these outlaw breeds  -- n i g g e r s or I n d i a n s or Jews or the Y t a l i a n s or the w i l d I r i s h or any of them - - s e e m l i k e t h e y ' r e b r i g h t and decent and  even  r e l i g i o u s t h e y ' r e j u s t i m i t a t i n g us, l i k e monkeys!" (p.217) o f t e n a r e bad  farmers:  They  " S i x out of t e n b r e a k e r s of l a n d a r e  no good -- o t h e r w i s e they wouldn't have f l e d t o .the w i l d e r n e s s " (p. 299). ness"  They a r e f u l l of C h u z z l e w i t " o r a t o r i c a l  (p. 109):  rambunctious-  but  t h i s gang of farmers and f u r t r a d e r s , s u r v e y e r s and s t o r e k e e p e r s , w i t h a blacksmith, a country school teacher, a t a i l o r , a d o c t o r - d r u g g i s t , and the m i s s i o n a r y Gideon Pond, founded a j u s t , o r d e r l y , and e n d u r i n g commonwealth, (p. 368)  The w h i t e s e t t l e r s a r e b l e s s e d (p. 131), but s t e a l the I n d i a n s ' l a n d (p. 128) f i n e gun, (p. 128). "We  they  i n exchange f o r " f i n e k e t t l e ,  f i n e b l a n k e t , the b i g pox, the s m a l l pox and r e l i g i o n " The cunning t r a d e r , Caesar L a n a r k ,  t e l l s Aaron:  have g i v e n the I n d i a n s consumption, i n f l u e n z a , measles,  s y p h i l i s , and the hymns of C h a r l e s Wesley" (p. 177).  -63-  In  the n o v e l , Lewis' u s u a l l y sympathises w i t h t h e I n d i a n s .  They a r e "grave and e r e c t " and d i g n i f i e d :  " t h e s e t a l l and  softly  s t e p p i n g men  d i d not seem i n f e r i o r t o God's own chosen p e o p l e  the  (p. 128).  Yankees"  heaven?  —  Maybe they a r e of the e l e c t and go t o  The I n d i a n r i t e of 'hambeday' i s a form of God-seeking,  a c o n s c i o u s n e s s of d i v i n e power (p. 1 7 6 ) ; M e d i c i n e S p i d e r i s the e t e r n a l Church Mother  (p. 210).  However,there  i s much c r i t i c i s m  of t h e " S i o u x or Dakota savage I n d i a n s , h e l l - f l a m e d , g o r g e - r a i s i n g , m u r d e r i n g , a d u l t e r o u s , s a b b a t h - b r e a k i n g sons of B e l i a l " The ones who  (p. 4 5 ) .  l i v e b e h i n d t h e agency a r e " d i r t y beggars" (p. 118) t o  A a r o n , " i n e r a d i c a b l y damned" (p. 119) t o the m i n i s t e r .  When B l a c k  Wolf i s murdered by t h e Ojibway, A a r o n h a t e d a l l I n d i a n s and was t e r r i f i e d of them w h i l e he y e t l o v e d B l a c k Wolf and was dismayed t h a t h i s r e v o l t had been ended by o u t l a w murder. N o t h i n g seemed c l e a r . . . . (p. 321) A a r o n Gadd, the God Seeker, i s f u l l of u n c e r t a i n t i e s ; he i s as changeable as S i n c l a i r L e w i s :  "He was the immemorial  who h a t e d t h e K i n g b u t l o v e d the crown" (p. 2 2 ) .  One minute he  sees the C h r i s t i a n C a p t a i n Pipman as "a s p l e n d i d f e l l o w and no Ought I t o be a s o l d i e r ? " (p. 295): "Pipman i s a c l o d h o p p e r !  rebel  the n e x t minute, A a r o n  prig.  thinks,  No, I ' l l never be a s o l d i e r ! " (p. 296).  When he reads B l a c k W o l f ' s a n a l y s i s of C h r i s t i a n i t y , " t h e s u b t l e t i e s of  tEeason  b e d e v i l e d him f o r days" (p. 275).  "Sometimes he  was  h e a r t i l y f o r B l a c k W o l f , sometimes he complained t o S e l e n e " ( p . 318). He i s c o n f u s e d about h i s l o v e f o r Huldah and h i s l o v e f o r S e l e n e : "his  p l a n s f o r her changed  every hour" (p. 318).  m a r r i e d , Selene says t o him: you h e r e t i c ! " (p. 372)  A f t e r they a r e  " I don't change coaches l i k e you --  He r e p l i e s :  "There a r e many t h i n g s I  -64-  don't ever expect t o know, and I'm preaching tight.  not going t o devote m y s e l f t o  about them but t o b u i l d i n g wood sheds so t r u e and  . . ." (p.  380)  S e l e n e L a n a r k i s " h a l f gypsy and h a l f snob" (p.  202).  She d e s c r i b e s h e r s e l f : The e l e g a n t S a y - l a y - n a y , the f i n e l a d y , w i t h her f a i r j e w e l e d hand h o l d i n g the s p a r k l i n g b e a k e r ! A m i s e r a b l e b r u l e e -- a squaw t h a t ought to be t o t i n g wood! That's me1 (p. 78) "I'm c l e a n flummuxed about i t . Sometimes I l o v e the w h i t e s . . . sometimes I l o v e the Dakota." (p. 78) Her  f a t h e r , Caesar L a n a r k , " t a l l and  Marcus A u r e l i u s brow" (p. 167) amiable,  slender, with a  seems t o be "hundreds of y e a r s o l d :  l e a r n e d , sharp-eyed" (p. 167); but he cheats  d r i v e s out h i s d a u g h t e r , and  the I n d i a n s ,  i s "a f a i r l y competent a t h e i s t " (p.  He i s the spokesman of the s e c u l a r view -- but Lewis seems by t o have l o s t p a r t of h i s f a i t h i n w o r l d l y wisdom.  L a n a r k , and h a t e him"  S q u i r e Harge, whose f i r s t m i s s i o n was against l i f e ' s current:  earnestly sincere:  (p.  (p. 185).  " I do l o v e the L o r d God  and  185).  a cave, i s a t h r e s h e r  " R e l i g i o n i s not peace i n a v a l l e y  f i g h t i n g on the windy h i l l t o p s "  1949  Aaron r e f l e c t s ;  "When I know them enough, I t h i n k I ' l l l a u g h a t the S q u i r e , l o v e him; and I ' l l admire Mr.  185).  He i s courageous  but and  w i t h my whole s o u l ,  and I want t o make a savory s a c r i f i c e t o him, but Satan comes and makes me b o t c h i t " (p. 183). mockery (p. 6 1 ) .  He i n v i t e s a d m i r a t i o n  " I n h u m i l i t y and i r a t e c h e e r f u l n e s s " (p.  he f a i l s t o c o n v e r t the I n d i a n s : g l o r y of the L o r d " his  preaching  (p. 45)  (p. 222).  i s wrong:  and 190),  but he i s " c i r c l e d round w i t h  " I m p a t i e n t l y p a t i e n t " (p.  191),  " t h e p u l p i t i s where you t e a r o f f the  the  -65garments of i n i q u i t y and p r i d e , and show t h e b l a c k , c l o t t e d e v i l beneath t h e s h i n i n g raiment" (p. 147). Aaron i s embarrassed by t h e nakedness o f t h e m i s s i o n a r i e s ' p i e t y (p. 145).  When he goes h u n t i n g w i t h t h e I n d i a n s , he keeps  " t e l l i n g h i m s e l f t h a t he ought t o be g i v i n g them a h o l y message, but every hour he was l e s s c e r t a i n what t h a t message might be" (p. 2 4 1 ) .  The I n d i a n s  t h i n k t h a t i f A a r o n l e a r n s humbly t o share  t h e i r l i f e , and l i s t e n t o t h e s p i r i t s o f a n i m a l s and streams and w i n d , "he might y e t become a saved s o u l and a Man" (p. 2 4 1 ) . The f r e s h a i r i s a sacrament.  The l a n d i s b e a u t i f u l :  There was t h e s o f t g o l d o f t h e p r a i r i e autumn, b a t h i n g him,.washing out a l l t h e c a r e f u l meannesses o f t h e t i g h t - f o l d e d h i l l s ; soft gold, radiant gold i n waves, and t h e h i g h cumulus c l o u d s overhead, ( p . 126) But t h e r e i s a l s o f e a r —  " o v e r t h e drab immensity o f t h e l a n d comes  the p r a i r i e f e a r , t h e f e a r o f s o l i t u d e " (p. 1 2 7 ) .  There i s danger --  " t h e snow was t h i c k e r , h a r d e r d r i v e n a g a i n s t t h e i r f a c e s by a v i c i o u s wind" (p. 328). Running from the m i s s i o n , A a r o n and S e l e n e a r e caught i n a snowstorm.  "The steady w a i l o f t h e b l i z z a r d s l a c k e n e d ,  thought he heard . . . t h e v o i c e of a woman r e a d i n g  and he  from t h e B i b l e .  He caught some of t h e words. . .." (p. 333) The B i b l e words a r e a  a b l e s s i n g t o him.  R e l i g i o n i s communicated  by words, and he c a n  get drunk on words (p. 1 8 5 ) ; y e t he i s t r o u b l e d by words: I get a philosophy  t h a t i s n ' t b u i l t o f uncemented  His brother, the j u s t but impatient  words?"  "Can't ( p . 222)  E l i j a h , says t h a t "such words  as C h a r i t y , I d e a l s , Democracy, Freedom, F a i t h , L o y a l t y , P a t r i o t i s m , Industry, R e s p o n s i b i l i t y " are " l i k e the caresses warm but v o m i t a b l e "  (p. 386).  of a p r o s t i t u t e ,  -66-  In  t h i s s e n t e n c e , S i n c l a i r Lewis seems t o be under-  c u t t i n g e v e r y t h i n g t h a t he has s a i d and w r i t t e n i n f o r t y y e a r s . Of c o u r s e i t i s o n l y a q u o t a t i o n from a f i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r , b u t doubts about L e w i s ' s b e l i e f s p e r s i s t .  I n s p i t e of the t i t l e ,  i s a g r e a t d e a l o f a n t i - r e l i g i o u s sentiment  there  i n the novel, beginning  w i t h t h e b l e a k and v i c i o u s C h r i s t i a n , U r i e l Gadd. He seemed t o A a r o n l i k e t h e God o f Wrath as he b l a r e d , " S a l v a t i o n i s t h e only i m p o r t a n t t h i n g i n t h i s w o r l d I And I see my own sons and my daughter w a l l o w i n g i n s i n and i g n o r a n c e , t o o muddleheaded t o r e a l i z e they a l r e a d y scorched by the flames o f h e l l , which i s t h e reward o f them t h a t r e s i s t t h e t e n d e r i n v i t a t i o n of t h e L o r d J e s u s , and now g i t out and c u r r y them h o s s e s l " (P. 7) A a r o n Gadd i s sometimes f i l l e d  with unnatural fears  because o f r e l i g i o n -- "doom i s doom" ( p . 205) -- and he cannot reason h i m s e l f i n t o r e l i g i o u s p a s s i o n ( p . 9 4 ) : b e a p r i g t o be a good C h r i s t i a n "  (p.. 229).  "Oh do you have t o  C h r i s t i a n s e c t s a r e seen  as " v i c i o u s l y b e l l i g e r e n t t r i b e s " ( p . 9 9 ) , and t h e Reverend Noah Cudway curses them a l l  (p. 91). R e l i g i o u s t a l k i s a fashion (p. 232).  Missionaries are f u l l  o f l u s t and h a t r e d :  try  "Look!  I f they  really  t o i m i t a t e J e s u s , why do they h a t e t h e s i n f u l heathen?" ( p . 2 4 5 ) .  C h r i s t i a n s , "so s e l f - s a t i s f i e d " , l o v e t o r e a d about t h e " F u t u r e Punishment o f t h e Wicked U n a v o i d a b l e "  ( p . 257).  meanness" ( p . 345) make e v e r y t h i n g shameful.  The "pure i n B l a c k Wolf d e s c r i b e s  C h r i s t i a n i t y as "an i d o l a t r o u s r e l i g i o n w i t h many gods" ( p . 2 6 6 ) , a "borrowed and fable-crammed r e l i g i o n ( o r r a t h e r , s e t o f r e l i g i o n s ) " (p.  271), and C h r i s t i a n s as "moral d w a r f s "  ( p . 268) f u l l  of c o r r u p t i o n .  The God Seeker i s c l e a r l y a n t i - r e l i g i o u s , b u t , u n l i k e Elmer G a n t r y , L e w i s ' s ambivalence  had c r e p t i n t o t h i s a s p e c t o f h i s  t h i n k i n g and f e e l i n g , and t h e n o v e l i s oddly p r o - r e l i g i o u s a t t i m e s :  -67-  "Most m i n i s t e r s a r e such n i c e f o l k s -- d r e a d f u l l y s i m p l e , f r i e n d l y and good" (p. 391).  but  .Aaron has a n o t i o n " t h a t the Church  was not merely a f o r t r e s s a g a i n s t the y e l p i n g h o s t s of h e l l , a l s o a p l e a s a n t and even mannerly c o l l e c t i o n of people" Aaron's s o u l i s l i k e a l o n e l y l i t t l e dog, s h e l t e r of the m i s s i o n ( p . 5 7 ) . f a m i l y a l l over the w o r l d Conversion  (p. 1 6 ) .  matters and  l a b o r i n g " (p. 191)  c o u l d have would be t o i n t e r p r e t A  the  missionary's  " y e a r s , decades, g e n e r a t i o n s , w a i t i n g and so t h a t people may  " B r o t h e r , you c a n ' t know how of the e t e r n a l word"  f e e l the need f o r r e l i g i o n :  t h i r s t y I get f o r the s p a r k l i n g waters  (p. 9 7 ) .  A a r o n Gadd sees Jesus C h r i s t as a man, but s t i l l God. (p. 95).  the g l o r i o u s  (p. 5 4 ) , and A a r o n i s moved by the m i s s i o n a r i e s '  enduring patience:  be"  there  To Deacon Popplewood, " t h e  to a l l the poor i g n o r a n t f o l k s " (p. 1 6 ) .  l i f e i s noble  (p. 3 2 3 ) .  c l e a n s i n g (p. 4 9 ) , and  t a l k i n g about "heavenly  deepest h a p p i n e s s t h a t a man w i l l o f God  s e e k i n g t h e warmth and  (p. 68), the "Good P e o p l e "  p r o s p e c t s of the f a i t h f u l "  (p. 1 5 ) .  He l o n g s t o be a p a r t of the m i s s i o n a r y  i s a miraculous  i s j o y i n p r a y e r and  but  "God  was  l i k e a brother,  f i r e , and as unapproachable as f i r e must  Even though A a r o n c o n s i d e r s Samuel W i l l i a m Pond's words  u n r e a l and m e s m e r i z i n g , they a r e moving: "The t r u e r e l i g i o u s e x p e r i e n c e i s , f i r s t , anrv^unmistakable p e r c e p t i o n of God, through the r e a s o n and through a l l the senses. . . .Then, second, i t i s a wondering r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t God i s so much g r e a t e r than a n y t h i n g e l s e t h a t we know or can know — b r i g h t e r than l i g h t , v a s t e r than the u n i v e r s e y e t smalfcrthan t h e bee, and more t e n d e r than a l l human l o v e t o g e t h e r s i n c e time was; and t h i r d , i t i s a s u r r e n d e r t o God so complete t h a t you s i m p l y can not remember what i t was l i k e t o have been o u t s i d e the r a p t u r e of i t s m a j e s t i c power" (p. 343).  -68-  A a r o n f e e l s awed and a f r a i d under t h e s p e l l o f Samuel W i l l i a m Pond's a d d r e s s , b u t he t h i n k s : i f t h e y ' r e p o e t i c and n o b l e , a r e s t i l l  "These words of h i s , even o n l y words. . . .  I'm  g o i n g t o keep Selene from b e i n g mesmerized" ( p . 3 4 3 ) . L i k e H u l d a h , he b e l i e v e s , "The Ponds a r e w o n d e r f u l l y devout, b u t . . . t h e y ' r e wrong" (p. 3 4 3 ) . Always A a r o n r e t u r n s t o t h e problem of words and t h e exp r e s s i o n of t r u t h .  I n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n , t h e words of S i n c l a i r Lewis  w i l l be a n a l y s e d t o see i f h i s s t y l e changes i n k i n d and i n t e n s i t y when d e a l i n g w i t h r e l i g i o n .  -69F o o t n o t e s t o Chapter I I I •L^Edener, p. 3 0 . W a r r e n Beck, "How good i s S i n c l a i r L e w i s ? " C o l l e g e E n g l i s h . I X (January 1948), 173. 1 7 6  1 7 7  D o o l e y , A r t , p. 130.  1 7 8  Mencken, Prejudices:  1 7 9  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 381.  1 8 0  G . H . L e w i s , p. 256.  1 8 1  G r e b s t e i n , p. 87.  1 8 2  I b i d . , p. 100.  1 8 3  T h e Job, p. 130.  F i f t h , p. 110.  C a r l Van Doren, Saturday Review o f L i t e r a t u r e , 3 (March 12, 1927), 639. 1 8 4  L i t t r e l l , New R e p u b l i c , 50 (March 16, 1927), 108.  1 8 5  1 8 6  L i p p m a n n , "S.L.", E s s a y s , p. 93.  1 8 7  M a t t h e w v i . 24.  1 8 8  W h i p p l e , "S.L.", E s s a y s , p. 74.  1 8 9  G r e b s t e i n , p. 102.  190 s c h o r e r , " S i n c l a i r L e w i s and t h e Method o f H a l f T r u t h s " ( 1 9 5 6 ) , E s s a y s , p. 52. M a r k  S c h o r e r , " H a l f - T r u t h s , " E s s a y s , p. 54.  1 9 1  1 9 2 d e n e r , p. 129. E  1 9 3  G r i f f i n , p. 39.  1 9 5 G r i f f i n , Nobel Winners, p. 42. 196  LyH;U.S.,..p.q228.  1 9 7  G e o f f r e y Moore, " L o s t Romantic," E s s a y s , p. 159.  l J o s e p h Wood K r u t c h , "Mr. B a b b i t t ' s S p i r i t u a l Guide" 9 8  (1927) E s s a y s , p. 36. D a n i e l A a r o n , " S i n c l a i r L e w i s : M a i n S t r e e t , " The American N o v e l , ed. W a l l a c e Stegner (New York: B a s i c Books, 1965), p. 637. 1 9 9  -70-  2 0 0  Littrell,  p. 108.  A a r o n , p. o J 7 . R.W. H o r t o n and W.H. Edwards, Backgrounds o f American L i t e r a r y Thought (New York; A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 1952), p. 41. 202  2 0 3  I b i d . , p. 43.  2 0 4  G o d Seeker, p. 299.  2 0 5  I b i d . , p. 148.  2 0 6  I b i d . , p. 262.  C h a r l e s F e i d e l s o n , Symbolism and American L i t e r a t u r e (Chicago: C h i c a g o U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953), p. 80. 2 G 7  2 0 8  G o d Seeker, p. 391.  2 0 9  F e i d e l s o n , p. 97.  T h o m a s J e f f e r s o n , The W r i t i n g s o f Thomas J e f f e r s o n T a y l o r and Maury, 1854), V o l . 7, p. 210. 210  (Washington:  S i n c l a i r L e w i s , The Man Who Knew C o o l i d g e (New York: H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1928), p. 253. 2 1 1  2  -*- Horton and Edwards, p. 48. 2  2 1 3  G r e b s t e i n , Preface.  2 1 4  D o o l e y , A r t , p. 267.  CHAPTER IV L e w i s ' s s t y l e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t of h i s r e l i g i o u s as W i l f r i e d Edener demonstrates von S i n c l a i r L e w i s .  criticism,  i n D i e R e l i g i o n s k r i t i k i n den Romanen  L e w i s ' s aim i s t o make the r e a d e r share h i s  f e e l i n g s and p o i n t of v i e w , and sometimes h i s w r i t i n g becomes crude propaganda.  There i s a " c o a r s e n i n g of s t y l e " i n Elmer G a n t r y ,  most b r a y i n g , g u f f a w i n g , b e l c h i n g n o v e l " i n American  "The  literature.  L e w i s s e l e c t s and p u b l i c i z e s A m e r i c a n f a u l t s , but h i s v a l u e s except f o r the most b a s i c ones i n v o l v i n g h o n e s t y , i n t e g r i t y , j u s t i c e , and k i n d ness a r e i n c o n s i s t e n t and h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g i s not p r o f o u n d . The key t o L e w i s ' s s t y l e i s d i c t i o n , e x p e c i a l l y the p i v o t a l a d j e c t i v e ("pop-eyed m a i d e n s " - ^ ) , 2  t h e adverb, and t h e v e r b :  Wrenn's mustache i s " u n s u c c e s s f u l . " He approaches a t h e a t e r " p r i m l y . " H i s l a n d l a d y e a t s enormous heaps of food " s l o w l y and r e s e n t f u l l y . " H i s room i s " a b j e c t l y r e s p e c t a b l e . " He p l a n s " c o y l y i m p r o b a b l e t r i p s . " Wrenn " t r o t s " t o t h e t h e a t e r , " p e e r s " a t the t i c k e t - t a k e r , and " t r e m b l e s " i n t o t h e doorway.217 Lewis d e s c r i b e s C h r i s t i a n s w i t h a tone of amused superiority:  a churchgoer i s p r e s e n t e d as "a b l e a c h e d man,  g o a t i s h w h i s k e r s and a s a n c t i m o n i o u s w h i t e n e c k - c l o t h , who puritanically, ethically, Roomily,  with was  r e l i g i o u s l y a t h e i s t i c . " 2 1 8 j ^ e con-  s c i e n c e of Gopher P r a i r i e , Mrs. Bogart,'was not the a c i d type of Good Influence.  She was  the s o f t , damp, f a t , s i g h i n g , i n d i g e s t i v e ,  m e l a n c h o l y , d e p r e s s i n g l y h o p e f u l kind."219  clinging,  i h e clergyman i n B a b b i t t ,  Dr. Drew, "had a l r e a d y f l o p p e d down b e s i d e h i s d e s k - c h a i r  ....  B a b b i t t a l s o k n e l t , w h i l e Drew g l o a t e d . " ^ 2 2  Sometimes Lewis uses word-play:  " I am E p i s c o p a l i a n -2 2*1  n o t so much H i g h Church as h i g h l y i n f r e q u e n t c h u r c h . "  +  Some-  times t h e s y n t a x of h i s sentences i s marked by i n c o n g r u i t y :  "He  kept stammering t h e most absurd p l a t i t u d e s about how happy h i s mother must be i n heaven r e g a r d i n g which he d i d n o t seem t o have 929'  v e r y r e c e n t or v e r y d e f i n i t e knowledge." p r e a c h e r s use meaningless  ~  L e w i s ' s gas-bag  phrases i n t h e i r sermons:  " I hope t h a t  i n t h e d e v o t i o n t o the i d e a l s of t h e B a p t i s t Church we s h a l l  strive  223  ever onward and upward. . . ." and  T h e i r c o n g r e g a t i o n s mix s l a n g  doctrine: P r i c e s i s a l l g o i n g up so, Ah d e c l a r e , Ah was j u s t s a y i n g t o Lee Theresa Ah dunno what we're a l l g o i n g t o do i f the dear L o r d don't l o o k out f o r u s . 2 2 4  C h a r a c t e r s made f u n of by Lewis a r e g i v e n p e c u l i a r names (Mudge, Smeeth, Z i t t e r e l , P i c k e r b a u g h , Speezer) and odd mannerisms i n the t r a d i t i o n of D i c k e n s . g r a n d c h i l d r e n of the Americans  speech  ( L e w i s ' s people a r e the 225  i n Martin Chuzzlewit.  )  Mrs.  Mudge's v o i c e " f l o w e d on r e l e n t l e s s l y , w i t h o u t one comma, t i l l B a b b i t t was h y p n o t i z e d . ollllllways  Her f a v o r i t e word was 226  . . ."  'always', which she pronounced  C h a r a c t e r s a r e put i n e x t e r n a l s e t t i n g s which  accentuate Lewis's a t t i t u d e s .  The B a p t i s t church where t h e Reverend  Mr. Z i t t e r e l d e l i v e r s "a p r a y e r i n f o r m i n g A l m i g h t y God o f t h e news of the p a s t week" i s " h a l f b a r n and h a l f Golpher P r a i r i e  parlor.  The s t r e a k y brown w a l l p a p e r was broken i n i t s d i s m a l sweep o n l y by framed  texts."  2 2 7  •73C o l o u r s g i v e tone t o r e l i g i o u s s e t t i n g s :  "the w a l l s  were p a i n t e d c h e e r i l y i n t h r e e s t r a t a -- green, watery b l u e , and 228!  khaki;'-'  Elmer G a n t r y s c i t y church  i s "a hideous  gray-stone  h u l k w i t h g r a v y - c o l o r e d windows . . . and a l t e r n a t e l a y e r s o f t i l e s 229 i n d i s t r e s s i n g r e d and green."  The e v a n g e l i c a l temple i s f l a m -  boyant -- "an immense s t r u c t u r e , b u i l t o f cheap k n o t t y p i n e ,  painted  a h e c t i c red with gold s t r i p e s . " Sharon c h r i s t e n e d i t "The Waters of J o r d a n T a b e r n a c l e , " added more and redder p a i n t , more g o l d e n g o l d , and e r e c t e d an enormous r e v o l v i n g c r o s s , l i g h t e d a t n i g h t w i t h y e l l o w and ruby e l e c t r i c bulbs.230 Another b a s i c technique  i s L e w i s ' s employment o f f i g u r a t i v e  language, i n c l u d i n g a wide range o f types and v a r i e t i e s :  metaphor,  p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n , s i m i l e , metonyme, synecdoche, zeugma, and o t h e r s . "With one o f h i s damp hands Smeeth i m p r i s o n e d paw w h i l e he c h a n t e d . "  231 •  Babbitt's large  A r r o w s m i t h was r e c e i v e d "by the p a s t o r  and a committee o f t h r e e , w e a r i n g morning c l o t h e s and a manner 232 of C h r i s t i a n i n t e l l e c t u a l i t y . " 233  " L i k e a l l ardent  agnostics,  M a r t i n was a r e l i g i o u s man." L e w i s ' s use of language p r e d e t e r m i n e s t h e r e a d e r ' s r e a c t i o n t o c h a r a c t e r s and s i t u a t i o n s .  We a r e f o r c e d t o share L e w i s ' s f e e l i n g ,  tone, and i n t e n t i o n ; and i t i s almost i m p o s s i b l e t o escape from 234> the f i c t i o n a l w o r l d of t h e n o v e l t o make s e p a r a t e c r i t i c a l  judgements.  I n r e a d i n g , we f i n d no enigmas, no m y s t e r i e s , no c o m p l e x i t y of personality.  We do n o t n o t i c e a m b i v a l e n c e , b u t we a r e swept a l o n g  on t h e f l o o d o f r h e t o r i c , L e w i s ' s r e f u g e from i n t e l l e c t u a l a n a l y s i s : " L e w i s ' s prime r u l e f o r t h e h a n d l i n g of i d e a s :  be b r i s k w i t h them  and count on t h e f l o w o f words t o sweep t h e r e a d e r r i g h t p a s t 235 implications."  their  -74-  L e w i s ' s books a r e amusing p i c t u r e s o f d u l l n e s s .  He i s  most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c as a f i n e f o l k s y commentator p o i n t i n g out examples o f American smugness, p r o v i n c i a l i s m , i g n o r a n c e , b i g o t r y , and h y p o c r i s y . ^ H i s s a t i r e i s broad, v u l g a r , good-natured, and 2 3  exaggerated -- what James Branch C a b e l l c a l l e d "a minim o f r e a l i t y 237' exaggerated i n t o B r o b d i n g n a g i a n i n c r e d i b i l i t y . "  In .fact,  " h i s Mid-West humor gave him a d e l i g h t i n p o r t r a y i n g  extreme, 238  overdrawn,  e x c e s s i v e , g r o t e s q u e l y absurd events and c h a r a c t e r s . " H i s works a r e l i k e movies, or a d v e r t i s e m e n t s , c r u d e l y  c o l o u r e d and obvious enough f o r any f o u r t e e n y e a r o l d t o under23 9 s t a n d , •-: and t h e cases f o r and a g a i n s t a r e s t a t e d , proved, documented, and hammered home.  Lewis i s "outrageously, p e r s i s t e n t l y , b r a i n ,240.  s p l i t t i n g l y noisy." . H i s l o o s e l y e p i s o d i c c h r o n i c l e s have no s u s t a i n e d p r e s s u r e of p l o t , no p r i m a r y c o n f l i c t , t o a c h i e v e a complex d e f i n i t i o n of v a l u e . awareness,  C h a r a c t e r s a r e n o t f o r c e d i n t o new s e l f -  and t h e r e a r e no."dynamics of s o c i a l a c t i o n . "  ' His  t y p i c a l approach  ( l e a r n e d from H.G. W e l l s ) was t o choose an 242 i n s t i t u t i o n , or c l a s s o f p e o p l e , d e c i d e t h e p o i n t of v i e w ,  then  w i t h t i r e l e s s c u r i o s i t y and energy, t h e " c o n s c i e n t i o u s thoroughness 243 of Z o l a , "  t o c o l l e c t masses of d a t a .  The g a t h e r i n g t o g e t h e r of  f a c t s , n o t a t i o n s , and s o r d i d d e t a i l s i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of N a t u r a l i s t i c writing.  N a t u r a l i s m i s based on t h e t h e o r y of " s c i e n t i f i c d e t e r m i n i s m , "  4 4  which s t a t e s t h a t man i s t h e p r o d u c t of b i o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , and economic f o r c e s over which he has no c o n t r o l . w i t h o u t autonomy or moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  He i s a puppet,  N a t u r a l i s m makes man  an a n i m a l w i t h o u t c h o i c e and w i t h o u t s i n . Romanticism  on t h e o t h e r  hand, makes man " i n f i n i t e l y good, i n f i n i t e l y p e r f e c t i b l e , and p o t e n t i a l l y ,  -75when not a c t u a l l y ,  God."  245  L e w i s d i d not r e a l l y b e l i e v e i n the e n v i r o n m e n t a l u n d e r l y i n g N a t u r a l i s m but r a t h e r i n the triumph of the spirit.  individual  H i s c h a r a c t e r s tower above t h e i r s u r r o u n d i n g s :  d e s p i t e h e r f o o l i s h n e s s and  Carol,  i m p r a c t i c a l i t y , i s e n t i t l e d to  r e s p e c t ; Arrowsmith i s genuinely h e r o i c , accomplishing a g a i n s t enormous odds; Dodsworth a c h i e v e s  our  great  things  s p i r i t u a l independence over  the American v i c e of k e e p i n g up w i t h the Joneses. L e w i s was  theory  I t would seem t h a t  a N a t u r a l i s t i c w r i t e r o n l y i n h i s c o l l e c t i n g of d a t a . From out of h i s mass of i n f o r m a t i o n , he prepared an o r d e r l y  s t r u c t u r e f o r each n o v e l , w i t h p r e c i s e and c o p i o u s  out-  l i n e s of c h a r a c t e r s , p r o f e s s i o n s , and  characters,  places.  His  whether r e b e l s or c o n f o r m i s t s , cannot escape from t h e i r environment; they are f i x e d i n the t r a d i t i o n s , h i s t o r y , and v a l u e s Western A m e r i c a .  Middle  T h e i r c r e a t o r i s more i n t e r e s t e d i n outward  than i n i n n e r l i f e , and  behavior  they are shells, s e l f - s a t i s f i e d , i n t o l e r a n t ,  b e l i e v i n g i n the s t a n d a r d s of the h e r d . "bread of l i f e ; "  of  they a r e the " g a l v a n i z e d  They cannot f i n d dead." * 24  the  5  "With h i s t y p i c a l i n c o n s i s t e n c y , L e w i s sometimes h i d e s t h e monstrousness of h i s f i g u r e s and p o r t r a y s them as l i k e a b l e human b e i n g s . " and  The  2 4 7  c h a r a c t e r s s h i f t i n s i z e , sometimes l a r g e  f r i g h t e n i n g , sometimes s m a l l and  i s t i c s are stressed.  silly,  as d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r -  W i l l K e n n i c o t t can be s e n s i t i v e and  considerate,  i.  or he can be v u l g a r and b i g o t e d .  S q u i r e Harge i s n o b l e a t  r e v i v a l m e e t i n g , crude i n h i s home, and p a t h e t i c i n h i s  the  prayers.  To p o i n t h i s i n d e c i s i v e moral v i e w s , L e w i s m a n i p u l a t e s h i s c h a r a c t e r s , making them change oddly: "old  C a r o l f e l t "young and d i s s i p a t e d " then  and r u s t i c and p l a i n . "  2 4 8  L e w i s ' s c o n f l i c t s of a l l e g i a n c e con-  -76-  t r i b u t e t o the a m b i v a l e n t q u a l i t y of h i s n o v e l s . However, i n w r i t i n g Elmer G a n t r y , L e w i s ' s h o s t i l e a t t i t u d e to  r e l i g i o n made h i s work c r u d e l y o n e - s i d e d .  I n p r e p a r i n g h i s book  on r e l i g i o n , Lewis took p a i n s t o g a t h e r a huge mass of d a t a , an 24 9 " a m a z i n g l y complete account o f t h e shades o f r e l i g i o u s c o n t r o v e r s y . " He r e a d over 90 books and h i s t o r i e s ; he s t u d i e d the p e r i o d i c a l s r e a d by M e t h o d i s t and B a p t i s t p r e a c h e r s , he c o l l e c t e d newspaper r e p o r t s ( p a r t i c u l a r l y items about e r r a n t clergymen and  religious  fanatics).  He went t o Kansas C i t y s e e k i n g clergymen as they r e a l l y  are,  cross-examined  2 5 0  and  Birkhead.  the " c y c l o p o e d i a of data,"251 Rev.  Dr.  He s t u d i e d every a s p e c t of r e l i g i o u s l i f e i n Kansas C i t y ,  even p o s i n g as a B i b l e salesman t o i n t e r v i e w r u r a l c l e r g y .  He  h e l d a weekly Sunday S c h o o l C l a s s of M i n i s t e r s , t o whom he 252 boasted:  " I know more about r e l i g i o n than y o u ' l l ever know." However, L e w i s ' s e n e r g e t i c s e a r c h f o r knowledge was  on i m p a t i e n c e and h o s t i l i t y . his  based  Reading o n l y s u p p l i e d d e t a i l s f o r  o l d grudge, as he d i s h o n e s t l y s e l e c t e d m a t e r i a l s t o prove t h a t  much of American c h u r c h l i f e i s c o r r u p t .  Writing to h i s publishers  about t h e need t o a t t e n d Kansas C i t y churches r e g u l a r l y , he s t a t e d : "Gawd how I dread i t . " 2 5 3  p  r o m  o u  o n e - s i d e d d e t a i l s -- h a l f - t r u t h s . to m a t t e r s of t r u t h and d i g n i t y . p r e j u d i c e and  t;  Q  f t h e mass of d a t a he  selected  He p r e f e r r e d damning d e t a i l s The work i s marked by  irrational  propaganda. You always answer opponents by r e p r e s e n t i n g them as h a v i n g o b v i o u s l y absurd n o t i o n s which they do not p o s s e s s , t h e n w i t h tremendous v i g o r showing t h a t t h e s e n o n - e x i s t e n t t r a i t s a r e o b v i o u s l y a b s u r d , and i g n o r i n g any e x p l a n a t i o n . 2 5 4 Dr. K e n n i c o t t warned Lewis not t o " k i d me i n t o s a y i n g t h e t h i n g s you've  a l r e a d y made up your mind you're g o i n g t o make me s a y . " Lewis i s u n f a i r i n d e s c r i b i n g preachers. are  H i s clergymen  merely c h a r a c t e r i z e d by human f a i l i n g s , and he makes an a r b i t r a r y  c o n n e c t i o n between t h e i r f a u l t s and t h e i r b e l i e f s , j u s t t o support his  antagonistic c l a i m s . ^ 2 5  them as v i l l a i n s .  He h a t e s f u n d a m e n t a l i s t s and d e s c r i b e s  U n s c r u p u l o u s l y , he s e t s out t o s t e r e o t y p e  the f u n d a m e n t a l i s t , as an Elmer G a n t r y .  " H i s method was h i s o l d  d e v i c e o f a s s e m b l i n g d e t a i l s , but i n h i s c h o i c e o f d e t a i l s he was  i n t e r e s t e d o n l y i n those which were u t t e r l y damning."  This  i s t h e method o f t h e p r o p a g a n d i s t , b u t i t i s w i t h o u t t r u t h o r dignity:  "A n o v e l i s t who p r e t e n d s t o be w r i t i n g i n b e h a l f o f  a c i v i l i z e d l i f e ought n o t h i m s e l f t o behave l i k e a b a r b a r i a n . "  2 5 7  A n o v e l i s t does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y have t o be o b j e c t i v e , but i n Elmer G a n t r y L e w i s over-employs  h i s method, e x a g g e r a t i n g i n o r d e r  satirize. He i s not aware o f t h e deeper problems man.  He cannot f i n d s p i r i t u a l i n s i g h t , o r express h i s own s p i r i t ;  he cannot, f o r example, share A r r o w s m i t h ' s of  o f a mature  f a i t h i n the r e l i g i o n  s c i e n c e . L e w i s knows t h e e x t e r n a l d e t a i l s o f r e l i g i o u s  a c t i v i t i e s , b u t has no t r u e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e reL i g i o u s needs and f e e l i n g s which make men w o r s h i p ; y e t a s u c c e s s f u l  satirist  must have a t l e a s t a good sense o f t h e q u a l i t y whose l a c k he mocks i n others:  " t h e g e n e r a l a i m and end o f s a t i r e i s t o show t h e  i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y between t h e t r a d i t i o n a l moral s t a n d a r d s and t h e a c t u a l ways o f l i v i n g . "  2 5 8  requirements of a s a t i r i s t :  I n three r e s p e c t s , Lewis f u l f i l s the f i r s t , t h e s a t i r i s t s t r i p s the o b j e c t  s a t i r i z e d o f the . f i l m of f a m i l i a r i t y which n o r m a l l y r e c o n c i l e s us  -78t o i t , and makes us see i t as i t r e a l l y i s . S i n c l a i r L e w i s ' s n o v e l s make p e o p l e l o o k as i f f o r the f i r s t time a t many f a c e t s of American l i f e -- s m a l l towns, E a s t e r n s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , medicine, t r a v e l , prisons, boosting, h o t e l s ,  office-work,  r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e , m a r r i a g e , and women's r i g h t s .  Second, t h e  s a t i r i s t must miss the t r u t h which most people a c c e p t , and must 259 ignore the explanation  of t h e t h i n g s a t i r i z e d .  S i n c l a i r Lewis  describes  t h e s i t u a t i o n but does not e x p l a i n how i t came t o be  t h a t way.  For example, he g i v e s a p i c t u r e of b u s i n e s s l i f e i n  B a b b i t t , but does not a n a l y s e the economics of American c a p i t a l i s m . T h i r d , the s a t i r i s t d e c l i n e s t o u n d e r s t a n d , and be c o n s t r u c t i v e e x c e p t by i m p l i c a t i o n .  S i n c l a i r L e w i s i s n o t t r y i n g t o educate,  t o r e f o r m or t o e v a n g e l i z e , merely t o show what i s wrong. "True s a t i r e i m p l i e s t h e condemnation of s o c i e t y by r e f e m i c e t o an i d e a l .  The s a t i r i s t i s engagedin measuring t h e 2fi0  monstrous a b e r r a t i o n from the i d e a l . " °  For S w i f t , Pope, and  V o l t a i r e , t h e i d e a l was Reason and N a t u r e and the v a l u e s of P l a t o and C i c e r o .  The g r e a t s a t i r i s t s  b e l i e v e d i n t e l l e c t u a l l y i n the  B e a u t i f u l Order, but were p a i n f u l l y aware, i n a c t u a l l i v i n g , fwhl&^.depravity man had made of h i m s e l f . the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n i s the equivalent  S w i f t i s n o t s u r e that of Reason and N a t u r e , but  he upholds the s t a n d a r d s of the Chruch of E n g l a n d . t h e Yahoo i s h a t e f u l f o r f a i l i n g of sense and  of  For him,  man  to'-.adhere t o Houyhnhnm p r i n c i p l e s  order.  L e w i s f a i l s as a s a t i r i s t because he does not have a c o n s i s t e n t i d e a l by which t o measure A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y . must be f i n e r , more complex than h i s s u b j e c t s , " w i t h s e n s i t i v e n e s s of l i f e . "  The  artist  enhanced  P s e u d o - s a t i r i s t s , l a c k i n g p e r s o n a l i n t e g r a t i o n and urbane judgment, oppose the a b e r r a t i o n s of other men w i t h t h e i r own c a p r i c e , and l a r g e l y out of t h e i r own f r u s t r a t i o n s o r v a n i t i e s . 2 6 2 L e w i s ' s treatment  of issues i s c a p r i c i o u s .  He a t t a c k s  some b e l i e f s , and w r i t e s s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y o f o t h e r s , so t h a t he i s 263 d i f f i c u l t to c l a s s i f y . his  A w r i t e r of f i c t i o n i s p e r m i t t e d  p o i n t of v i e w f r e e l y , but a s a t i r i s t o r p u b l i c i s t  t o change  demonstrating  what he sees as wrong o r u n r e a s o n a b l e should see l i f e more s t e a d i l y . Lewis i s capable terms;  o f p r a i s i n g o r b l a m i n g o p p o s i t e views i n t h e same  " F r i e n d s who heard him a r g u i n g any p o i n t which a t the moment  took h i s f a n c y " observed " t h e h y p e r b o l e ing  made c o n v i n c i n g , t h e s t a g g e r -  g e n e r a l knowledge, t h e annoying f a c i l i t y f o r bending t h a t knowledge  to h i s u s e s , , t h e i i n t o l e r a n c e ( f o r t h e moment) of any c o n t r a r y v o i c e ; and a t t h e end, so o f t e n , a d i z z y i n g r e v e r s a l of p o s i t i o n i n which he knocked out a l l h i s own arguments and l e f t h i s h e a r e r s ,,264 gasping." L e w i s ' s mind was c a p a b l e v i r t u o s i t y , b u t i t was not c a p a b l e p r o f o u n d way.  o f speed and e x t r a o r d i n a r y of d e a l i n g w i t h i d e a s i n any  H i s n o v e l s a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by u n c e r t a i n b e l i e f s  and a t t i t u d e s , though e x p r e s s e d i i n f o r t h r i g h t language. few s u b j e c t s on which he was n o t g e n e r a l l y a m b i v a l e n t  One of t h e  was r e l i g i o n  ( a l t h o u g h some a s p e c t s of The God Seeker show a change of h e a r t ) , and i n d e a l i n g w i t h dogma, c l e r g y and C h r i s t i a n s , he wrote w i t h  steady  hostility. The  two q u a l i t i e s .of L e w i s ' s w r i t i n g which have been  examined i n t h i s study have been h i s ambivalence w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e v a l u e s embedded i n h i s w o r l d , and h i s g e n e r a l d i s l i k e of r e l i g i o n . Both t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s stem from a l a c k o f p r o f u n d i t y i n L e w i s ' s thought and f e e l i n g .  He had a v a s t knowledge of A m e r i c a n l i f e , and  -80-  his  q u i c k i n t e l l i g e n c e f l a s h e d upon many i n s t i t u t i o n s and b e l i e f s  t y p e s , but t h e r e was way  it is.  no deep u n d e r s t a n d i n g  I n the same way,  o f r e l i g i o u s l i f e , and  and  6f what makes A m e r i c a the  he knew a l o t about the e x t e r n a l s  though he d i s l i k e d w h a t he saw,  t o comprehend the deeper m y s t e r i e s  of r e l i g i o u s  he was  not  able  experience. 9 AS  L e w i s ' s t h i n k i n g was l i t t l e i n the c o u r s e .  s h a l l o w and u n o r i g i n a l ,  of a madly a c t i v e l i f e .  He was  he  learned  "the E t e r n a l  266  Amateur of n a t i o n a l l e t t e r s , " i n t e l l e c t u a l vacuum.. Even h i s own  d i s p l a y i n g w i t and v i t a l i t y i n an c h a r a c t e r , Dr. W i l l  Kennicott,  r e p r o a c h e d him w i t h -- " I f o n l y you d i d some r e a l h a r d t h i n k i n g , " ^ 2  9  e c h o i n g Rebecca West: I£ he would s i t s t i l l so t h a t l i f e c o u l d make any deep i m p r e s s i o n on him, i f he would a t t a c h h i m s e l f t o the human t r a d i t i o n by o c c a s i o n a l l y r e a d i n g a book which would s e t him a standard of p r o f u n d i t y , he c o u l d g i v e h i s genius a chance. * 2  He admired Sam Dodsworth who  38  stopped b u s t l i n g —  " I would  269  l i k e to v i s i t with myself, A r r o w s m i t h who important  and get a c q u a i n t e d , "  and  Martin  s a i d , l i k e Thoreau, " t h i n k i n g about l i f e i s the most  p a r t of l i v i n g ; " ' - ' but he d i d not i m i t a t e them. 2 7  not " f i n d the Why,  the underneath p r i n c i p l e . " 7 1 2  He  He p o i n t e d out  n e c e s s i t y of t a k i n g thought, but showed l i t t l e d i s p o s i t i o n t o i t himself:  "The  did the  take  p r o c e s s of t a k i n g thought seems l a r g e l y c r i t i c a l ,  d e s t r u c t i v e , and n e g a t i v e ; i t a l s o seems to mean the f l i p p a n t e v a s i o n of c o m p l e x i t i e s r a t h e r than t h e i r s e r i o u s d i s c u s s i o n . " i t t h a t you l a d s who  is  defend the church a r e so f a c e t i o u s when you  r e a l l y get down t o d i s c u s s i n g the r o o t s of  religion?"  A n o v e l i s t should e x p l o r e the p r o f o u n d e s t of the human s p i r i t ,  "Why  2 7 3  possibilities  but L e w i s d i d not l o o k i n s i d e h i s c h a r a c t e r s : 275 "he never r e a l l y p e n e t r a t e d t h e s o u l . " Most of h i s c h a r a c t e r s ,  -81-  whether s a t i r i z e d or n o t , have no " i n n e r n e s s " ; i n t e l l i g e n c e , human g r a c i o u s n e s s ,  27 6  they l a c k c u l t u r a l  charm, d i g n i t y , and an  elevated  277 sense of l i f e qualities.  He  -- p r o b a b l y saw  because Lewis a l s o l a c k e d  these  the e x t e r n a l s of t h i n g s , and the l i t e r a r y  t h a t he developed t o an e x t r a o r d i n a r y degree was but he d i d not c r e a t e more t h a n observed f a c t .  t h e g i f t of m i m i c r y , He  saw  the o b j e c t ,  w^at q u a l i f i e d i t ; he d i d n o t understand the h i s t o r y b e h i n d s i t u t a t ' i o n , nor the f u t u r e consequences.  He  p a r t of the American c o n s c i e n c e , enough t o p e r c e i v e and and a t t i t u d e s .  the  i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r the  a m p l i t u d e of h i s e v a l u a t i o n , not i t s p r o f u n d i t y : aware of many d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s  gift  he makes people  of A m e r i c a n l i f e , and  still  pricks  but he i s not g i f t e d or s e n s i t i v e  e x p l a i n the deeper causes of such s i t u a t i o n s  Though he i s a b l e t o " l o d g e a p i e c e of a  continent  27 9  i n our i m a g i n a t i o n , " i t i s vague, and i t s deeper s t r a t a a r e 280 281 completely uncharted. " H i s A m e r i c a s l i p p e d out of hand."  not  2 7 8  -82-  F o o t n o t e s t o Chapter I V 2 1 5  S c h o r e r , "Half-Truths,"  2 1 6  Main  2 1 7  Grebstein,  S t r e e t , p. 3. p. 42.  2 1 8  0 u r Mr. Wrenn, p. 110.  2 1 9  M a i n S t r e e t , p. 69.  2 2 0  Babbitt,  p. 394.  2 2 1  Trail  2 2 2  T h e Job, p. 103.  2 2 3  Trail  224p 2 2 5  u r M  of t h e Hawk, p. 290.  r  of t h e Hawk, p. 116. Wrenn, p. 151.  >  Grebstein,  p. 33.  2 2 6  B a b b i t t , p. 357.  2 2 7  Main  2 2 8  E l m e r G a n t r y , p. 4 3 .  S t r e e t , p. 329.  I b i d . , p. 321.  2 2 9  2  E s s a y s , p. 57.  30  I b  id.,  p. 225.  2 3 I  Babbitt,  p. 379.  2 3 2  A r r o w s m i t h , p. 214. I b i d . , p. 177.  2 3 3  2 3 4  Edener,  p. 15.  2 3 5  D o o l e y , A r t , p. 107.  A l f r e d K a z i n , "The New R e a l i s m : L e w i s " (19421. E s s a y s , p. 123. 2 3 6  Sinclair  237  D o o  i y e  }  A r t , p. x i .  2 3 8  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 289.  2 3 9  W h i p p l e , "S.L.", E s s a y s , p. 8 1 .  • 240  D o o l e y j  Art  3  p  . 72.  Sherwood Anderson and  -832 4 1  S c h o r e r , " H a l f - T r u t h s " , E s s a y s , p.  58.  2 4 2  M o o r e , " L o s t Romantic",  161.  E s s a y s , p.  L o v e t t , " I n t e r p r e t e r " , E s s a y s , p. 33. 2 4 4  (Baton Rouge:  R a n d a l l S t e w a r t , American L i t e r a t u r e and C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e L o u i s i a n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958), p. 107. Ibid,,  2 4 5  p.  124.  2 4 6  Whipple,  "S.L.", E s s a y s , p.  2 4 7  D o o l e y , A r t , p.  69.  2 4 8  M a i n S t r e e t , p. 431.  2 4 9  L e w i s , L e t t e r s , p.  2 5 0  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p.  230. 440.  L e w i s , L e t t e r s , p. 2 5 2  74.  202.  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p.762.  253 L e w i s , L e t t e r s , p. 2 5 4  204.  M a n from M a i n S t r e e t , p.  319.  255 Ibid.,  p.  315.  E d e n e r , p. 217. L i p p m a n h , "S.L.", E s s a y s , p. 93. B a s i l W i l l e y , The E i g h t e e n t h Century Background C h a t t o and Windus, 1940), p. 100. 2 5 6  2 5 7  2 5 8  2 5 9  Ibid.,  p  .  (London:  104.  J . M i d d l e t o n M u r r y , The P r o b l e m of S t y l e . (London: U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1936), p. 65. 2  6  0  2 6 1  R e b e c c a West, " S i n c l a i r L e w i s I n t r o d u c e s Elmer  (1927), E s s a y s , p. 44. 2 6 2  B e c k , C o l l e g e E n g l i s h , x i (January 1948),  2 6 3  S c h o r e r , L i f e , p.  2 f ) 4  H a r r y E. Maule, Man  180.  415. From M a i n S t r e e t , p.  301.  Oxford  Gantry"  -842 65 G r e b s t e i n , p. 154. 2 6 6  2 6 7  Maxwell  Geismar,  "The Land o f F a e r y " (1947), E s s a y s , p. 136.  M a n from M a i n S t r e e t , p. 316.  2 68 West, " I n t r o d u c e s Elmer G a n t r y , " E s s a y s , p. 45. 269 Dodsworth, p. 168. A r r o w s m i t h , p. 37. 2 7 1  I b i d . , p. 54.  272 Dooley, A r t , p. 251. 273 Elmer G a n t r y , p. 375. 2 M o o r e , " L o s t Romantic," 74  E s s a y s , p. 151.  275 Dorothy Thompson, quoted by Sheean, p. 352. 276 Moore, " L o s t Romantic,"  E s s a y s , p. 161.  277 Beck, C o l l e g e E n g l i s h , p. 173. K r u t c h , "S.L." E s s a y s , p. 150. E . M . F o r s t e r , "Our Photography: S i n c l a i r Lewis" E s s a y s , p. 95. 280 B e c k e r , American S c h o l a r , . p . 425. 281 Dodsworth, p. 170. 2 7 8  2 7 9  (1929),  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY WORKS BY SINCLAIR LEWIS Novels Our Mr. Wrenn.  New York:  The T r a i l o f t h e Hawk. The Job.  New York:  The I n n o c e n t s . Free A i r .  Babbitt.  New Y o r k :  New Y o r k :  H a r p e r , 1917.  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1920.  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1922.  New Y o r k :  New York:  Elmer G a n t r y .  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1925.  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1926.  New York:  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1927.  The Man Who Knew C o o l i d g e . Dodsworth.  H a r p e r , 1915.  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1919.  New Y o r k :  Arrowsmith. Mantrap.  New Y o r k :  H a r p e r , 1917.  New Y o r k :  Main S t r e e t .  H a r p e r , 1914.  New York:  New Y o r k :  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1928.  H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1929.  Ann V i c k e r s .  Garden C i t y :  Doubleday, Doran, 1933.  Work of A r t .  Garden C i t y :  Doubleday, Doran, 1934.  I t Can't Happen Here.  Carden C i t y :  Doubleday, Doran, 1935.  The P r o d i g a l P a r e n t s .  Garden C i t y :  Doubleday, Doran, 1938.  Bethel Merriday. Gideon P l a n i s h .  Garden C i t y : New Y o r k :  Cass T i m b e r l a n e .  The God-Seeker. World So Wide.  Random House, 1943.  New York:  Kingsblood Royal.  Random House, 1945.  New Y o r k :  New Y o r k : New York:  Doubleday, Doran, 1940.  Random House, 1947. Random House, 1949.  Random House, 1951.  -86Selections Selected Short S t o r i e s .  Garden C i t y :  Doubleday, Doran, 1935.  From M a i n S t r e e t t o Stockholm: L e t t e r s of S i n c l a i r L e w i s , 1919-1930. S e l e c t e d and w i t h an i n t r o d u c t i o n by H a r r i s o n Smith. New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1952. The Man from M a i n S t r e e t : S e l e c t e d Essays and Other W r i t i n g s , 19041950. E d i t e d by H a r r y E. Maule and M e l v i l l e H. Cane. New Y o r k : Random House, 1953. I'm a S t r a n g e r Here M y s e l f and Other S t o r i e s . • S e l e c t e d , w i t h an i n t r o d u c t i o n , by Mark S c h o r e r . D e l l L a u r e l e d i t i o n s . New Y o r k : D e l l , 1962. . WRITINGS ABOUT SINCLAIR LEWIS More complete b i b l i o g r a p h i e s a r e t o be found i n Mark S c h o r e r , S i n c l a i r L e w i s ; D.J. Dooley, The A r t of S i n c l a i r L e w i s ; Sheldon G r e b s t e i n , S i n c l a i r L e w i s ; W i l f r i e d Edener, R e l i g i o n s k r i t i k . A l l r e f e r e n c e s t o Essays a r e found i n S i n c l a i r L e w i s : A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , ed. Mark Schorer... Englewood C l i f f s : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1962. S i n c l a i r L e w i s i s a b b r e v i a t e d t o S.L.  BOOKS A a r o n , D a n i e l . "S.L.: M a i n S t r e e t " , The American N o v e l , e d . W a l l a c e S t e g n e r . New York: B a s i c Books, 1965. A l l e n , W a l t e r . The Modern N o v e l i n B r i t a i n and t h e U^S. Y o r k : D u t t o n , 1964.  New  Anderson, C a r o l . The Swedish A c c e p t a n c e of American L i t e r a t u r e . Stockholm: A l m q u i s t and W i k s e l l , 1957. Angoff, Charles.  The Tone o f t h e T w e n t i e s .  New Y o r k :  Beach, Joseph Warren. The T w e n t i e t h Century N o v e l . A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 1932. C a b e l l , James B r a n c h .  G o b l i n s i n Winnemac.  Barnes, 1966.  New Y o r k :  New Y o r k :  M c B r i d e , 1930.  D a v i e s , H o r t o n . A M i r r o r o f the M i n i s t r y i n Modern N o v e l s . O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959. D e r l e t h , August. 1963.  Three L i t e r a r y Men. New Y o r k :  New Y o r k :  Candlelight Press,  -87-  Dooley, D.J. The A r t of S^L. P r e s s , 1967.  Lincoln:  U n i v e r s i t y of Nebraska  Edener, W i l f r i e d . D i e R e l i g i o n s k r i t i k i n den Romanen Von S.L. B e i h e f t e zum Jahrbuch f u r A m e r i k a s t u d i e n , No. 10. H e i d e l b e r g : C a r l W i n t e r , 1963. Fadiman, C l i f t o n .  P a r t y of One.  New Y o r k :  World,  1955.  F e i d e l s o n , C h a r l e s . Symbolism and American L i t e r a t u r e . C h i c a g o U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953. G r e b s t e i n , Sheldon Norman.  S.L.  New Y o r k :  Chicago:  Twayne, 1962.  G r i f f i n , Robert J . "S.L.," American Winners of t h e N o b e l L i t e r a r y P r i z e , eds. W.G. F r e n c h and W.E. K i d d . Norman: U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma P r e s s , 1968. Hoffman, F r e d e r i c k J . The T w e n t i e s .  New Y o r k : V i k i n g ,  1955.  H o l l i s , C. C a r r o l l . "S.L. r e v i v e r of c h a r a c t e r , " F i f t y y e a r s of the American N o v e l : A C h r i s t i a n A p p r a i s a l , ed. H a r o l d C. G a r d i n e r , S.J. New Y o r k : S c r i b n e r s , 1952. H o r t o n , R.W. and H.W. Edwards. Backgrounds o f American L i t e r a r y Thought. New Y o r k : A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 1952. Kramer, M a u r i c e . "S.L. and the H o l l o w C e n t e r , " The Twenties P o e t r y and P r o s e : 20 C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , eds. R.E. L a n g f o r d , W.E. T a y l o r . De Land: E v e r e t t Edwards P r e s s , 1963. L e w i s , Grace Hegger. B r a c e , 1951. Mencken, H.L. 1925. .  W i t h Love from G r a c i e .  Prejudices;  Prejudices:  Fourth Series.  F i f t h Series.  . A Book of P r e f a c e s . 1927.  New Y o r k :  London:  New Y o r k ;  New Y o r k :  M i l l g a t e , M i c h a e l . American S o c i a l F i c t i o n : E d i n b u r g h : O l i v e r and Boyd, 1964.  Jonathan Cape,  Knopf,  Garden C i t y  The Problem of S t y l e .  1926.  Publishing,  from James t o Cozzens.  M i z e n e r , A r t h u r . The Sense of L i f e i n the Modern N o v e l . Houghton M i f f l i n , 1964. Murry, J . M i d d l e t o n . P r e s s , 1936.  Harcourt,  London:  Boston:  Oxford U n i v e r s i t y  R o s e n t h a l , T.G. A m e r i c a n F i c t i o n , N a t i o n a l Book League Reader's G u i d e . Cambridge, Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1961.  -88S c h o r e r , Mark. S.L. U n i v e r s i t y of M i n n e s o t a Pamphlets on American W r i t e r s , No. 27. M i n n e a p o l i s : U n i v e r s i t y of M i n n e s o t a P r e s s , 1963. .  S.L.:  An American L i f e .  New Y o r k ;  M c G r a w - H i l l , 1961.  . "The Burdens of B i o g r a p h y . " To the Young W r i t e r , ed. A.L. Bader. Ann A r b o r : U n i v e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n P r e s s , 1965. Sheean, V i n c e n t . 1963.  Dorothy and Red.  New Y o r k :  Houghton M i f f l i n ,  S p i l l e r , Robert E. et a l . The L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y of t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . New Y o r k : M a c m i l l a n , 1953. S t e w a r t , R a n d a l l . American L i t e r a t u r e a n d C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e . Rouge: L o u i s i a n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958. Van Doren, C a r o l . The American N o v e l 1789-1939. M a c m i l l a n , 1940. Wagenknecht, Edward. H o l t , 1952.  New  York:  C a v a l c a d e o f t h e American N o v e l .  W i l l e y , B a s i l . The E i g h t e e n t h C e n t u r y Background. and Windus, 1940.  Baton  New  York:  London:  Chatto  ARTICLES A n g o f f , C h a r l e s . " R e f l e c t i o n s upon a s p e c t s ^ o f A m e r i c a n L i t e r a t u r e . " L i t e r a r y Review, X: 1 (Autumn 1966), 5-17. A l d e r , Benne B. "S.L.: the n o v e l i s t who 'hated' l e c t u r i n g . " Q u a r t e r l y J o u r n a l of Speech, L I (1965), 275-285. Beck, Warren. 173-180.  "How  good i s S.L."  C o l l e g e E n g l i s h , I X ( J a n u a r y 1948),  B e c k e r , George J . "S.L.: A p o s t l e t o the P h i l i s t i n e s . " S c h o l a r , XXI (Autumn 1952), 423-432. B r e a s t e d , C. "The S a u k - C e n t r i c i t i e s o f S.L." XXXVII (August 14, 1954), 7-8, 33-36. Brown, D a n i e l R. "L.'s S a t i r e : X V I I I ( 1 9 6 6 ) , 63-72. Canby, H.S. " V i c i o u s Ignorance." I I I (March 12, 1927), 637.  American  S a t u r d a y Review,  a N e g a t i v e Emphasis."  Renascence,  Saturday Review of L i t e r a t u r e ,  Couch, W i l l i a m J r . "S.L.: C r i s i s i n the A m e r i c a n Dream." Languages A s s o c i a t i o n J o u r n a l , V I I (1964), 224-234.  Comparative  •-89-  D a v i s , E l m e r . "Review o f Elmer G a n t r y . " (March 13, 1927), 1.  New Y o r k Times Book Review,  Durham, F r a n k . "Not a c c o r d i n g t o t h e book: M a t e r i a l i s m and t h e A m e r i c a n N o v e l . " G e o r g i a Review, XX, I ( S p r i n g 1966), 90-98. Friedman, P h i l i p A l l a n . " B a b b i t t : S a t i r i c R e a l i s m i n Form a n d j C o n t e n t . " S a t i r e N e w s l e t t e r , IV (1966), 20-24. Geismar, M a x w e l l . "S.L.: 25, 1960), 29-30.  F o r g o t t e n Hero."  Saturday Review  (June  . " D i a r i s t o f the M i d d l e - C l a s s . " Saturday Review o f L i t e r a t u r e , XXX (November 1, 1947), 9-10, 42-45. Genthe, C h a r l e s V. "The Damnation o f Theron Ware and Elmer G a n t r y . " Research S t u d i e s (Washington S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y ) , XXXII (1964), 334-343. , G r e b s t e i n , Sheldon. " E d u c a t i o n of a R e b e l : S.L. a t Y a l e . " England Q u a r t e r l y , X X V I I I (September 1955), 372-382.  New  J o n e s , Howard Mumford. "Review o f The God Seeker." Saturday Review o f L i t e r a t u r e (March 12, 1949). L i g h t , M a r t i n . "H.G. W e l l s and S.L.: F r i e n d s h i p , L i t e r a r y I n f l u e n c e , and L e t t e r s . " E n g l i s h F i c t i o n i n T r a n s i t i o n , 1880-1920, V, IV (1962), 1-20. L i t t r e l l , R o b e r t . "The P r e a c h e r f r i e d i n o i l . " New R e p u b l i c , 50 (March 16, 1927), 108. M i l l e r , P e r r y . "The i n c o r r u p t i b l e S.L." A t l a n t i c M o n t h l y , ( A p r i l 1951), 30-34. M u i r , Edwin. "Review o f Elmer G a n t r y . " ( A p r i l 23, 1927), 85.  CLXXXVII  N a t i o n and Athenaeum, 41  O'Connor, W.V. "The N o v e l and t h e ' t r u t h ' about A m e r i c a . " E n g l i s h S t u d i e s , XXXV (1945), 204-211. Palmer, Raymond H. "The Nobel J u r y Judges A m e r i c a . " X L V I I (1930), 1448.  C h r i s t i a n Century,  Rosenberg, C h a r l e s E. " M a r t i n A r r o w s m i t h : t h e s c i e n t i e s t as Hero." American Q u a r t e r l y , XV (1963), 447-458. S c h o r e r , Mark. "My L i f e and N i n e - Y e a r C a p t i v i t y w i t h S.L." New Y o r k Times Book Review (August 20, 1961), 7-26. S h i l l i t o , Edward. "Elmer G a n t r y and t h e Church i n A m e r i c a . " N i n e t e e n t h C e n t u r y , 101 (May 1927), 739.  -90T a n s e l l e , G. Thomas. "S.L. and F l o y d D e l l : Two Views of the Midwest." T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y L i t e r a t u r e , I X (1964), 175-184. Van Doren, C a r l . " S t . George and the P a r s o n . " L i t e r a t u r e , 3 (March 12, 1927), 639. Warren, D a l e . "Notes on a G e n i u s : C L V I I I (January 1954), 61-69.  Saturday Review of  S.L. a t h i s b e s t . " H a r p e r s ,  Waterman, M a r g a r e t . "S.L. as a t e a c h e r . " C o l l e g e E n g l i s h , X I I I (November 1951) , 87-90. W h i p p l e , Leon. 168.  "Review of Elmer G a n t r y . "  Survey, 58 (May 1, 1927),  DISSERTATIONS  Coleman, A r t h u r B. "The G e n e s i s of S o c i a l Ideas i n S.L." A b s t r a c t s , XV (1955), 1069 (New Y o r k ) .  Dissertation  Conroy, Stephen S e b a s t i a n . ."The A m e r i c a n C u l t u r e and the I n d i v i d u a l i n the N o v e l s o f S.L." IKA., XXVII (1966), 473 A (Iowa). Couch, W i l l i a m J r . "The Emergence, R i s e , and D e c l i n e o f the R e p u t a t i o n of S.L." C h i c a g o , 1954. D a n i e l , Benne B.  "S.L.:  N o v e l i s t and Speaker." Oklahoma, 1962.  Dooley, D a v i d J .  "The Impact of S a t i r e on F i c t i o n . " Iowa,  G r e b s t e i n , Sheldon Norman. " S i L . : D.A., XIV ( 1 9 5 4 ) , 828.  American S o c i a l  1955.  Critic."  H i l f e r , Anthony C. " R e v o l t of t h e V i l l a g e i n American L i t e r a t u r e . " N o r t h C a r o l i n a , 1963. L i g h t , M a r t i n . "A Study of C h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n S.L.'s F i c t i o n . " D.A., XXI ( 1 9 6 0 ) , 1567 ( I l l i n o i s ) .  

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