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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 of Durham, 1957 Dip. Ed., U n i v e r s i t y of Oxford, 1960 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the re q u i r e d standard The Universirfy of B r i t i s h Columbia September, 1969 In presenting this thesis in p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and Study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be a 11 owed without my written permission. Department of ENGLISH The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date ^&^T, ABSTRACT The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to examine two c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n the l i f e and works of S i n c l a i r Lewis: h i s ambivalence i n general, and.his p a r t i c u l a r unambivalent h o s t i l i t y towards r e l i g i o n . Although he h e l d i n c o n s i s t e n t and incompatible views on America, i t s people, 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 p r a c t i c e s . Chapter I examines Lewis's ambivalence r e s p e c t i n g America and Americans, the Middle West, the Middle Class and Business; there i s a l s o an account of Lewis'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 clergy, and churchgoers. Chapter I I examines aspects of the 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 of the f a c t o r s which c o n t r i b u t e to h i s ambivalent views and a l s o to h i s a n t i - r e l i g i o u s outlook. Chapter I I I notes the t i m e l i n e s s of Lewis's novels, published i n the Twenties when people were confused about t h e i r b e l i e f s . Chapter I I I then analyses i n d e t a i l four novels, Main  S t r e e t , Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, and The God Seeker, which demonstrate how Lewis's a t t i t u d e s change, except towards r e l i g i o n . Chapter IV stu d i e s the s t y l e of S i n c l a i r Lewis, and notes that he con s t a n t l y a p p l i e s mocking or h o s t i l e terms to c l e r g y and C h r i s t i a n s , w h i l e on other subjects he expresses incom-p a t i b l e views wit h noisy assurance. Chapter IV a l s o suggests that Lewis's ambivalence and h i s a n t i - r e l i g i o n both stem from a l a c k of pro f u n d i t y i n h i s thought and f e e l i n g . He i s unable to understand and appreciate f u l l y the t r u t h s of American l i f e and the t r u t h s of r e l i g i o n . TABLE OF CONTENTS * Page I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter I • 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 In a n a l y s i n g the l i f e and works of S i n c l a i r Lewis, the prime d i f f i c u l t y i s to deal 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 ambivalence. He has no s e t t l e d perspective or viewpoint; h i s 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 parado 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 , "the p r o l e t a r i a n p l u t o c r a t , the bourgeois gypsy, the p a t r i o t i c 2 e x p a t r i a t e , the unmannerly c r i t i c of manners," so that there seem to be many S i n c l a i r Lewises. 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 of 3 h i s own d i v i d e d heart." He i s Car o l and Kennicott, heart and head, r a d i c a l and orthodox, p u r i t a n and man of the world, "standing between East and West, Europe and America, Beacon Street and Main S t r e e t , the e x o t i c and the ordinar y , c u l t u r e and v i g o r , refinement and c r u d i t y , convention and freedom." 4 Lewis 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 of 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 point of view so oft e n that f i n a l l y we come to wonder whether he has any."-' However, there are 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 of S i n c l a i r Lewis. He b e l i e v e s i n brotherhood, progress, science, and i n d i v i d u a l freedom. He '.always hates hypocrisy and inhumane acts,and he has a steady d i s l i k e of organised r e l i g i o n . "Apart from a b r i e f conversion, w h i l e Lewis prepped f o r r Y a l e at O b e r l i n , h i s h o s t i l i t y to 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 churches, dogma, pastors, and f l o c k s ; and a l l h i s novels, from f i r s t to l a s t , have a n t i - r e l i g i o u s elements. -2-This study w i l l i n d i c a t e some of the many aspects of American l i f e about which Lewis was ambivalent, and i t w i l l a l s o show h i s c o n s i s t e n t 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 . -3-Footnotes to I n t r o d u c t i o n ^D.J. Dooley, The A r t of S i n c l a i r Lewis. ( L i n c o l n : U n i v e r s i t y of Nebraska Press, 1967), p. 58. 2Mark Schorer, S i n c l a i r Lewis: An American L i f e . (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961), p. 483. ^Quoted i n Dooley, A r t , p. 223. ^Schorer, L i f e , p. 166. ^Quoted i n Dooley, A r t , p. 252. Sheldon N. G r e b s t e i n , S i n c l a i r Lewis. (New Haven: C o l l e g e and U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1962), p. 99. CHAPTER I Lewis's ambivalence shows i t s e l f i n h i s treatment of America and Americans, t h e i r standards and t h e i r behaviour. He both attacks and pr a i s e s the Middle West, the Middle C l a s s , and most of 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 attacks more often than he defends, and i t i s e a s i e r to see what he i s against than what he i s f o r . Lewis's c r i t i c i s m of the United States i s summed up i n h i s Nobel speech, when he contended "that America, with a l l her wealth and power, has not yet produced a c i v i l i z a t i o n good enough to s a t i s f y the deepest wants of human cr e a t u r e s . " ^ He described i t as a land of s t e r i l i t y and emptiness and "narrow f r u s t r a t e d Q l i v e s . " L acking s e r e n i t y and ma t u r i t y , i t s only d e f i n i t i o n of l i f e i s m a t e r i a l i s t i c — success, wealth, p o s i t i o n . The Americans 9 have no true home, no tru e church, no corporate l i f e ; but 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 lac k s beauty, decency, and t o l e r a n c e . I t i s an unimaginatively standardized background, a sluggishness of speech and manners, a r i g i d r u l i n g of the s p i r i t by the d e s i r e to appear r e s p e c t a b l e . I t i s contentment . . . the contentment of the quie t dead, who are s c o r n f u l of the l i v i n g f o r t h e i r r e s t -l e s s walking. I t i s negation canonized as the 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 self-sought and self-defended. I t i s du l l n e s s made God. A savorless people, gulping t a s t e l e s s food, and s i t t i n g afterward, c o a t l e s s and thoughtless, i n -5-rocking-chairs p r i c k l y with inane decorations, l i s t e n i n g to mechanical music, saying mechanical things about the excellence of Ford automobiles and viewing themselves as the greatest race i n the world.10 S i n c l a i r Lewis suggests that 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 c i v i l i z a t i o n " should be changed from "In God we t r u s t " to "Government of the p r o f i t s , 12 by the p r o f i t s , for the p r o f i t s . " The Americans have no r a t i o n a l humane i d e a l s , no good l i f e , no honor of knight, a r t i s t , or p r i e s t , no truth, beauty, or goodness, no imagination or f a i t h : "They understand democracy as l i t t l e as they understand C h r i s t i a n i t y . " ^ They cannot see the imperfections and f a l s e values of t h e i r country, but Lewis w i l l "de-bamboozle the American public. You cannot heal the problems of any one marriage u n t i l you heal the problems of an en t i r e c i v i l i z a t i o n founded upon suspicion and s u p e r s t i t i o n ; and you cannot heal the problems of 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 barbaric nature, and r e a l i z e s that what i t thought was brave was only c r u e l , what i t thought was holy was only meanness, and what i t thought was success was merely the paper helmet of a clown more nimble than h i s fellows, scrambling for a peanut i n the dust of an ignoble circus.15 American society i s opposed to any d i s i n t e r e s t e d e f f o r t or c h a r i t a b l e action, and any deviation from pack behaviour i s punished with malice and violence. Main Street can be a nightmare, and Americans are capable of obsessive c r u e l t y and horror. "The U.S. i s not c i v i l i z e d ; " - ^ the i n d u s t r i a l giant i s an emotional dwarf, a s p i r i t u a l pauper"*"^ -- and what i s worse — the U.S. i s " f i r e d with a z e a l , i n the name of humanitarian idealism, to reduce 18 the r est of the world to i t s own meager s p i r i t u a l p r o p o r t i o n s . " ± 0 -6-Lewis c r i t i c i s e s "the cheapness of a l l standards, the shoddiness of 19 a l l v a l u e s , " the seeking of money rat h e r than wisdom. He complains that r e l i g i o u s m o r a l i t y i s superseded by business m o r a l i t y and the e t h i c s of success; what i s expedient 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 accepted, one must l i e , dodge, compromise, and do the expected. When Dodsworth returns to America a f t e r years 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 to a l l human values." There i s no f a i t h i n the excellence of man, the law of progress, the u l t i m a t e r e i g n of j u s t i c e , the conquest of nature, or the s u f f i c i e n c y of democracy The i d e a l s of e a r l y America have been l o s t , and the pioneers have been replaced "by people with bathtubs and coupes and porch f u r n i t u r e and speed-boats and lake - c o t t a g e s , who are determined that t h e i r possession of these p r e t t y things s h a l l not be threatened by r a d i c a l s and that t h e i r comments on them 22 s h a l l not 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 the soul of 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 sm a l l -minded settlements grow i n t o mediocre, 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 . I n American c u l t u r e there i s a discrepancy 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 Coolidge (1928), p r a i s e s p r o h i b i t i o n but enjoys d r i n k i n g ; and Fred Cornplow i s s i m i l a r : " l i k e most Americans he was profoundly democratic except perhaps as regards 23 s o c i a l standing, wealth, p o l i t i c a l power and club membership." This hypocrisy i s part of an American preference 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 of ov 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 Lewis 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 philosopher's. A n o v e l i s t does not come to conclusions about l i f e , but discovers a q u a l i t y i n i t , presents "a mode of experience." Lewis examines s e l e c t e d aspects 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 at the same time as he blames. He c r i t i c i s e s America's i m p e r f e c t i o n s , but p a t r i o t i c a l l y loves h i s country: "The only deeply rooted f a i t h Lewis 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 United States as the t r u e s t source 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 rescue the world. His romantic optimism was founded on a dream of a prosperous, enlightened America. He wanted the country to outgrow i d e o l o g i e s , and become f r e e and great. 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 ft i c o n o c l a s t H.L. Mencken, a deep f e e l i n g f o r t r a d i t i o n . " He was 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 pioneers' 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 Lewis would 27 l i k e to 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 l a n d . At the same time, he saw America as a new land, r e q u i r i n g 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 . In t h i s connection, the Middle West can represent s e r e n i t y , wisdom, and beauty: I n the midst of the babel she found enchanted quietude. Along the road the shadows from oak-branches were inked on the snow l i k e bars of music. Then the s l e d came out on the surface of Lake Minniemashie. Across the t h i c k i c e was a v e r i t a b l e road, a s h o r t-cut f o r farmers. On the g l a r i n g expanse of the l a k e - l e v e l s of hard c r u s t , f l a s h e s of green i c e blown c l e a r , chains of d r i f t s ribbed l i k e the sea-beach -- the moonlight was over-whelming. I t stormed on the snow, i t turned 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 voluptuous. In that drugged magic there 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 c o l d . 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 being connotative beside her, were nothing. She repeated: -8-Deep on the convent-roof the snows Are s p a r k l i n g to the moon. The words and the l i g h t b l u r r e d i n t o one vast i n d e f i n i t e happiness, and she b e l i e v e d that some great t h i n g was coming to her. She withdrew from the clamor i n t o a worship of incomprehensible gods. The n i g h t expanded, she was conscious of the universe, and a l l mysteries stooped down to h e r . 2 ^ For a l l h i s c r i t i c i s m of Americans, he o f f e r s no c l e a r a l t e r n a t i v e to t h e i r conventions, though he hopes they can cr e a t e : an i n t e l l e c t u a l world, a world of c u l t u r e and grace, of l o f t y thoughts and the i n s p i r i n g communion o f r e a l knowledge, where creeds were not of importance, and where man asked one another, not " I s your soul saved?'* but " I s your mind w e l l f u r n i s h e d ? " 2 ^ Some of the i d e a l s that S i n c l a i r Lewis i s advocating f o r America are to be found i n Europe. He admires European grace, elegance, and l e i s u r e d wisdom; but he d i s l i k e s the r i g i d i t y and l a c k of democracy: "London i s nothing but a bunch of fog and out-of-date 30 b u i l d i n g s . " He i s ambivalent too about the s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and' snobbery of Eastern States, the f r i e n d l i n e s s and decency of Western St a t e s , and many other matters, The important e f f e c t o f Lewis's ambivalence i s u n c e r t a i n t y i n the mind of the reader who i s never sure whether or not Lewis i s s i n c e r e : "That was always the t r o u b l e : never knowing whether he 31 r e a l l y cared at a l l , f o r anybody or anything except h i s work". Part of Lewis'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 -- to t e l l a story and to expose a s i t u a t i o n . 32 The " s o f t b o i l e d romancer" clashes with the "hardboiled c r i t i c ; " fantasy and romance oppose s a t i r e and v e r i s i m i l i t u d e . His character-i s t i c tone i s one of love-hate: "He combines contemptuousness with 33 naive good heartedness to an i n c r e d i b l e degree." He mocks and i d e a l i z e s , derides and sympathises, c r e a t i n g "the mature L e w i s i a n -9-i r o n y , that p e c u l i a r a b i l i t y to present at once the romantic surface 3 ^\ of new phenomena and the befouled underside." He does not b e l i e v e i n s o l u t i o n s ; he i s "not detached, 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 35 i n t u r n w i t h each of two c o n f l i c t i n g s i d e s . " Sometimes h i s c r i t i c i s m of American s o c i e t y i s naive 36 and "half-baked 1^ as when he d e s c r i b e s "persons l i k e myself that 37 go s n i f f i n g about, wondering what i t a l l means." He takes Main Str e e t w i t h him everywhere he goes, and i s so enmeshed i n what he i s f i g h t i n g that he can n e i t h e r separate e v i l from ignorance, nor be t r u l y r a d i c a l . At other times he i s "a d i s t r e s s e d and d i s -gusted i d e a l i s t " - ^ w i t h an "ardent, mocking, obscene lo v e of t r u t h f u l n e s s , " " ^ or a Red Indian s t a l k i n g h i s f o e s , ^ a n a l y s i n g the outward forms of American 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 American l i f e as no one e l s e d i d , but he could 41 not t e l l what they added up t o . " Lewis's c h a n g e a b i l i t y i s confusing, as he adopts d i f f e r e n t poses and looks at things w i t h both love and hate. However, i n almost every case, h i s r e a c t i o n to r e l i g i o u s matters i s one of d i s a p p r o v a l ; one of the few unchanging tenets of Lewis's changeable f a i t h Is h i s constant d i s l i k e of r e l i g i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n s , C h r i s t i a n i t y ' s God, the c l e r g y , and the churchgoers. He repeatedly wages a crusade against a system which prevents ' man's freedom and i n t e g r i t y . " I n s t i t u t i o n s are the enemies,"^ 2 f o r they aim to safe-guard the e s t a b l i s h e d order, i f necessary by c o n t r o l l i n g the whole world. 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 p u r i t a n i s m and 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 hatreds, net C h r i s t i a n l o v e . Lewis weighed American r e l i g i o n against C h r i s t ' s i d e a l s and the B i b l e ' s teaching, and found i t wanting. He s a i d ; "Conventional r e l i g i o n s are among the most a c t i v e foes of 44 progress." He found no joy i n church teachings, only fear of impro-p r i e t y and H e l l , a " v i c i o u s mixture of nonsense and r e p r e s s i o n . " 4 ^ He opposed as clumsy, outworn, and ignorant, 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 Golden, the heroine of The Job (1917), b e l i e v e d "that l i f e i s too sacred to 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 education; and that most forms and or g a n i z a t i o n s and i n h e r i t e d castes are not sacred at a l l . " ^ 6 Lewis attacked the a u t h o r i t y of the churches, the business techniques ("pep and p i e t y " ^ 7 ) 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 of Sunday 48 Schools and denominational 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 the Y.M.CiA., the "phi l a n t h r o b b e r s " who used r e l i g i o u s emotions to get g i f t s , and the e v a n g e l i s t s who were i n t e r e s t e d only i n e m o t i o n - s t i r r i n g methods and money, not people or t r u t h : 49 "God save America from zealous i d e a l i s t i c organized do-gooders." I n t h i s respect he was echoing Thoreau's fear of " s e l f - s t y l e d reformers, the g r e a t e s t bores of a l l . " - ^ xhe r e l i g i o u s systems were so inhumane, so f u l l of " c h i l d i s h and d i s g u s t i n g absurdities"^''" that 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 . He hated "the whole magic and taboo system of worshiping the B i b l e and the m i n i s t r y , ' and a l l the other s k u l l - d e c o r a t e d v e s t i g e s of horr o r there are i n so-52 c a l l e d C h r i s t i a n i t y ! " Although on occasions Lewis quoted the B i b l e as a standard of moral wisdom, a p o s i t i v e i d e a l by which to judge churches and people, he a l s o pointed out the nonsense, c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , indecencies, and -11-f a l s e prophecies of God's Word -- Hebrew poetry i s "noble, moving, 5,3 and meaningless." He scorned "th a t antiquated anthology of s u p e r s t i t i o n s , " : and a l s o the "time-honored drool"- 5 • and "damned bad v e r s e " - ^ of church s e r v i c e s . He blamed the churches f o r t u r n i n g young minds to p r i e s t worship and symbols — " t r a p p i n g i d i o t s i n t o holy monkey-shrines""^ - - a n d was appalled at church 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 that the older churches C O were going to damnation: "Get saved our way or go to 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 to "our congregational God -- not that of the godless Roman C a t h o l i c I r i s h or the German Lutherans."59 Lewis cannot understand how clergymen can b e l i e v e i n a God so c r u e l that a f t e r c r e a t i n g human beings, he w i l l burn h a l f of 60 them i n H e l l : "Good Lord, what a concept C h r i s t i a n i t y s God i s ! Here i s t h i s supreme e g o t i s t s i t t i n g up there who fashions creatures and puts them on earth f o r the s o l e purpose of worshipping 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 punishes with e t e r n a l t o r t u r e those who get the 63 wrong answers." The Old Testament God who d e s i r e s reeking slaughter i s , f o r Lewis, a heathen hangover, an anachronism i n the twentieth 64 century. The c l e r g y are a l s o out of tune with modern times, and from h i s Y a l e days Lewis attacked the "Ambassadors of C h r i s t . " ^ They were opposed to the a r t s , s c i e n c e s , l e a r n i n g and a l l i d e a s, and they perpetuated 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, job-hunting, medieval-minded second-r a t e r s . " The were described by Ezra Pound: . --12-These heavyweights, these dodgers and these preachers, Crusaders, l e c t u r e r s , and secret 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 and eros were conjoined, and i n Elmer Gantry (1927) pointed to the great number of sex-crimes committed by e r r i n g clergymen. What Babbit's m i n i s t e r t a l k e d of wicked women, "the reverend eyes g l i s t e n e d . T h e 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 s a c r i f i c e themselves f o r C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s , to 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 characters i n The T r a i l of the Hawk, (1915) Lewis " d i d not b e l i e v e that p r i e s t s and m i n i s t e r s , who seemed to be ordinary men as regards 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 of the mysteries of heaven."^ The 72 7"} "nasty gentlemen of God"' were no help i n l i g h t e n i n g l i f e , J and 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 commercial, not pious. According to Lewis, the i d e a l s of the Sermon on the Mount were not preached or 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 than the Kingdom of Heaven. He attacked C h r i s t i a n s f o r not l i v i n g up to t h e i r i d e a l s , but he a l s o f e l t that the i d e a l s themselves were i n a p p r o p r i a t e and out-of-date. I n Ann V i c k e r s (1933), Ann r e j e c t s old-fashioned 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 Patience. But dumb patience, d u l l hope, and hang-jawed f a i t h , these were no longer the merits of females. No, her c h i l d should be named P r i d e , and p r i d e of l i f e , p r i d e of lo v e , p r i d e of work, p r i d e of being a woman should be her v i r t u e s . Lewis was sure that the c l e r g y must share h i s doubts con-cerning the p r a c t i c a l i t y and relevance of C h r i s t i a n i t y . Rev. -13-Judson Roberts, " 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, r a d i a n t as ten suns," muttered: " I do wish I could get over t h i s doubting. Reverend Frank S h a l l a r d commented: "Oh, Lord, P h i l , what a job, what a l y i n g compromising job, t h i s being a m i n i s t e r ! " ^ The c l e r g y were seen as using p l a t i t u d e s and poetic r h e t o r i c to avoid t e l l i n g the t r u t h : "As we doing any r e a l t h i n g i n the world at a l l ? " ^ Lewis was angry at the pretensions of clergymen who 78 "prayed as God to God," and claimed to have "wiped out a l l s i n i n 79 the community." He was a f r a i d that a h e l l f i r e preacher l i k e Bishop Prang, "not the s t i l l small v o i c e of God,"^0 might e a s i l y become a h e l l f i r e f a s c i s t . ^ Along with the c l e r g y , Lewis c r i t i c i s e d t h e i r d u l l , s e l f -important, u n t h i n k i n g congregations who prevented freedom and compelled r e s p e c t a b i l i t y : "a mechanical r e l i g i o n -- a dry hard church, shut o f f from the r e a l l i f e of the s t r e e t s , inhumanly 82 r e s p e c t a b l e as a top-hat;" "solemn whiskery persons whose only pleasure aside from not doing agreeable things was keeping others Q O from doing them." They are u n c r i t i c a l c h u r c h f o i k s , whose worship has become a standardized p u b l i c r i t e . Church congregations are B a b b i t t s , l a c k i n g the q u a l i t i e s of c i v i l i z e d l i f e . They have no purposes, no' . r i t e s ; t h e i r m o r a l i t y and church attendance are meaningless. Their r e l i g i o n has become a creed which they do not understand; i t has ceased to 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 England, a way of l i f e , a channel of t h e i r hopes, an order with meaning. -14-They are creatures of the passing moment who are vaguely unhappy i n a boring and senseless existence that i s without d i g n i t y , without grace, without purpose. These people belong to a dead world of empty s h i b b o l e t h s , ight ,86 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 , brought about by a r e l i g i o n which l a c k s "reason, decency, and kindness.' According to Lewis, man must leave r e l i g i o n s , i d e o l o g i e s , and super-s t i t i o n , and stand on h i s own. I n t h i s way he w i l l achieve freedom, autonomy, h e a l t h and i n t e g r i t y : ^ 7 "Come out of death i n t o l i f e . " 8 8 "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 . U n t i l i t i s taken away we can o n never begin to walk w e l l . " A l l Lewis's works are i n i m i c a l to r e l i g i o n , because r e l i g i o n i s opposed to brotherhood, progress, and science, which he nearly always a f f i r m s . These few b e l i e f s l i e at the centre of Lewis's t h i n k -i n g , and animate h i s attacks on various i n s t i t u t i o n s , c l a s s e s , and points of view. At times h i s anger becomes s h r i l l , and he curses 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 teaching. He portrays 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, the 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 . Cleargy and l a i t y are deceivers, seeking power, l i m i t i n g thought and c u l t u r e : "Do not f o r g i v e them, Lord, f o r they know what 91 they do.'j The world i s "a booby blundering schoolboy," clumsy, raw, 92 ignorant, slow, and "ten percent e f f i c i e n t . " I n extreme moments, Lewis f i n d s mankind unregenerate, and passes b i t t e r judgment on the whole 93 damned human race. When he saw the drunken men and women brawling or l y i n g unconscious i n the slums of Glasgow, Red stopped and r a i s e d h i s clenched f i s t s to high heaven. Tears were streaming down h i s cheeks. " I can't stand i t any more," he c r i e d . " I can't stand i t . " A l l the way back to the h o t e l he cursed and raved. "God damn the s o c i e t y that w i l l permit such poverty!" "God damn the r e l i g i o n s that stand f o r such a p u t r i d system. God damn them a l l ! " ^ ^ -15-Lewis's attacks on r e l i g i o n are u s u a l l y i r r a t i o n a l and p r e j u d i c e d . He makes a s u p e r f i c i a l c r i t i c i s m of church super-f i c i a l i t i e s : "The amount of time and passion that theologians 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 cooking." He hates f a l s e r e l i g i o s i t y , 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 churches, and people coughing i l l i t e r a t e 96 hymns, and long-winded preachers" repeating " p e r f e c t l y meaning-97 l e s s d o c t r i n e . " He makes Elmer Gantry a monster, and uses him i n " h i s war against the Old Testament God, against l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , 98 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 evangelism," and through Elmer ( l i k e p r i e s t , l i k e people) Lewis judges the whole church. He mocks e s t a b l i s h e d creeds and makes a "coarse misplaced, cheap j e s t of everything that yet has value i n American c u l t u r e , that i s to say, r e l i g i o n . " ^ fle misreads the meaning and f a i t h of America, but h i s b i t t e r n e s s i s based on concern, and a f e e l i n g t h a t something i s wrong with r e l i g i o u s l i f e . I have decided that no one i n t h i s room, i n c l u d i n g your pastor, 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 turn the other cheek. Not one of us would s e l l a l l that he has and give to the poor. Not one of us would give h i s coat to some man who .-took h i s overcoat. Every one of us lay s up a l l the treasure 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 intend to p r a c t i s e i t . Therefore, we don't b e l i e v e i n i t . Therefore I r e s i g n , and I advise you to q u i t l y i n g and disband. Lewis 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 to C h r i s t ' s teachings, and he scorns the 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 . In order to understand 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 respect to ether v a l u e s , i t i s -16-necessary t o make a study of the man and h i s l i f e . A f t e r ; t h a t , h i s works w i l l be considered i n the l i g h t of these tendencies i n h i s outlook. -17-Footnotes to Chapter I ^ S i n c l a i r Lewis, The Man from Main S t r e e t , eds. 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 Lewis, Main S t r e e t (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1920), p. 265) •'••'•Mark Schorer, I n t r o d u c t i o n , A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l  Essays, ed. Mark Schorer (Englewood C l i f f s : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1962), 1 7 S i n c l a i r Lewis, 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 Lewis: Our Own Diogenes" (1927), Essays, p. 64. "^Robert Morss L o v e t t , "An I n t e r p r e t e r of American L i f e " (1925) , Essays, p. 34. • ^ S i n c l a i r Lewis, Cass Timberlane (New York: Random House, 1945), p. 373. • ^ S i n c l a i r Lewis, Dodsworth (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1929), p. 96. •^ F r e d e r i c k J . Hoffman, The Twenties (New York: C o l l i e r , 1953), p. 21. l ^ C a r l L. Anderson, The Swedish Acceptance 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 of Pennsylvania Press, 1957), p. 63. •^Vincent Sheean, Dorothy and Red (Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1963), p. 167. 2 0T.K. Whipple, " S i n c l a i r Lewis" (1928), Essays, p. 72. Pa r r i n g t o n , "Diogenes", Essays, p. 69. 2 2Man From Main S t r e e t , p. 328. ^ S i n c l a i r Lewis, The P r o d i g a l Parents, quoted inEssays, p. 160. 2^Dooley, A r t , p. 234. -18-2 5 S i n c l a i r Lewis, Arrowsmith (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925), p. 416. 2 6Sheean, p. 338. 2 7 D o o l e y , A r t , p. 26. 2 8 M a i n S t r e e t , p. 205. 9 Q Harold F r e d e r i c , The Damnation of Theron Ware (New York, 1896), p. 198. 3 Q M a i n S t r e e t , p. 415. 3^"Sheean, p. 336. 3 2 G r e b s t e i n , preface. 3 3Sheean, p. 111. 3 Z fRobert J . G r i f f i n , " S i n c l a i r Lewis", American Winners  of the Nobel L i t e r a r y P r i z e , eds. W.G. French and W.E. Kidd (Norman: U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma Press, 1968), p. 48. 3^Dooley, A r t , p. 54. 3 6 W a l t e r Lippmann, " S i n c l a i r Lewis" (1927), Essays, p. 91. 3 7Man from Main S t r e e t , p. 313. 3 8 R o b e r t E. S p i l l e r et a l . , The L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y of the  United States (New York; Macmillan, 1953), p. 1225. 3^Sheean, p. 44i 4 0 W h i p p l e , "S.L.", Essays, 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.", Essays, p. 73. ^Quoted i n Schorer, L i f e , p. 219. ^ G r e b s t e i n , p. 105. 4 6 S i n c l a i r Lewis, The Job (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1917), p. 185. 4 7 S i n c l a i r Lewis, B a b b i t t (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1922), p. 188. 48 Arrowsmith, p. 9. -19-49 I t Can't Happen Here, p. 426. 5 0Henry D. Thoreau, Walden (Edinburgh: Douglas, 1884), p. 167, "^H;L. Mencken, P r e j u d i c e s : Fourth Series (London: Jonathan Cape, 1925), p. 75. 5 2 E l m e r Gantry, p. 372. 5 3 S i n c l a i r Lewis, The God Seeker (New York: Random House, 1949), p. 82. -^Quoted i n Schorer, L i f e , p. 178. 5 5 G r a c e Hegger Lewis, With Love From Gracie (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1951), p. 92. 5 6 S e h o r e r , L i f e , p. 219. 5 7 S i n c l a i r Lewis, Elmer Gantry (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1927), p. 180. 5 8 S i n c l a i r Lewis, Our Mr. Wrenn (New York: Harper, 1915), p. 46. 59 God Seeker, p. 53. ^ W i l f r i e d Edener, Die 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 Lewis, B e i h e f t e zum Jahrbuch f u r Amerikastudien, No. 10. (Heidelberg: CarlxWinter, 1963), p. 145. 6 1Quoted by G. H. Lewis, p. 302. 6 2God Seeker, p. 176. 6 3 I b i d . , p. 211. ^Edener, p. 86. 6 5H.L. Mencken, P r e j u d i c e s : F i f t h Series (New York: Knopf, 1926), p. 114. 6 6 E l m e r Gantry,p. 89. , 67, Quoted i n Hoffman, Twenties, p. 28. 6 8 B a b b i t t , p. 394. 6 9 E l m e r Gantry, p. 348. 7 0 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 449 ^ S i n c l a i r Lew and Dunlap, 1915), p. 383. 7 1 S i n c l a i L is, The T r a i l of the Hawk (New York: Grosset -20-72 Mencken, P r e j d u c i e s : F i f t h , p.111. 7 3 T h e Job, p. 261. 74 S i n c l a i r Lewis, Ann V i c k e r s (Garden C i t y : Doubleday, Doran, 1933), p. 220. ^ E l m e r Gantry, p. 61. 7 6 I b i d . , p. 370. p. 10. 7 7H.G. Wel l s , Joan and Peter (New York: Macmillan, 1918), 7 8 God Seeker, p. 6. 7 9 A r r o w s m i t h , p. 258. 80 ''Ibid., p. 66. I t Can't Happen Here, p.65. 81, 82 B a b b i t t , p. 234. 8 3 E l m e r Gantry, p. 333. 84 Lippmann, "S.L.", Essays, p. 90. 85 P a r r i n g t o n , "Diogenes," Essays, p. 68. Horton Davies, A M i r r o r of the M i n i s t r y i n Modern Novels (New York: Oxford 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 Seeker, p. 345. 89 Quoted i n Schorer, L i f e , p. 92. 9 Q E l m e r Gantry, p. 377. 9 1 I t Can't Happen Here, p. 384. 9 2 T h e Job, p..182. 93 George J . Becker, " S i n c l a i r Lewis: A p o s t l e to the P h i l i s t i n e s " , American Scholar, 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 5God Seeker, p. 179. 9 6 E l m e r Gantry, p. 87. -21-97 Elmer Gantry, p. 87. 9 8 R o b e r t L i t t r e l l , "The Preacher F r i e d i n O i l , " New  Re p u b l i c, 50 (March 16, 1927), 108. 99 Anderson, p. 58. 1 0 0 E l m e r Gantry, p. 385. CHAPTER I I S i n c l a i r Lewis was born and brought up i n the small Midwestern town of Sauk Centre, and he f u l l y understood i t s values. 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. Lewis, who thought that the church was a good t h i n g f o r the community ("Religion i s a f i n e t h i n g to keep people i n order"-'-^2) , who b e l i e v e d 103 i n and p r a c t i s e d "the st 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 Harry " i n h e r i t e d a con-104 s i d e r a b l e respect f o r the P u r i t a n v alues," and though he r e b e l l e d against Sauk Centre and Dr. E.J. he was not b l i n d to t h e i r merits nor •_. f r e e .fr.o'm t h e i r i n f l u e n c e . ^ 5 indeed, i t has been observed that he "developed an overt p e r v e r s i t y and hatred f o r 10 6 what he s e c r e t l y loved and i n which he wanted to share." He longed to j o i n i n the a c t i v i t i e s of h i s brother Claude, who was everything that Harry was not -- " s e n s i b l e , steady, w e l l -organized, happy, gregarious, good-looking and w e l l - b u i l t , g i f t e d at sports and at hunting and f i s h i n g , unimaginative, shrewd with 107 money and t h r i f t y , ambitious." To win a t t e n t i o n f o r h i m s e l f , Harry f e l t a compulsion to show o f f , to do the opposite of what was expected of him, to d e l i g h t i n saying s u r p r i s i n g t h i n g s . His f a t h e r complained: "Harry, why can't you do l i k e any other boy ought to 108 do?" Lewis's character developed i n t o one of e x t r a o r d i n a r y -23-c o n t r a d i c t i o n , and throughout h i s l i f e he won a t t e n t i o n w i t h h i s c o n t r a r y ways. The dynamo of energy, i d e a s , and words was a l s o shy, l o n e l y , and i n s e c u r e . He read a v i d l y and w i d e l y , and l i v e d i n worlds of h i s i magination. Sensing h i s superior endowments and s o c i a l i n f e r i o r i t y , he developed a degree of s e l f - r i g h t e o u s n e s s and p i e t y . H e attended a l l the l o c a l churches, and at Y a l e wrote: " I c e r t a i n l y 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 Ourselves." He experienced a r e a l s p i r i t u a l need, and under the i n f l u e n c e of an O b e r l i n YMCA man, f e l t h imself c a l l e d to be a C h r i s t i a n missionary. He s a i d that prayer i s "sacred and necessary"; and""Cod's word i s e t e r n a l l i f e . " However, h i s questioning mind and h i s reading of books by Paine, Haeckel, and I n g e r s o l l undermined these new r e l i g i o u s f e e l i n g s , and he wrote a paragraph c a l l e d "My R e l i g i o n " advocating a p p r e c i a t i o n of the a r t s , kindness, minding one's business, sympathy, p l a i n l i v i n g and high t h i n k i n g . He was "committed to c u r i o s i t y , t o l e r a n c e , and skepticism."''''''^ He had turned eagerly to the church f o r s p i r i t u a l wisdom and help i n h i s l o n e l i n e s s ; but he soon found many things impossible 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 w i t h C h r i s t i a n i t y , and at Yale proposed the a b o l i t i o n of the chapel. He was always r e b e l l i o u s , g r o p i n g , d i s s a t i s f i e d . He had a " r e s t -l e s s , dynamic, overcharged, demanding personality,"''''''^ and h i s ugly cancerous face and w i l d t a l k prevented him from a t t r a c t i n g a f f e c t i o n : "he was a meager and r u s t y - h a i r e d youth with protruding teeth and an uneasy t i t t e r . . . h i s v o i c e s h r i l l w i t h d e s i r e to change the world. -24-O r i g i n a l l y c a l l e d "God F o r b i d , " he was renamed "Red" at 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 : " I f a l l the people worked as a team, we would have a p e r f e c t world." Brotherhood became a kind of r e l i g i o n . Throughout h i s l i f e , "Red" wanted to improve the world and s o c i e t y ; he r e a l l y d i d care about people, and h i s c r i t i c i s m of s o c i e t y was fundamentally moral. He d e s i r e d human p e r f e c t i o n . To make "systematic observations"-'--'-7 of people andplaces, he t r a v e l l e d to Europe and to Panama, and i n 1906 he went to work at Upton S i n c l a i r ' s Utopian experiment i n communal l i v i n g , H e l i c o n H a l l . He enjoyed d i s c u s s i n g ideas w i t h the "worthwhile 118 people" there, and afterwards completed h i s Y a l e s t u d i e s . He planned to be a w r i t e r , but the next years 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 jobs, l o s t hopes,loose ends, e r r a t i c wandering." He seemed to have enormous and i n e x h a u s t i b l e enthusiasm, but h i s disappointments were many and b i t t e r . He was gawky and bumbling, poor, r e s t l e s s , r e j e c t e d , derided, and l o n e l y , "at once naive and yet f a m i l i a r with a q u i t e tough experience of l i f e . " When he met 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 , arrogant, smart, given to a i r s , he f e l l i n love w i t h her because "she o b j e c t i f i e d 121 h i s own d i v i d e d being." The mixed q u a l i t y of Lewis i s shown i n ^ t h i s phrase, and i t i s a l s o shown i n the ambiguous tone of the novel that he dedicated to G r a c i e , Our Mr. Wrenn (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 , that t r i e s at once to make us take'Wrenn s e r i o u s l y and at the same time a l l o w us to be superior to 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 that seems at once to want both to sanction the choice as the wise, general choice, and to deride him as an unimportant chooser -- an eaten-uneaten cake s i t u a t i o n . 1 2 2 His next novels had the c h e e r f u l exuberance and b r i g h t optimism of the years before America entered the war. Amid the -25-d 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 clung to a b e l i e f i n the small town as the f r i e n d l i e s t place,the r e a l America. S i n c l a i r Lewis sometimes thought the same, but i n h i s b e s t - s e l l e r Main S t r e e t (1920) he portrayed Gopher P r a i r i e as an unpleasant place f i x e d i n the r i g i d i t i e s of the past. "His a t t i t u d e toward the Middle West i s as ambiguous as h i s a t t i t u d e toward the middle c l a s s : 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 only s e n s i b l e :place, and the second as somehow the only s e n s i b l e p e o p 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 , Main St r e e t s o l d 500,000 copies, was t r a n s l a t e d into n e arly every European language, gave a new phrase to d i c t i o n a r i e s , and made Lewis a world f i g u r e . I t a l s o i n v o l v e d him i n a storm of controversy, but i n s t e a d of worrying he eagerly wrote other provocative books, B a b b i t t (1922), Arrowsmith (1925), and Elmer Gantry (1927). As a s u c c e s s f u l n o v e l i s t , Lewis l e d a busy s o c i a l l i f e . The p a i n t e r C.R.W. Nevinson c a l l e d him " r e s t l e s s , clownish, and intense,"- as "he poured f o r t h the most remarkable monologue of love and hate, shrewdness and sentimentality."124 L e w i . s b e l i e v e d i n the v a l u e of imaginative i n d e c i s i o n and doubt. " I don't know,"125 s a i d Aaron Gadd, when seeking r e l i g i o u s understanding. Arrowsmith and G o t t l i e b looked 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 to analyse the q u a l i t i e s of America and Europe without p r e j u d i c e . I n h i s search f o r knowledge, S i n c l a i r Lewis studied the ideas 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 wise and k i n d and f o r g i v i n g -- yet a f i g h e r f o r t r u t h . 126 When Debs s a i d : "Be true to the God w i t h i n oneself," Lewis wept. He a l s o studied the works of Thoreau and Emerson, who b e l i e v e d i n i n d i v i d u a l freedom, and taught that man could be r e l i g i o u s , but nobly, w i s e l y . With M e l v i l l e , Hawthorne, and Whitman, they created an American 1 97 t r a d i t i o n of r e v o l t . ' Lewis j o i n e d the 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 of American 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 Eighteenth Century French Enlightenment; he had read the 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 chapel" ) . These authors b e l i e v e d that a r t could change l i v e s f o r the b e t t e r , and were s i n c e r e and courageous i n the search f o r reason. B r i t i s h w r i t e r s a l s o helped form Lewis's p o s i t i v e i d e a l s , and H.G. Wells taught that mankind can, by t a k i n g thought, by r e a l education, acquire such strange, crimson-shot, a l t o g e t h e r enchanted q u a l i t i e s as cheerfulness, kindness, honesty, p l a i n decency, r e f u s a l to make ourselves miserable and g u i l t y j u s t to please some i n s t i t u t i o n that f o r a century has been a walking and t a l k i n g c o r p s e . I 2 9 Lewis's c r i t i c i s m of the church followed that of H.G. W e l l s , but i t was a l s o based on h i s awareness of a powerful, unapproachable God: "an overwhelming l i g h t w i t h streamers that reach out to p i e r c e a 130 man's s o u l . " Lewis's sense of God was vague, but he had si 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 love of c h a r i t y and honesty, which made him a t t a c k the p r a c t i c e of r e l i g i o n i n America. He refused a l l o b l i g a t i o n s of r e l i g i o n because no worship 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 too c l e a r l y the f a u l t s and f o i b l e s and the undue pretensions of the church ever to b r i n g himself under i t s wing."12-'- I n addressing the Sunday evening forum of the Community C h r i s t i a n Church, Kansas C i t y , on the subject of a r e l i g i o n f o r the modern man, he t r i e d to introduce the idea t h a t God i s not the petty avenging God of some men's imagination: " I don't t h i n k God i s l i k e t h a t . " 1 3 2 133 With i s "considerable streak of adolescent p i e t y , " he'was appalled at the churches' presumption and s e l f - r i g h t e o u s n e s s i n -27-proclaiming God, and hated smug s e l f - i m p o r t a n t c l e r g y who showed l i t t l e respect and understanding f o r God: ... and t h a t , yes, the Maker of the universe w i t h the s t a r s a hundred thousand l i g h t - y e a r s apart was i n t e r e s t e d , f u r i o u s , and very personal about i t i f a small boy played 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 spadeful of d i r t on us, we f i n d out i t ' s a l l t r u e l " 1 3 - 3 --S i n c l a i r Lewis was t r y i n g to f i n d out t r u t h s about God and r e l i g i o n . He t a l k e d of the deep heart's experience, the personal search, and "theyearning f o r union w i t h the d i v i n e . " The search of the soul 137 f o r God he c a l l e d an "adventure," Rev. G.E. B e i l b y wrote, " R e l i g i o u s Commitment was an idea that 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 , at l e a s t subconsciously, he longed to make them h i s own." Lewis b e l i e v e d i n "decency and kindness and reason,"• L' 3 ?love 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, i n t e l l e c t , 1 4 ^ and a democratic f a i t h i n j u s t i c e and progress. He was d r i v e n by the gospel of work ("What's the purpose of l i f e ? " — " W o rk." 1 4 1), and i n h i s neatness, l a c k of tender-ness, sex embar.rassment, and g u i l t shows-"a profound and p r o v i n c i a l p u r i t a n i s m . 1 , 1 4 2 Nevertheless, with a t y p i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n , he claimed that h i s aim was to l i v e f u l l y , to experience beauty and joy and l o v e . He wanted e/ery i n d i v i d u a l to achieve s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , to be a " f r e e , 143 i n q u i r i n g , c r i t i c a l s p i r i t " -- and t h i s meant l e a v i n g the f a b l e s and d i c t a t e s of the churches. He d e s i r e d a wiser and more j u s t s o c i a l order, 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 T r i n i t y of "Reason, Humanitarianism, and P r o g r e s s . " 1 ^ I n Elmer Gantry, he suggested that men should be pointed to "uncharted plateaus c a l l e d Righteousness, Idealism, Honesty, S a c r i f i c e , Beauty, S a l v a t i o n . " 1 4 - 3 He never c l e a r l y or c o n s i s t e n t l y defined these i d e a l s , but he used them i n h i s angry r a i l i n g at American f a u l t s . He was a -28-s a t i r i s t (more f u l l y discussed i n Chapter IV) presenting d i s t o r t e d p i c t u r e s of i n s t i t u t i o n s and b e l i e f s so that readers could perceive them as i f f o r the f i r s t time. His r e a c t i o n to 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 loved g e t t i n g angry, e s p e c i a l l y 146 i n a righteous 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 popular newswoman, v i t a l , warm, and i n t e l l i g e n t , whose opinions were multitudinous and f i r m . Lewis was enchanted by her at f i r s t j and proposed s e v e r a l times; but she h e s i t a t e d about l o v i n g a man who lacked d i r e c t i o n and had "something s l i p p e r y " 1 4 7 about him. They were married i n May, 1928, i n . ' c i v i l and r e l i g i o u s ceremonies, but there were b i t t e r clashes i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Lewis was a 148 d i f f i c u l t man to l i v e w i t h : "he hated p r o h i b i t i o n of any k i n d . " He s a i d , "My mission i n l i f e i s to be the despised c r i t i c , the e t e r n a l f a u l t - f i n d e r . I must carp and s c o l d u n t i l everyone despises me. That's what I was put here f o r . " 1 4 9 Thomas Wolfe admired the s i n c e r i t y behind the anger. He described Lewis-McHarg i n You Can't Go Home Again: He knew how much i n t e g r i t y and courage and honesty was contained i n that tormented tenement of fury and l a c e r a t e d h u r t s . Regardless of a l l that was jangled, s n a r l e d , and tw i s t e d i n h i s l i f e , r egardless of a l l that had become b i t t e r , harsh, and a c r i d , McHarg was obviously one of the t r u l y good, the t r u l y high,the t r u l y great people of the w o r l d . 1 5 0 Lewis aimed to c a s t i g a t e America 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 to reform by exposure,.believing that the l o t of man could be improved i f i t s f a u l t s were pointed out; and h i s f a v o u r i t e t a r g e t s were smugness, hyp o c r i s y , dishonesty, conformity, snobbery, and p r e j u d i c e . He made s l a s h i n g a ttacks on creeds and p r a c t i c e s , derided d u l l n e s s and formalism, and was indignant at narrow people f o r 152 t h e i r " c o n s t r i c t i o n of the s o u l . " A l l these f a u l t s Lewis found i n America! r e l i g i o n , and f o r most of h i s l i f e , he showed "a complete l a c k of sympathy f o r any form -29-153 of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f . " He mimicked clergymen and sang t a s t e l e s s songs about Jesus C h r i s t at 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 Sunday's "sawdust t r a i l " f o r fun, and l e f t i n s t r u c t i o n s t h a t nothing of a r e l i g i o u s nature was to occur i n connection with h i s funeral. 1"' 4' He was not i n t e r e s t e d i n theology and a b s t r a c t d i s c u s s i o n , 1 5 5 but he had an impressive knowledge of r e l i g i o u s matters, 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 Gantry cross-examined h i s Sunday School Class of twenty Kansas C i t y clergymen with such questions as, "Why don't you be honest i n your p u l p i t s ? " He c a l l e d them "a f i n e bunch. You get up and preach things 156 that n e i t h e r you nor your congregations b e l i e v e . " As i f to show t h e i r i n s i n c e r i t y , he himself entered 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 ; " 1 5 7 and on one ce l e b r a t e d occasion, "spoke up to Papa God." S i n c l a i r Lewis knew that r e l i g i o n , which i s concerned w i t h man's deepest mysteries, cannot be r a t i o n a l , cannot be analysed --159 " I b e l i e v e because i t i s impossible," -- but he was determined to w r i t e a t r a c t to prove that r e l i g i o n i s impossible. I n w r i t i n g Elmer Gantry Lewis "got so e x c i t e d making faces at God that he forgot h i s craftsmanship."160 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 in 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 are presented 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 to generate 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 peevish 161 "foaming at the mouth." I t i n d i c a t e s Lewis'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 to h i s own impulse to be an e v a n g e l i c a l m i s s i o n a r y . l ^ 2 ... paying my compliments to the Methodist C a r d i n a l s , the Lords Day A l l i a n c e , the 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 very, 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 long to deal w i t h the r e l i g i o u s e r s soon. The book Elmer Gantry caused a storm of controversy and p u l p i t f u r y , and Lewis was threatened with j a i l and l y n c h i n g . At the time he was -30-t r a v e l l i n g i n Europe and r e v i s i n g Dodsworth (1929), the novel i n which he turned back t o a r e a s s e r t i o n of the m i d d l e - c l a s s , middle-brow, and Middle Western values that 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 stock market crash d r a s t i c a l l y a l t e r e d the old-fashioned v a l u e s , and a l s o modified Lewis's plans f o r a labour n o v e l , never com-p l e t e d . He was d r i n k i n g h e a v i l y because he lacked the "arduous and godly l a b o r s ' I J - D H of novel w r i t i n g ; then suddenly he was n o t i f i e d that he had won the Novel p r i z e i n l i t e r a t u r e f o r 1930. Americans were disgusted at the news; Dr. Henry Van Dyke wrote, "You say God's dead, and l i f e ' s a bawdy t a l e . . . . You mock mankind with lewd ungainly m i r t h ; " 1 ^ the award showed that the importance of new American l i t e r a t u r e was recognised i n Europe. Lewis claimed t h a t h i s p u b l i s h e r s , Harcourt, Brace and Company, had not taken f u l l advantage of the Nobel p u b l i c i t y , and broke o f f h i s c o n t r a c t . He d i d not perceive that A l f r e d Harcourt sensed that Lewis's v e r s i o n of American r e a l i t y , which had brought them enormous success, was no longer r e l e v a n t i n the 1930's. H i s t o r y had l e f t S i n c l a i r Lewis behind, though he continued to be a popular n o v e l i s t , and Ann V i c k e r s (1933) brought l a r g e dividends to Nelson Doubleday, h i s new p u b l i s h e r s . Dorothy Thompson was very much i n v o l v e d with world a f f a i r s , and h e r know-ledge of Nazi Germany and H i t l e r provided m a t e r i a l f o r I t Can't Happen Here (1935), i n which Lewis described a f a s c i s t takeover of the United S t a t e s . This s u c c e s s f u l book was received as a major p o l i t i c a l a c t , 166 not an a r t i s t i c achievement. Lewis 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 Richard P. Blackmur, but he thought 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 : "I'm not i n the business of exposing t h i n g s . . . I w r i t e novels ... I don't know what the h e l l t h i s country needs." According to h i s p u b l i s h e r s , Lewis's a t t i t u d e to h i s own work was one of detachment, "the absence of 168 any genuine imag-.in.ative commitment t o h i s m a t e r i a l , " even though h i s books were w r i t t e n with great enthusiasm and i n d u s t r y . This detachment -30a-allowed him to present opposing views with equal c o n v i c t i o n , or to be angry i n c o n f l i c t i n g , causes. I t Can't Happen Here does not have the i n t e l l e c t u a l coherence of Aldous Huxley or the persuasive v i s i o n of a nightmare future of George Or 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. Lewis made.-ia series, of l e c t u r e tours, t a l k i n g about p o l i t i c s and l i t e r a t u r e , and wrote The P r o d i g a l Parents (1938) which defended the American business 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 play-w r i t i n g , but h i s performances lacked 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 with her played the clergyman i n Shadow and Substance. His novel about a stage-eompany, Bethel Merriday (1940), was u n s u c c e s s f u l , and h i s behaviour became marked by "nervousness,the unre 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 endless p l a c i n g up and down, up and down." He l o s t h i s f r i e n d s and was divorced by Dorothy; h i s s o c i a l conduct was 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 subject of w r i t i n g , he made h i s students wonder what he stood f o r : "His l i t e r a r y judgments were always so whimsical."''" 7^ I t was reported that he was "without self-deception"'^''" and recognized 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 best, most serious book, h i s biographer 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 part of h i s m i s c a l c u l a t i o n s about everything." Lewis was never at ease -- " d r i v e n a l l h i s l i f e , a l l over the world, from house to house, by h i s unmanageable r e s t l e s s n e s s , he was never at home, only always wishing to be."17-5" # e drank to excess, and su f f e r e d two heart 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 died on January 10, 1951. His body was brought back t o America, the land he loved and hated, documented and made aware of i t s e l f . "Without h i s w r i t i n g one cannot imagine modern American l i t e r a t u r e . This i s because, without h i s w r i t i n g , we can hardly imagine ourselves." -31-Footnotes to Chapter I I 1 0 1 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 463. ^ M a i n 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. 1 0 6 I b i d . , p. 21. 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 0Man from Main 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 Gantry, p. 7. 1 1 6 T r a i l of the Hawk, p. 81. 1 1 7 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_.. . Ibxd., 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 b i d . , p. 395. 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 Main S t r e e t , p. 242. -32-128 Thomas Paine, The Age of 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 9Man from Main S t r e e t , p. 249. 1 3 Q G o d Seeker, p. 95. 1 3 1G.H. Lewis, p. 302. 1 3 2 I b i d . , p. 301. 1 3 3 E d e n e r , p. 55. 1 3 4 E l m e r Gantry, p. 236. 1 3^Quoted i n G r e b s t e i n , p. 106. 1 3 6 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 8G.H. Lewis, p. 302. 1 3 9 E l m e r Gantry,p. 28. 1 4 0 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 355. 1 4 1Dodsworth , p. 20. 1 4 2 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 595. 1 Z f 3 I t Can't Happen here, p. 433. 1 4 4 D o o l e y , A r t , p. 240. 1 4 5 E l m e r Gantry, 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 8G.H. Lewis, p. 68. 1 4 9 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 311. 1 5 0 Q u o t e d i n Geoffrey Moore, " S i n c l a i r Lewis: A L a s t Romantic" (1959), Essays, p. 163. 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 D o o l e y , A r t , p. 228. 1 5 4 E d e n e r , p. 70. 1 5 5 S h e e a n , p. 142. -33-1 5 6 Q u o t e d i n Dooley, A r t , p. 121. 1 5 7 S i n c l a i r Lewis, L e t t e r s , From Main S t r e e t to Stockholm (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1952), p. 207. 1 5 8 Q u o t e d i n Schorer, L i f e , p. 447. 1 5 9 E l m e r Gantry, 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. 658. 1 7 0 I b i d . , p. 709. 1 7 1 I b i d . , p. 726. 1 7 2 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 776. 173 Stanley. I . K u n i t z , Twentieth Century A u t h o r s : — F i r s t Supplement (New York: W. H. Wilson, 1955), p. 578. 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 Lewis' novels made t h e i r c r i t i c i s m s at j u s t the r i g h t time. 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 , attacked 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 s u p e r i o r i t y based on science, s o c i o l o g y , and psychology. The American Mercury proclaimed s c e p t i c i s m and " c r y s t a l l i z e d the misgivings of thousands," i 75 To these readers, Main S t r e e t , B a b b i t t , Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry and I t Can't Happen Here were up-to-date, r e a l i s t i c and important books. 1 7 fi Lewis "tapped a swollen mood of inconoclasm and escapism." L i k e h i s readers, he r e b e l l e d against o l d r e s t r i c t i o n s and was insecure about new ideas. 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 , but d i d not persuade them to e r a d i c a t e t h e i r f a u l t s . His books s o l d w e l l because, w i t h the exception of Elmer Gantry, they presented a l l t a s t e s and a l l points of view. Elmer Gantry appeared i n "the most h o t l y charged r e l i g i o u s atmosphere s i n c e the Salem witch burnings,"''' 7 7 when the Scopes T r i a l was being debated w i t h passionate excitement, when B i l l y Sunday, Aimee Semple McPherson, and other h e l l f i r e e v a n g e l i s t s were condusting t h e i r conversion campaigns, when B i b l e Fundamentalists and Ku Klux Klansmen marched through the l a n d . There was l i v e l y controversy as modernist theology i n t e r p r e t e d the B i b l e as myths, and as soc i o l o g y blamed environment, r a t h e r than s i n , f o r man's e v i l -doing. Science promised an e a r t h l y paradise, and a l l concepts 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 proofs were made suspect. Americans i n the Twenties were l i v i n g i n p l e n t y , and as wealth increased, 17 8 fear of the d e v i l decreased ' The church was viewed as a purely s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n : "our present churches are as absurd as a b e l i e f i n witchcraft."-'- 7 9 MAIN STREET (1920)* i s marked by Lewis's ambivalent views on the United States, Gopher P r a i r i e and i t s people, c u l t u r e and beauty, 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 marriage, C a r o l and Ken n i c o t t ; but on the subject of r e l i g i o n , Lewis i s a n t a g o n i s t i c throughout. America i s g e n e r a l l y c r i t i c i s e d i n Main 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 , the i n t e r n a t i o n a l mind, which would make i t great" (p. 267), because i t i s made up of 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 : "Nine-tenths of the American towns are so a l i k e that i t i s the completest bor^lcm to wander from one t o another" (p. 268). F a c t o r i e s , houses, shops, c l o t h e s and people are standardized. Americans move on because they hope t o f i n d adventure of the s p i r i t i n changing t h e i r h o r i z o n (p. 247). Those who stay are i n f e c t e d with the V i l l a g e V i r u s (p. 156), and for g e t the i d e a l s of " l i f e , l i b e r t y , and the p u r s u i t of happiness" (p. 117). Foreign immigrants do not p r a c t i s e t h e i r customs, but are "ironed i n t o m e d i o c r i t y " (p. 266). Americans dressed up remain unchanged (p. 303). When they t r a v e l on v a c a t i o n they long f o r f a m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n s (p. 404); when they go to the t h e a t r e , they demand nothing "improper" (p. 218). One of t h e i r movies i s described: The feature f i l m portrayed a brave young Yankee who conquered a South American r e p u b l i c . He turned the n a t i v e s from t h e i r barbarous h a b i t s of s i n g i n g and laughing to the vigorous s a n i t y , the Pep and Punch and Go, of the North. . . . He changed nature i t s e l f . A mountain which had borne nothing but l i l i e s and *Note: For the remainder of t h i s chapter, t e x t u a l references w i l l be found i n parentheses a f t e r quotations. -3.6-cedars and l o a f i n g clouds was by h i s Hustle so i n s p i r i t e d that i t broke out i n . . . p i l e s of i r o n ore. (p. 198) The q u a l i t i e s of Vigor and E n t e r p r i s e are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Americans, according to Mr. Blausser the Booster: "you take a genuwine, honest-to-God homo Americanibus and there a i n ' t anything he's a f r a i d to t a c k l e . Snap and Speed are h i s middle name. H e ' l l put her across i f he has to r i d e from h e l l to b r e a k f a s t . . . ." (p. 414) S i n c l a i r Lewis, the " 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 rush of energy because I t l a c k s s p i r i t u a l understanding. He i s s a r c a s t i c "Main S t r e e t i s the climax of c i v i l i z a t i o n " (Head P i e c e ) , and j u s t look at i t ! There are redeeming features of America. When Kennicott sees h i s t o r i c F o r t S n e l l i n g and the work of the pioneers, he c r i e s : " I t ' s a good country, and I'm proud of i t . Let's make i t a l l that those o l d boys dreamed about" (p. 17). Vida Sherwin, whose reforms are slower and more r e a l i s t i c than C a r o l ' s , says: "I'm a c o n s e r v a t i v e . So much t o conserve. A l l t h i s treasure of American i d e a l s . Sturdifie&s . and democracy and opportunity" (p. 65). She has "overwhelming b e l i e f i n the brains and hearts of our n a t i o n , our s t a t e , our town" (p. 66). America i s compared to the outside world, which i s "topsy t u r v y " (p. 441), and a l s o "the world of g a i e t y and adventure, of music and the i n t e g r i t y of broze, of remembered mists 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 with gold and hard b r i g h t blues" (p. 234), of " 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 t h i n k , black-bearded, c y n i c a l Frenchman who would s i t about and^drink and s i n g opera and t e l l bawdy s t o r i e s and laugh at our p r o p r i e t i e s -37-and quote Rabelais and not be ashamed to k i s s my hand" (p. 270). Caro l ' s notions of c i v i l i z e d l i v i n g are vague, but she looks f o r c u l t u r e i n Washington, D.C. People go to the East to conquer themselves (p. 440), and they f i n d good and bad. The Eastern c i t i e s have eager enthusiasm and mystery (p. 426), but they a l s o s u f f e r from "a thie;k streak of Main S t r e e t " (p. 427), cautious d u l l n e s s and gossip. C i t y people have easy gentleness, cheerfulness and e f f i c i e n c y (p. 428); but the Bohemians shock C a r o l (p. 10), and she hates "creamy skinned f a t women, smeared with grease and chalk, . . . p l a y i n g bridge w i t h puffy pink-mailedjjeweled f i n g e r s , women who a f t e r much expenditure of labor and bad temper s t i l l grotesquely resemble t h e i r own f l a t u l e n t lap-dogs" (p. 25). Ca r o l returns to the West: "the newest empire of the world; the Northern Middlewest; a land of d a i r y herds and e x q u i s i t e l a k e s , of new automobiles and tar-paper shanties and s i l o s l i k e red towers, of clumsy speech and a hope that i s boundless" (p. 24). This mixed view i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Lewis's ambivalence. He describes the bleakness, "the vastness and the emptiness of the land" where "the unprotected houses would crouch together i n t e r r o r of storms g a l l o p i n g out of the w i l d waste" (p. 33), "the panting summer and the s t i n g i n g w i n t e r " (p. 82). Though the land can be f r i g h t e n i n g (p. 25), i t has " d i g n i t y and greatness" (p. 58) and beauty. 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 at the descrepancy between the promises of the New World — j u s t i c e , e q u a l i t y , and happiness f o r a l l men - - a n d the r e a l i t y . He has a romantic longing f o r what might have been, but h i s a n a l y s i s i s mainly concerned with current c o n d i t i o n s . Sometimes -38-Lewis b e l i e v e s i n America and American myths, and at other times he att a c k s them. " I t ' s one of our f a v o r i t e American myths that broad p l a i n s n e c e s s a r i l y make broad minds" (p. 343), but the pioneers who tamed the land (pp. 150-151) w i t h hardship and joy have narrow philosophies (p. 152). Another t r a d i t i o n i s that "the American v i l l a g e remains the one sure abode of f r i e n d s h i p , honesty, and clean sweet marriageable g i r l s " (p. 264); but Main St r e e t was w r i t t e n to show the d u l l deadness of small 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 to unexampled greatness when other empires have grown s e n i l e . Before that time .-. . a hundred generations of Carols w i l l a s p i r e and go down i n tragedy devoid of p a l l s and solemn chanting, the humdrum i n e v i t a b l e tragedy of s t r u g g l e against i n e r t i a , (p. 450) But C a r o l would not be u t t e r l y defeated. She was glad of her r e b e l l i o n . The p r a i r i e was no longer empty land i n the sun-glare . . . i n the v i l l a g e s t r e e t s were shadows of her d e s i r e s and the sound of her marching and the seeds of mystery and greatness, (f (P. 442) She w i l l look at everything, and ask why i t i s , and who f i r s t l a i d down the law that i t had to be that way. "A r e b e l l i o u s g i r l i s the s p i r i t of that bewildered empire c a l l e d the American Middlewest" (P- 1 ) . A l l the 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 small town: " I t was not only the unsparing unapologetic u g l i n e s s and the r i g i d s t r a i g h t n e s s that overwhelmed her. I t was the planlessness, the f l i m s y temporariness of the b u i l d i n g s , t h e i r faded unpleasant c o l o r s " (p. 37). 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 to enjoy i t : "everybody bowed to her, strangers and a l l , and made her f e e l that they wanted her, that she belonged here" (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. 14), but to a newcomer i t i s "a f r o n t i e r camp. . . not a place to l i v e " (p. 2 7 ) , " t h i s junk-heapl" (p. 29) "Main S t r e e t was a b l a c k swamp from curb to curb. . . the town was barren under the bleak sky. Softened n e i t h e r by snow nor by waving boughs the houses squatted and scowled, revealed i n t h e i r unkempt harshness" (p. 139). Carol's dreams of c r e a t i n g a b e a u t i f u l town are 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 could never conquer" (p. 34) Her house squeaks, "Choke her - choke her - smother her" (p. 31). Conversation'does not e x i s t i n Gopher P r a i r i e (p. 46), but everybody g o s s i p s . C a r o l i s f u l l y d i scussed, and judged to be "showing o f f " and " f r i v o l o u s " (p. 95). She cannot endure t h e i r d e r i s i o n : "she had t r i p p e d i n t o a meadow to teach the lambs a p r e t t y educational dance and found that the lambs were wolves. There was no way out between t h e i r p r e s s i n g gray shoulders. She was surrounded by fangs and sneering eyes" (p. 99). The town i s " f i l l e d w i t h busybodies, that have plenty of time to s t i c k t h e i r noses i n t o other f o l k s ' business" (p. 395). Ca r o l moans: " I came here t r u s t i n g them. They beat me w i t h rods of d u l l n e s s . They don't know, they don't understand how agonizing t h e i r complacent d u l l n e s s i s " (p. 364). Gopher P r a i r i c i t i z e n s b e l i e v e they are l i v i n g i n a paradise, but C a r o l perceives that they are bored, l i v i n g l i v e s of "vacuousness and bad manners and s p i t e f u l gossip" (p. 284). W i l l Kennicott p r o t e s t s : "This i s -40-an independent town, not l i k e these Eastern holes where you have to watch your step- a l l the time, and l i v e up to f o o l demands and s o c i a l customs, and a l o t of o l d tabbies always busy c r i t i c i z i n g . Everybody's f r e e here to do what he wants t o " (p. 98). Kennicott i s a l o c a l , and perceives things d i f f e r e n t l y from C a r o l . When she sees hopeless houses, v i l e garbage, scare-crow people, he sees new f e n c i n g , improved s i g n s , and f r i e n d s (p. 408). She r e s o l v e s to " l o v e the f i n e W i l l Kennicott q u a l i t y that there i s i n Gopher P r a i r i e . The n o b i l i t y of good sense" (p. 405). She r e a l i z e s that the pr y i n g c u r i o s i t y and gossip 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 cared enough f o r her to f r e t about her si n s as Sam-did" (p. 432). She remembers with sympathy her husband's d e s c r i p t i o n of the people: "a l o t of p r e t t y good f o l k s , working hard and t r y i n g to b r i n g up t h e i r f a m i l i e s the best they can" (p. 442). Gopher P r a i r i e may not be as wonderful as the town described i n the Commercial Club booklet (p. 416), but i t i s much b e t t e r than many other places (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 are supe r i o r to the/L simple hardworking farmers. The town leaders are opposed to s o c i a l i s m and;,/profit s h a r i n g . Jack 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 p a t r i o t i c : " I stand 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 . . . they l i k e what I pay 'em, or they get out" (p. 50). A l l a g i t a t o r s should 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 earning more than twenty-five hundred d o l l a r s a year, or possessed of grandparents born i n America" (p. 74). They b e l i e v e i n democracy -- the doctor hunts w i t h the t a i l o r and the undertake r (p. 42) — but they despise t h e i r servants. " J u a n i t a • -41-Haydock r a t t l e d , 'They're u n g r a t e f u l , a l l that c l a s s of people. . . I don't know what the country's coming t o , with these Scandahoofian clodhoppers demanding every cent you save, and so ignorant and impertinent'." (p. 89) C a r o l loves common workmen (p. 4 ) , sees the Scandinavians as "the h a r d i e s t and best people" (p. 89), and i s f r i e n d l y w i t h her maid (p. 62); but she dares not share .her t a b l e w i t h Bea and M i l e s (p. 204). Ca r o l i s happy to be i n v i t e d to the Thanatopsis: "These are the r e a l people. When the housewives, who bear the burdens, are i n t e r e s t e d i n poetry, i t means something" (p. 204). The s e l f ^ s a t i s f i e d women f i n i s h the E n g l i s h poets i n a s i n g l e meeting --"they have t h e i r c u l t u r e s a l t e d and hung up" (p. 127). Shaw's plays are r e j e c t e d because they are " r i s k y " (p. 218), and Balzac's novels are taken o f f the l i b r a r y shelves. 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 the f i r s t duty of a con s c i e n t i o u s l i b r a r i a n i s to preserve the books, r a t h e r than to get people to read (p. 92). Ca r o l r e t o r t s that h>ooks are cheaper than minds; and i s d e l i g h t e d when she i s appointed to the town l i b r a r y -board, f o r she considers h e r s e l f the only one w i t h knowledge of books and l i b r a r y methods. Her condescension i s ruined when she discovers that the men on the board are extremely w e l l - r e a d — even though they leave the l i b r a r y "as dead as Moses" (p. 232). Such committees as the l i b r a r y - b o a r d are hampered by l a c k of funds. Every reform i s blocked by s t u p i d i t y and "scared pocket-books" (p. 138), and the d i f f i c u l t y of d e c i d i n g matters of t a s t e : " I t ' s a r t but i s i t p r e t t y ? " (p. 66) Kennicott points out the f o o l i s h n e s s of " a r t i s t i c guys" l i k e Raymie Wutherspoon and E r i k " E l i z a b e t h " Valborg. Most a r t i s t s , he says, are " g r i n d i n g out a bum -42-l i v i n g " (p. 397). Caro l has ideas about a r t and beauty and romance: We're going to f i n d elephants with golden howdahs from which peep young maharanees with necklaces of r u b i e s , and a dawn sea colo r e d l i k e the breast of 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 her notions are vague and of t e n s i l l y , and soon swamped by the deadness of Main S t r e e t : "She f e l t oozing through the w a l l s the s p i r i t of small houses and righteous people" (p.409). Her attempts to redecorate the house and e n l i v e n the party are p a t h e t i c (p. 70), and she i s not a r t i s t i c enough to answer Mr. Blausser's c l a i m that the town has "as much refinement and c u l t u r e as any burg on the whole bloomin' expanse of God's Green F o o t s t o o l " (p. 416). S i n c l a i r Lewis does not l a y down canons of t a s t e i n the novel: His longings f o r 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 are i n d e f i n i t e . I n t h i s respect he d i f f e r s from h i s models, V o l t a i r e and Dickens, s a t i r i s t s who suggest or i n f e r very r e a l values by which to measure the f a u l t s of s o c i e t y . Lewis i s vague about standards, but h i s mockery i s c l e a r : "Whatsoever Ezra does not know and sa n c t i o n , that t h i n g i s heresy, worthless f o r knowing and wicked to consider" (Head P i e c e ) . The r e s p e c t a b i l i t y of Gopher P r a i r i e i s " r e i n f o r c e d by vows of;-poverty and c h a s t i t y i n the matter of knowledge . . . the c i t i z e n s are proud of that achievement of ignorance" (p. 266). The people do not think:.(p. 20), but remain peasants "so sunk i n the mud" (p. 22). Car o l i s disgusted at the s i g h t and smell of the farm f o l k who t r a v e l w i t h her: "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. 21). -43-Kennicott defends them: "these farmers are mighty keen and up-and-coming" (p. 22), aid they l i v e in-"good h u s t l i n g burgs" (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. 57). Gopher P r a i r i e leaders agree w i t h him: "the others nodded, solemnly and i n tune, l i k e a shop-window of f l e x i b l e toys, comic mandarins and judges and ducks and clowns" (p. 50). Their voices are "monotonous, t h i c k , emphatic . . . harshly pompous" (p. 52), and f r i g h t e n C a r o l : "Gold help me i f I were an o u t s i d e r ! " (p. 52) The Gopher P r a i r i e r i c h do not help the poor (p. 142), but become " h o r r i b l y h y p o c r i t i c a l " (p. 158). They are a f r a i d to act.,on impulse: " I t ' s the h i s t o r i c a l Anglo-Saxon way of making l i f e miserable" (p. 158). Nature i s tamed, so men " r a i s e the d e v i l j u s t f o r pleasure" (p. 158) , according to Guy Pollock. He does not t r y to wake up and reform 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 that she could p l a n t a seed of l i b e r a l i s m i n the blank w a l l of mediocrity? 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 to plant anything 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 to the happy sleepers w i t h i n ? (p. 144) Uncle W h i t t i e r and Aunt Bessie are r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of v i l l a g e notions. They are staggered to l e a r n that Carol can b e l i e v e " t h a t men have drunk wine yet not died i n the g u t t e r ; that the c a p i t a l i s t i c system of d i s t r i b u t i o n and the B a p t i s t wedding-ceremony were not known i n the Garden of Eden . . . that there are M i n i s t e r s of the Gospel who accept e v o l u t i o n " (p. 245). However, t h e i r bewilderment and i n t e r f e r i n g are a form of l o v e . They want to do things f o r the K e n n i c o t t s . "Thus Ca r o l h i t upon the tragedy of o l d age. . . that i t i s not needed by youth; that its love and prosy sageness. . . are r e j e c t e d with laughter" (p. 447). -44-Carol l e a r n s to understand Midwest people, to accept t h e i r l a c k of p o l i s h as a form of r e l a x a t i o n (p. 171), to f e e l "the secure q u i e t of Gopher P r a i r i e " (p. 210). Caro l ' s a c t i v e hatred of the town and i t s people runs out. She r e c a l l e d tenderly the young awkwardness of Main 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 of c u l t u r e . . . f o r t h e i r pretense of greatness. She saw Main St r e e t i n the dusty p r a i r i e sunset, a l i n e of f r o n t i e r shanties w i t h solemn l o n e l y people w a i t i n g f o r her. (p. 442) The happy ending 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, why does S i n c l a i r Lewis make Car o l accept i t ? The m a t e r i a l of the novel is;prosaic but the und e r l y i n g mood i s romantic: "She was of some s i g n i f i c a n c e because she was commonplace, the ordinary l i f e of 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). Lewis hates and loves the Midwest: "Why, the f a u l t s you f i n d i n t h i s town are simply human nature, and never w i l l be changed" (p. 284). M i l e s Bjornstam, the s o c i a l i s t , would overhaul Gopher P r a i r i e completely, but he admits h i s ideas are "half-baked" (p. 115i). When he acquires a fa m i l y and a farm, he t r i e s to conform to Main Str e e t standards, but i s c r u e l l y r e j e c t e d , i n the most moving i n c i d e n t i n the novel, when people come too l a t e to help h i s dying w i f e , Bea. Vida Sherwin i s a p a t i e n t reformer, who b e l i e v e s i n working from the i n s i d e (p. 138) to a l t e r only d e t a i l s : " t h i n g s -i n - g e n e r a l were comely and kind and immutable" (p. 254). She i s not a d e s t r u c t i v e " r e v o l u t i o n i s t " l i k e C a r o l (p. 254), but she gives moderate advice: " t h i n k how much b e t t e r you can c r i t i c i z e conventional customs i f you y o u r s e l f l i v e up to them, sc r u p u l o u s l y " (p. 373). They t a l k e n d l e s s l y , "the e t e r n a l Mary -45-and Martha -- an immoralist Mary and a r e f o r m i s t Martha" (p. 271). I s t a l k b e t t e r than work? C a r o l wants "to be q u i e t and t h i n k " (p. 422). She admires the poets 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 hear Kennicott grunting: "They're simply 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 s i t t i n ' round chewing the rag" (p. 428). C a r o l runs i n t o the woods, " c r y i n g out f o r joy of freedom regained a f t e r Winter. . . 'I b e l i e v e ! The woodland gods s t i l l l i f e ! ' " (p. 146) But at other times she turns to admiration f o r her p r a c t i c a l doctor husband: "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 that on her r e t u r n to 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 . The r o u t i n e i s d u l l and unhealthy, but i t gives freedom and a sense of world a f f a i r s . The war i s " t o b r i n g a b a s i c change i n psychology, to p u r i f y and u p l i f f e everything from m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s to n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c s " (p. 275), but why should Prussians be hated and bayonetted? (p. 276) The war i n v o l v e s "common people": The conception 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 her, 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 longer 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 to the Bjornstams and Beas and Oscarinas whom she loved — 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 t h e o r e t i c a l l y , and I ' l l admit there are 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 the world reduced to a dead l e v e l of m e d i o c r i t y " (p. 202). The i n d u s t r i a l l e a d e r , Perce Bresnahan, i s "a good, decent, 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 b u l l y " , an a c t o r and a h y p o c r i t e (p. 278). He preaches h i s gospel -- " l o v e of outdoors, P l a y i n g the Game, l o y a l t y t o f r i e n d s " (p. .285) — and answers the 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 confusing s t a t i s t i c s " (p. 285). He t e l l s her that there are thousands of 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 place 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 in v o l v e d i n . . . t h i s awful p o l i t i c a l s t u f f " (p. 143). But Carol i s conscious of a "di s c o n t e n t " i n women. "What i s i t we want -- and need?" Not l o t s of c h i l d r e n and hard work (p. 296), but "a more conscious l i f e " (p. 201) "we-»want our Utopia now" (p. 202). From reading many modern books "she got the same confused d e s i r e which the m i l l i o n other women f e l t ; the same determination to be class- c o n s c i o u s without d i s -covering the c l a s s of which she was to be conscious" (p. 263). "Confused d e s i r e " a p t l y describes C a r o l K e n n i c o t t , and S i n c l a i r Lewis's i n t e n t i o n s i n using her as h i s . p r o t a g o n i s t : "the l i n e s are broken and u n c e r t a i n of d i r e c t i o n " (p. 430). C a r o l i s v i t a l l y a l i v e (p. 2) yet a dreamer (p. 5 ) . She wants to "do something with l i f e " (p. 8) but she has no system (p. 73). One minute she i s "drunk w i t h h e a l t h , m i s t r e s s of l i f e " (p. 84); the next she i s brooding (p. 84). She y e l l s " Y i p p e e l " and jumps in the snow, then turns i n t o the sedate Mrs. Dr. Kennicott (p..86). She i s d i s t r e s s e d at Gopher P r a i r i e c r i t i c i s m (p. 95), then takes Bjornstam's advice: " K i c k 'em i n the 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 care what a pack of d i r t y seals thought about my f l y i n g ? " (p. 118) She loves poetry, but i s not transported to Camelot (p. 121). She loathes vulgar movies, but t i t t e r s (p. 121). -47-When she disc 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 declares "the 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 Mardi Gras" (p. 136): but u s u a l l y she i n s i s t s that " t h i s morass" i s "not her home" (p. 139), and plans to run away. She i s content at the l a k e (p. 149), but i n town she laments: "I've f a i l e d at every p o s i t i v e t h i n g I've t r i e d . . . . I'm a t i n y leashed hawk, pecked to death by these l a r g e , white, f l a b b y , wormy hens" (p. 160). Her husband c r i t i c i s e s her f o r f e e l i n g so s u p e r i o r to f o l k s , without cause (p. 173), and she i s appalled at being a reformer l i k e Widow Bogart (p.186). Her play i s "the worst defeat of a l l . I'm beaten" (p. 228), but she c a r r i e s on. " I s a l l my l i f e , always, an unresolved But?" (p. 410) To the casual eye she i s not discontented, but i n s i d e she rages mutely against the i n d i f f e r e n t gods: " I am I I . . . I'm not content. . . . Damn a l l of them!" (p. 273) Bresnahan says that she j u s t l i k e s being d i f f e r e n t (p. 284), Vida t e l l s her, "You're not a sound reformer at a l l . You're an i m p o s s i b l i s t . And you give up too e a s i l y " (p. 271). Kennicott complains that she had no passion (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 , moral, small-town woman. Yet she i s wonderful as the nurse to the Bjornstams (p. 321), and she wants to be h e r s e l f , w i t h "greatness of l i f e " (p. 422). She runs away from K e n n i c o t t , but remembers h i s tenderness: "she had her freedom, and i t was empty" (p. 423). One year l a t e r , when he v i s i t s her i n Washington, she f e e l s "nothing d e f i n i t e to agonize over" (p. 436). On her r e t u r n to Gopher P r a i r i e , she i s " n e i t h e r glad nor sorry to be back" (p. 444). She expects to be "at once a h e r e t i c and a returned hero; she was very reasonable and merry about i t ; and i t hurt j u s t as much as ever" (p. 448). She i s thoroughly beaten by Gopher P r a i r i e ; but she has fought a good f i g h t and kept the f a i t h (p. 451). Carol's f a i t h i s a vague and changing t h i n g , and Lewis's a t t i t u d e to C a r o l keeps a l t e r i n g . Sometimes he admires, sometimes he mocks. The novel i s p r i m a r i l y an exposure of American small town f a u l t s , w i t h C a r o l as the viewer and s u f f e r e r , w i t h Kennicott as the upholder of American and small town v i r t u e s . W i l l 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, with s t o l i d brown h a i r , l i p s used to g i v i n g orders, eyes which followed everything good-naturedly" (p. 12). 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 marries him. When he t a l k s of home, she suddenly sees him as "a stranger," not of her k i n d , with "none of the magic of shared adventures and eagerness" (p. 26). However, he i s com-f o r t i n g and strong, and she f i n d s " i n the courage and kindness of her man a s h e l t e r from the per p l e x i n g world" (p. 30). He i s awed by her beauty (p. 74), and clumsy i n c r i t i c i s m (p. 80), but he gives up tobacco-chewing and other h a b i t s to please her (p. 104). He scorns t h e v o t h e r doctors i n the crudest terms (p. 164), but Bresnahan p r a i s e s him: " I t ' s the o l d doc that keeps a community w e l l , mind and body. And s t r i k e s me that W i l l i s one of the s t e a d i e s t and clearest-headed country p r a c t i t i o n e r s " (p. 283). Kennicott 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 arguing, he rears up h i s t h i c k shoulders," i n absurd pink and green f l a n e l e t t e pajamas. He sat 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 growled" (p. 168). -.42-However, he i s courageous i n making arduous n i g h t c a l l s (p. 177) and admirable i n h i s operation on Adolph Morgenroth (p. 192). On the other hand, C a r o l knows h i s anger and mockery, and despises " h i s g u t t e r p a t o i s " (p. 199), h i s dreadful c l o t h e s (p. 289), and h i s ta b l e manners: "He v i o l e n t l y chased fragments of 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 the k n i f e a f t e r gobbling them" (p. 289). Sometimes he i s the b u l l y i n g American p a t r i o t : "There's too much f r e e speech and f r e e gas and f r e e beer and f r e e love 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 to the 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 take you --" (p. 420) Kennicott has f i v e hobbies: medicine,land-investment, C a r o l , motoring, and hunting. " I t i s not c e r t a i n i n what order 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. 291), and complains that "she's always t r y i n g to 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 turns to Maud Dyer f o r comfort, but when Ca r o l i s f o o l i s h about E r i k Valborg he i s "mature and slow, yet beseeching" (p. 396), and asks: " C a r r i e , do you understand my work?" (p. 796). He i s the s c i e n t i s t of Gopher P r a i r i e , who works a l l hours to heal everybody, r i c h or poor, and a l l he needs i s to have C a r r i e welcome him. She i s h i s soul (p. 396). Car o l . does not r e a l i s e that W i l l has "bewilderments and concealments as i n t r i c a t e as her own" (p. 439). Main Street i s , i n some ways, a love s t o r y . The love-making of C a r o l and W i l l i s or d i n a r y : "They were b i o l o g y and mystery; t h e i r speech was slang phrases and f l a r e s of poetry; t h e i r s i l e n c e s were contentment or shaky c r i s e s " (p. 15). They l i k e each other honestly, 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 the mystery of love a mechanical cautiousness" (p. 85). Caro l i s not s t i r r e d by W i l l , but she depends on him (p. 161). She has to ask f o r money, and i n the ensuing argument hates him (p. 173). Then she sees she has not been j u s t , and " t h a t December she was i n love w i t h her Husband" (p. 176). She t h i n k s of games and s u r p r i s e s to vary the days, r e f u s i n g to l i s t e n to h i s theory that " a l l t h i s romance s t u f f i s simply moonshine" (p. 181). When her baby i s born she f i r s t hates i t then loves "w i t h a l l the devotion and i n s t i n c t at which she had s c o f f e d " (p. 241). Kennicott w i l l give Hugh d i s c i p l i n e , but Carol w i l l give him the r i g h t s of a human being (p. 448). Kennicott ' s r e l a t i v e s are unbearable to C a r o l ; she d i s -covers "th a t the one t h i n g that 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 hatred i s demanding lov e " (p. 244). She babbles her tr o u b l e s to Mrs. Westlake, doctor's w i f e and gossip, who approves of her having a separate bedroom: "Why, c h i l d , every woman ought to get o f f by h e r s e l f and turn over her thoughts -- about c h i l d r e n , and God, and how bad her complexion i s . . . and how much patience i t takes to endure some things 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 analyses and d e s i r e s " (p. 366), i s not as l o v i n g to W i l l as he wishes. She cannot put on an a c t , though she wants to love him: "Am I too honest -- a funny topsy-turvy honesty -- the f a i t h f u l n e s s of u n f a i t h ? " (p. 367) She wants to be l e t alone, but "marriage weaves people together" (p. 398). The marriage s t o r y of C a r o l and W i l l Kennicott i s f u l l of t w i s t s and changes. Sometimes Lewis preaches the v i r t u e s of l o y a l t y and obedience, at other times he advocates freedom and open minded-ness. Sometimes he i s on the side of W i l l ; at other times he sympathises -51-with C a r o l . He p r a i s e s w i l l f o r being steady and blames him f o r being f i x e d i n h i s ways; he approves Carol's adventurous ideas and c r i t i c i s e s her f l i g h t i n e s s . The novel d i f f e r s from an ordinary 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 questionings with respect to the values which are embedded i n the characters and t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s . However,there i s no ambivalence i n the references to 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 Lewis c o n s t a n t l y a t t a c k s the church and i t s teachings and i t s people. The g i r l s who ask God to guide t h e i r f e e t are the "bulbous-browed and pop-eyed maidens" (p. 3 ) . Vida prays to Jesus, " 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 , addressing him as the e t e r n a l l o v e r , growing passionate, e x a l t e d , l a r g e . . . . 'Bius she mounted to endurance and surcease" (p. 251). C a r o l prays to the "dear nebulous Lord" (p. 32) when she i s scared, and admits, "My r e l i g i o n i s so foggy" (p. 65); but she w i l l not a l l o w an ignorant young man i n a f r o c k coat to s a n c t i o n Hugh by c h r i s t e n i n g : " I refuse to subject him to any d e v i l c h a s i n g r i t e s i " (p. 241) She i s "an uneasy and dodging a g n o s t i c " (p. 328), while K e n n i c o t t , whose f a i t h i s h i s Buick, b e l i e v e d i n the 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 the church, 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 sure what was the nature of the f a i t h t h a t she l a c k e d , (p. 328) The Perrys are completely 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 ordained standard i n music, ora t o r y , philanthropy, and e t h i c s . . ,j . What we need i s to get back to the true Word of God, and a good sound b e l i e f i n h e l l " (p. 152). This P r a i r i e P u r i t a n i s m i s added on the New England P u r i t a n i s m (p. 441), which i s s l i g h t l y l e s s crude andvunthinking, so that C a r o l i s "dismayed to 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 the twentieth century, as abnormal as Z o r o a s t r i a n i s m — without the 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 Chaldean phrases -- a "sanguinary and a l i e n theology" (p. 328) compelling r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . -52-A l l the courageous i n t e l l i g e n t people are f i g h t i n g Main S t r e e t ' s god, the god of Mrs. Bogart who spake i n doggerel hymns (p. 384): " I went to a denominational c o l l e g e and learned that s i n c e 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 race of m i n i s t e r s to e x p l a i n i t , God has never done much but creep around and t r y to catch us disobeying i t " (p. 156). Mrs. Bogart a l s o creeps around, her l a r g e face "wrinkled cunningly. She showed the decayed teeth i n a reproving smile, and i n the c o n f i d e n t i a l v o i c e of one who scents s t a l e bathroom scandal she breathed: 'You don't know the things that go on under cover'." (p. 185) She i s the only person i n town not living i n shame, but f o l k s can be cured by k n e e l i n g at Wednesday Prayer-meeting with her and saying, "0 God, I would be a miserable sinner except f o r thy grace" (p. 186). This dreadful woman's son causes a scandal i n v o l v i n g h i s teacher, Fern M u l l i n s , and the board discusses the case. On the board i s the Reverend Z i t t e r e l -- " S i s t e r Bogart about h a l f runs h i s church, so of course h e l l take her say-so" (p. 386). Reverend Z i t t e r e l , "a thin,-, swart, intense young man" (p. 329) w i t h a "holy l e e r " (p. 387)", does as Mrs. Bogart t e l l s him. They both b e l i e v e that the great t r o u b l e 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 given one hundred d o l l a r s by Perce Bresnahan " f o r Americanization work" (p. 282). M i l e s Bjornstam contends that "the d o l l a r - s i g n has chased the c r u c i f i x c l e a n o f f the map" (p. 115). When C a r o l asks the Thanatopsis to help the poor of the town, Mrs. Warren,the clergyman's w i f e , agrees that c h a r i t y i s "the c h i e f adornment of the true C h r i s t i a n and the Church" (p. 142), but "these 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. Warren 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 are u n i t e d , "opposing C a t h o l i c i s m and C h r i s t i a n Science, -53-and properly guiding a l l movements that 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 church suppers are f r i e n d l y and human (p. 328), the church people w i l l not welcome a "pious" M i l e s Bjornstam (p. 318), and Washington church members make C a r o l "very unhappy and l o n e l y " (p. 427). S i n c l a i r Lewis damns the churches, t h e i r b e l i e f s , and p r a c t i c e s . I n Arrowsmith (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 hero, M a r t i n Arrowsmith, who argues that " 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 Lewis's b e l i e f s are expressed 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 Arrowsmith. 1 SQ xhe book shows Arrowsmith's s p i r i t u a l and s e l f l e s s d e d i c a t i o n to t r u t h . I t i s a " m o r a l i s t i c a l l e g o r y j " 1 8 - ' -a P i l g r i m ' s Progress w i t h the Twentieth Century man of p i e t y i n pur-s u i t of the Twentieth Century d e i t y , s c i e n t i f i c t r u t h . He i s the new Red Cross Knight, saving l i v e s . On one s i d e i s V i c e (Pickerbaugh), on the other V i r t u e ( G o t t l i e b ) . G o t t l i e b ' s name means 'love of God', and he i s the C h r i s t of the new r e l i g i o n , Science. G o t t l i e b has i n t e l l e c t and i n t e g r i t y , understanding, and love . He b e l i e v e s that man i s not dijvine or immortal, but a machine designed by God the mathematician. He prays: "God g i v e me a quiet and r e l e n t l e s s anger at pretence 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 give me strength not to t r u s t to God!" (p. 139). The s c i e n t i s t advances mankind, but r e j e c t s r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . He i s s i n c e r e l y a l t r u i s t i c , yet people consider him a crank. So he i s o l a t e s - 5 4 -h i m s e l f from a s o c i e t y which merely wants to keep things as they are. He i s concerned with 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. Arrowsmith works w i t h a f i n e i n t e l l i g e n c e and d i s -i n t e r e s t e d motives, f a c i n g issues of l i f e and death with i n t e g r i t y , even i n defeat. Lewis's standards and l o y a l t i e s are c l e a r ; we know where he stands, appreciate h i s frame of reference. Just as r e l i g i o n i s repeatedly r i d i c u l e d by Lewis, science 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 recognizes; he possessed "a human-i s t i c f a i t h i n science and a concern with 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 e f f o r t s . " Science can make a paradise on e a r t h , can a b o l i s h "war, poverty, c a s t e , uncouthness, i • nl83 clumsiness." Lewis's s i n c e r i t y about science makes the book p o s i t i v e i n i t s i d e a l i s m . I t - i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o v e l , concerned with f a t e and f r e e w i l l , and man's search f o r l i f e ' s s e c r e t s . A great part of what S i n c l a i r Lewis b e l i e v e d i n i s expressed i n Arrowsmith. There i s ambivalence i n Arrowsmith concerning wealth, power, s o c i a l behaviour, c u l t u r e , beauty, l o v e , nature, the West, 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 s c i e n t i s t s : "Oh, curse i t , i s n ' t anything i n the world simple?" (p. 266) The characters are changeable -- though Leora r e t o r t s : " I don't have to be c o n s i s t e n t . I'm a mere woman." (p. 227) There i s an important c o n f l i c t between science ( 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 die) and humanity ( g i v i n g the phage to every i s l a n d e r ) . M a r t i n preaches to h i m s e l f : -55-th e l o y a l t y of d i s s e n t , the f a i t h of being very d o u b t f u l , the gospel of not bawling gospels, the wisdom of ad m i t t i n g the probable ignorance of one's s e l f and of everybody e l s e . (p. 237) References to r e l i g i o n i n Arrowsmith are-.-nearly always adverse. Dealing with a cadaver damages Martin ' s "already feeble 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. 16). "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 " r e v e r e n t i a l l y accepted everything" (p. 38), who hates k i l l i n g but loves s i n g i n g hymns about blood (p. 38), and who i s a "maniac" about the damned souls of the n a t i v e s (p. 380). G o t t l i e b mocks preachers who t a l k meaninglessly about S i n and Truth and Honesty (p. 144), and he w i l l not "stoop i n f e a r before t h e i r God of Wrath" (p. 145). To win p a t i e n t s , a doctor should attend church, "whether he b e l i e v e s the s t u f f or not" (p. 184); and, once d i s t r u s t e d , M a r t i n i s attacked by " a l l the f a s h i o n a b l e churches" (p. 274). Sondelius, the dying a g n o s t i c , c r i t i c i s e s God f o r l a u g h i n g l y p u t t i n g disease 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 with a h y p o c r i t e C h r i s t i a n enjoying 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 with a great reward and t h e i r f e e t s h a l l walk i n gladness, s a i t h the Lord of Hosts; 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 cast 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. 464) The f i r s t part of Elmer Gantry (1927) describes Elmer's B a p t i s t education, 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 describes h i s career as an e v a n g e l i s t with the f a n t a s t i c Sharon Falconer; the t h i r d describes h i s experience of New -56-Th ought and h i s r i s e i n Methodism, together w i t h the d e c l i n e of h i s marriage to Cleo and h i s escape from Htettie, who threatens to b r i n g him to p u b l i c r u i n , but who i s h e r s e l f routed as, i n the f i n a l sentence, Elmer promises: "We s h a l l yet make these United States a moral n a t i o n . " (p. 432) There i s some ambivalence i n Elmer Gantry, but i t i s completely overshadowed by Lewis's constant d i s l i k e oM r e l i g i o n . He aimed to give 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 e x h i b i t i o n , " 184 " S t . George and the Parson." The b a t t l e i s b e l l i g e r e n t l y one-sided --185 "a pauseless s e r i e s of knockdowns." With "the b i g o t r y of the a n t i --1 o r r e l i g i o u s , " Lewis portrays a s e r i e s of wicked clergymen and con-fused, ignorant, narrow-minded, and d u l l churches; then he bashes them w i t h rough and tumble anger, and expects a tornado of boos and applause. Lewis does not base h i s c r i t i c i s m on a deep understanding of C h r i s t i a n philosophy, but h i s c r i t i c i s m s of American r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s , even the d i s t o r t i o n s of Gantry's church, are based on 187 C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s , such as: "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." His highest p r a i s e of the church occurs when McGarry answers the question: "Why have a church at a l l ? " I t has the unique p e r s o n a l i t y and teachings of Jesus C h r i s t , and there i s something i n Jesus, there i s some-t h i n g i n the way he spoke, there i s something i n the f e e l i n g of a man when he suddenly has that i n e x p r e s s i b l e experience of knowing the Master and h i s presence, which makes the church of Jesus d i f f e r e n t from any other merely human i n s t i t u t i o n or instrument whatsoever! Jesus i s not simply greater and wiser than Socrates 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 teach Socrates or V o l t a i r e — i n schools or books or conversation. But to i n t e r p r e t the p e r s o n a l i t y and teachings of Jesus 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 , consecrated body of men, un 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 -- the church. (p. 376) -57-Elmer Gantry i s a formidable warning against h y p o c r i s y , skin-deep conversion, 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 pious 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 , honest, humble, t o l e r a n t , humane ideas or persons. The book i s an account of morbid symptoms of r e l g i o n i n a land where the 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 ' omitted -- "nothing i s ^ m i s s i n g but religion."•'•88 p o r Elmer Gantry i s not a symbol of the death 189 of r e l i g i o n ; h i s essence i s swinishness. I n h i s essay " S i n c l a i r Lewis and the Method of H a l f - T r u t h s , " Schorer says Elmer i s " t o t a l death."190 He represents a decayed, dehumanized, barren r e l i g i o n ; and he has no genuine human values to f i g h t a g a i n s t . On the f r i n g e s of the n a r r a t i v e , Lewis permits 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 , to appear, but they do not impede Elmer's "barbarous r i s e from country boob to i n f l u e n t i a l preacher."191 Lewis 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 righteousness, 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 . Lewis i m p l i e s f a c e t s of human behaviour that he admires by s a t i r i z i n g f a c e t s of human behaviour that he hates i n Elmer Gantry, that b r u t a l , sensual, l y i n g , sneaking b u l l y , without honour, decency or a s p i r a t i o n . He i s monster, a grotesque 192 hobgoblin, a c a r i c a t u r e , "too s a t a n i c to be r e a l . " H i s s e x u a l i t y i s inhuman, without f u l f i l m e n t . He i s incapable of f e e l i n g ("Elmer could not consider the converts human" p. 119) or thought ("he had never been^sure but that there might be something to the d o c t r i n e s he had preached" (p. 229), though he has shrewdness and animal cunning. To him, preaching i s an easy job, with "no b a c k - t a l k or c r o s s -examination allowed." (p. 51) -5,8-" I may not," Elmer meditated, "be as s w e l l a sc h o l a r as o l d Toomis, but I can invent a l o t of stunts and everything to wake the church up and a t t r a c t the crowds, and that's worth a whole l o t more than a l l t h i s yow-l i n g about the prophets and t h e o l o g y l " (p. 278) 193 Elmer Gantry i s "a mendacious wolf 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 capable 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 represents the " s i n i s t e r forces of righteousness", the s e l f - i n t e r e s t of some church l e a d e r s . He i s part of the " r e l i g i o u s 195 v a u d e v i l l e " , ' and c a r r i e s the r e l i g i o n of success i n t o the church, 196 197 making a deal w i t h Mammon. He i s "Mr. Opportunist'^ i n s i s t i n g that a "Soul Saver" must " s e l l the goods." (p. 208) Elmer resembles "the v u l g a r e s t contemporary type of pulpit-thumping m a t e r i a l i s t " ' - He i s of the same c l a y as h i s people, not set apart 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. Gantry, why don't you b e l i e v e i n God?" (p. 367) He i s incapable of deep s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n . In t h i s connection, D. Aaron has w r i t t e n : The weight of the s a t i r e f a l l s on an educational system that permits an ignorant boor to pass as educated, and a cunning animal, too thickheaded to be s c e p t i c a l , to profess a theology that he does not understand and teach a C h r i s t i a n i t y which he under-stands only i n i t s formulas and i t s p r o f i t a b l e f m i i t s . Elmer Gantry "had, i n f a c t , got everything from the church and Sunday School, except, perhaps, any longing whatever f o r decency and kindness and reason." (p. 28) His f a i l i n g s promote him i n the churches described i n the no v e l . An e g o t i s t without any c a l l i n g , self-knowledge, or ideas, he somehow b e l i e v e s ( l i k e Sharon Falconer) that God w i l l t u r n h i s s i n s to g l o r y , (p. 174) He w i l l be "the most powerful man si n c e the beginning of h i s t o r y ^ . . . . -59-"l'm going to be the emperor of America -- maybe of the world." (p. 410) We do not b e l i e v e i n Elmer as a person; he i s an e f f i g y w i t h -out human l i k e n e s s designed f o r a p u b l i c witchburning: "The preacher f r i e d i n o i l . " 2 ^ S i n c l a i r Lewis, the r e v o l t e d p u r i t a n , a t t a c k s the whole church at Elmer's l e v e l . He i s not being n o v e l i s t but prosecuting 201 a t t o r n e y . There are moments when he h i n t s at opposing notions — the joy of church Christmas, the happiness of Elmer's mother a t h i s conversion, and the tenderness of o l d preachers who b e l i e v e they are saving the world. Even Sharon Falconer recognises the need to help the world's "poor troubled s o u l s " (p. 226). Among C h r i s t i a n s are 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 searchers l i k e Frank S h a l l a r d ; and the church has elements of poetry and power. Elmer i s moved by the beauty of land and sea; he r e j o i c e s i n h i s work of preaching 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, the book i s p r i m a r i l y a c a r i c a t u r e of American r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s which Lewis sees as being b r u t a l and h a t e f u l . His a t t a c k i s i n l i n e w i t h a long t r a d i t i o n of r e l i g i o u s c r i t i c i s m . The Pr o t e s t a n t i s m of Lewis's upbringing grew f i n a l ^ out of Luther's and C a l v i n ' s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the Roman C a t h o l i c Church. Their d o c t r i n e s of the priesthood of a l l b e l i e v e r s and man's need of Grace were brought to America by the 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 the e s t a b l i s h e d churches i n Europe. From the f i r s t , there were disputes over church and B i b l e a u t h o r i t y -- by what r i g h t could a church 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 " i n n e r l i g h t ? " The second generation P u r i t a n s were " g o s p e l - g l u t t e d , 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 America. A c q u i r i n g of r i c h e s was accepted as a s i g n of grace by the P u r i t a n s , even i n the O A O s i n f u l world. K i l l i n g of Indians ("limbs of Satan") J and e x p l o i t i n g t h e i r land 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 , -60-r 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 P u r i t a n soul-searching l e d both to overweening s e l f -righteousness and to n e u r o t i c i s m i n fear of an a r b i t r a r y inhumane God: "My heart i s f i l t h and p o l l u t i o n , contaminated w i t h loathsome softness 205 and decay!" Preachers exaggerated man's helplessness and s i n , and S c o t t i s h P r esbyterians took C a l v i n i s t d o c t r i n e to the Appalachian H i l l s , where the Book of Genesis was h e l d to be the only p o s s i b l e account of man's o r i g i n s , and 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 that Lewis knew. The American Colonies became more w o r l d l y and commercial --"the man of business i s not only n o b i l i t y but judge and p r i e s t " 2 0 ^ --and 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 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 that 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 with words, but not always with the ideas behind the words. "Does a l l that mean anything? Or i s i t j u s t a rash of 208 words?" Their juggled terms of d i a l e c t i c diverged from r e a l experience, and Paine mocked "the C h r i s t i a n system of a r i t h m e t i c , that three are one, and one i s t h r e e . " 2 0 9 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 Jesus, so muffled them i n mysticisms, 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 -able, as to shock reasonable thinkers.210 Even though there were changes and developments_in American churches throughout the nineteenth century, S i n c l a i r Lewis 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/ Gantry . . . 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 matters, and 211 our e t h i c s i n business." L i k e many of h i s contemporaries, Lewis r e j e c t s the churches and t h e i r dogma, but remains aware of the force of C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s . In the moral confusion of a character such as George F. B a b b i t t we see something of the dilemma of modern man -- eager to give himself over to complete enjoyment of them because of vague scruples of conscience; b e l i e v i n g i n the American i d e a l s of Work and Progress, without any r e a l object i n l i f e t o make them worthwhile; deprived of the 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 longings and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s ; stumbling i n t o the r e l a t i o n s h i p s of husband and f a t h e r , only to be caught i n a d u l l and petty r o u t i n e of 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 , to paraphrase the b r i l l i a n t words of Matthew A r n o l d , B a b b i t t i s l o s t between two worlds, the one dead to him f o r e v e r , and the other powerless to be born.2-'-2 One of S i n c l a i r Lewis's prime g i f t s was h i s s k i l l i n ca t c h i n g the temper of h i s times. He understood the moral confusion and the d i s l i k e of r e l i g i o n i n B a b b i t t and many modern Americans. He was "the conscience of h i s generation, d e s c r i b i n g the 214 s e c u l a r pilgrimage of the twentieth century; but i n one novel he describes America i n the 1840's. Because of 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 1 s other n o v e l s , but the usual ambiguities are evident. The e a r l y s e t t l e r s of Minnesota are portrayed as -62-v u l g a r , ignorant, and bigoted: "When any of these outlaw breeds -- niggers or Indians 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 --seem l i k e they're b r i g h t and decent and even r e l i g i o u s they're j u s t i m i t a t i n g us, l i k e monkeys!" (p.217) They often are bad farmers: " S i x out of ten breakers of land are no good -- otherwise they wouldn't have f l e d to .the w i l d e r n e s s " (p. 299). They are f u l l of Chuzzlewit " o r a t o r i c a l rambunctious-ness" (p. 109): but t h i s gang of farmers and f u r t r a d e r s , surveyers and storekeepers, 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 missionary Gideon Pond, founded a j u s t , o r d e r l y , and enduring commonwealth, (p. 368) The white s e t t l e r s are blessed (p. 131), but they s t e a l the Indians' land (p. 128) i n exchange f o r " f i n e k e t t l e , f i n e gun, f i n e b l a n k e t , the b i g pox, the small pox and r e l i g i o n " (p. 128). The cunning t r a d e r , Caesar Lanark, t e l l s Aaron: "We have given the Indians consumption, i n f l u e n z a , measles, s y p h i l i s , and the hymns of Charles Wesley" (p. 177). -63-In the no v e l , Lewis' u s u a l l y sympathises with the Indians. They are "grave and e r e c t " and d i g n i f i e d : "these t a l l and s o f t l y stepping men d i d not seem i n f e r i o r to God's own chosen people — the Yankees" (p. 128). Maybe they are of the e l e c t and go to heaven? The Indian r i t e of 'hambeday' i s a form of God-seeking, a consciousness of d i v i n e power (p. 176); Medicine Spider 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 the "Sioux or Dakota savage Indians, h e l l - f l a m e d , g o r g e - r a i s i n g , murdering, adulterous, sabbath-breaking sons of B e l i a l " (p. 45). The ones who l i v e behind the agency are " d i r t y beggars" (p. 118) to Aaron, " i n e r a d i c a b l y damned" (p. 119) to the m i n i s t e r . When Black Wolf i s murdered by the Ojibway, Aaron hated a l l Indians and was t e r r i f i e d of them while he yet loved Black Wolf and was dismayed that h i s r e v o l t had been ended by outlaw murder. Nothing seemed c l e a r . . . . (p. 321) Aaron 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 Lewis: "He was the immemorial r e b e l who hated the King but loved the crown" (p. 22). One minute he sees the C h r i s t i a n Captain Pipman as "a splendid f e l l o w and no p r i g . Ought I to be a s o l d i e r ? " (p. 295): the next minute, Aaron t h i n k s , "Pipman i s a clodhopper! No, I ' l l never be a s o l d i e r ! " (p. 296). When he reads Black Wolf's a n a l y s i s of C h r i s t i a n i t y , "the s u b t l e t i e s of t E e a s o n bedeviled him f o r days" (p. 275). "Sometimes he was h e a r t i l y f o r Black Wolf, sometimes he complained to Selene" (p. 318). He i s confused about h i s l o v e f o r Huldah and h i s l o v e f o r Selene: " h i s plans for her changed every hour" (p. 318). A f t e r they are married, Selene says to him: " I don't change coaches l i k e you --you h e r e t i c ! " (p. 372) He r e p l i e s : "There are many things I -64-don't ever expect to know, and I'm not going to devote myself to preaching about them but to b u i l d i n g wood sheds so true and t i g h t . . . ." (p. 380) Selene Lanark i s " h a l f gypsy and h a l f snob" (p. 202). She describes h e r s e l f : The elegant Say-lay-nay, the f i n e l ady, with her f a i r jeweled hand h o l d i n g the s p a r k l i n g beaker! A miserable brulee -- a squaw that 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 love the whites . . . sometimes I love the Dakota." (p. 78) Her f a t h e r , Caesar Lanark, " t a l l and slender, w i t h a Marcus A u r e l i u s brow" (p. 167) seems to be "hundreds of years o l d : amiable, learned, sharp-eyed" (p. 167); but he cheats the Indians, d r i v e s out h i s daughter, and i s "a f a i r l y competent a t h e i s t " (p. 185). He i s the spokesman of the secular view -- but Lewis seems by 1949 to have l o s t part of h i s f a i t h i n w o r l d l y wisdom. Aaron r e f l e c t s ; "When I know them enough, I t h i n k I ' l l laugh at the Squire, and l o v e him; and I ' l l admire Mr. Lanark, and hate him" (p. 185). Squire Harge, whose f i r s t mission was a cave, i s a thresher against l i f e ' s c u r r e n t : " R e l i g i o n i s not peace i n a v a l l e y but f i g h t i n g on the windy h i l l t o p s " (p. 185). He i s courageous and e a r n e s t l y s i n c e r e : " I do love the Lord God with my whole s o u l , and I want to make a savory s a c r i f i c e to him, but Satan comes and makes me botch i t " (p. 183). He i n v i t e s admiration (p. 45) and mockery (p. 61). "In 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. 190), he f a i l s to convert the Indians: but he i s " c i r c l e d round with the g l o r y of the Lord" (p. 222). "Impatiently p a t i e n t " (p. 191), h i s preaching i s wrong: "the p u l p i t i s where you tear o f f the -65-garments of i n i q u i t y and p r i d e , and show the blac k , c l o t t e d e v i l be-neath the s h i n i n g raiment" (p. 147). Aaron i s embarrassed by the nakedness of the m i s s i o n a r i e s ' p i e t y (p. 145). When he goes hunting w i t h the Indians, he keeps " t e l l i n g h i m s e l f that he ought to be g i v i n g them a holy message, but every hour he was l e s s c e r t a i n what that message might be" (p. 241). The Indians t h i n k that i f Aaron learns humbly to share t h e i r l i f e , and l i s t e n to the s p i r i t s of animals and streams and wind, "he might yet become a saved soul and a Man" (p. 241). The f r e s h a i r i s a sacrament. The land i s b e a u t i f u l : There was the s o f t gold of the p r a i r i e autumn, bathing him,.washing out a l l the c a r e f u l meannesses of the t i g h t - f o l d e d h i l l s ; s o f t gold, r a d i a n t gold i n waves, and the high cumulus clouds overhead, (p. 126) But there i s a l s o f e a r — "over the drab immensity of the land comes the p r a i r i e f e a r , the fear of s o l i t u d e " (p. 127). There i s danger --"the snow was t h i c k e r , harder d r i v e n against t h e i r faces by a v i c i o u s wind" (p. 328). Running from the miss i o n , Aaron and Selene are caught i n a snowstorm. "The steady w a i l of the b l i z z a r d slackened, and he thought he heard . . . the v o i c e of a woman reading from the B i b l e . He caught some of the words. . .." (p. 333) The B i b l e words are a a b l e s s i n g to him. R e l i g i o n i s communicated by words, and he can get drunk on words (p. 185); yet he i s troubled by words: "Can't I get a philosophy that i s n ' t b u i l t of uncemented words?" (p. 222) His brot h e r , the j u s t but impatient E l i j a h , says that "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 of a p r o s t i t u t e , warm but vomitable" (p. 386). -66-In t h i s sentence, S i n c l a i r Lewis seems to be under-c u t t i n g everything that he has s a i d and w r i t t e n i n f o r t y years. Of course i t i s only a quotation from a f i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r , but doubts about Lewis'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 , there i s a great deal of a n t i - r e l i g i o u s sentiment i n the novel, beginning wit h the bleak 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 to Aaron l i k e the God of Wrath as he bl a r e d , " S a l v a t i o n i s the only important t h i n g i n t h i s world I And I see my own sons and my daughter wallowing i n s i n and ignorance, too muddleheaded to r e a l i z e they already scorched by the flames of h e l l , which i s the reward of them that r e s i s t the tender i n v i t a t i o n of the Lord Jesus, and now g i t out and curry them h o s s e s l " (P. 7) Aaron Gadd i s sometimes f i l l e d w i t h unnatural fears because of 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 passion (p. 94): "Oh do you have to be a p r i g to be a good C h r i s t i a n " (p.. 229). C h r i s t i a n sects are 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. 99), and the 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 fa s h i o n (p. 232). M i s s i o n a r i e s are f u l l of l u s t and hatred: "Look! I f they r e a l l y t r y to i m i t a t e Jesus, why do they hate the s i n f u l heathen?" (p. 245). C h r i s t i a n s , "so s e l f - s a t i s f i e d " , love to read about the "Future Punishment of the Wicked Unavoidable" (p. 257). The "pure i n meanness" (p. 345) make everything shameful. Black Wolf describes 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. 266), a "borrowed and fable-crammed r e l i g i o n (or r a t h e r , set of r e l i g i o n s ) " (p. 271), and C h r i s t i a n s as "moral dwarfs" (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 , but, u n l i k e Elmer Gantry, Lewis's ambivalence had crept i n t o t h i s aspect of h i s t h i n k i n g and f e e l i n g , and the novel i s oddly p r o - r e l i g i o u s at times: -67-"Most m i n i s t e r s are such n i c e f o l k s -- d r e a d f u l l y simple, but f r i e n d l y and good" (p. 391). .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 against the y e l p i n g hosts of h e l l , but a l s o a pleasant and even mannerly c o l l e c t i o n of people" (p. 15). Aaron's soul i s l i k e a l o n e l y l i t t l e dog, seeking the warmth and s h e l t e r of the mission (p. 57). He longs to be a part of the missionary family a l l over the world (p. 68), the "Good People" (p. 323). Conversion i s a miraculous c l e a n s i n g (p. 49), and there i s joy i n prayer and t a l k i n g about "heavenly matters and the g l o r i o u s prospects of the f a i t h f u l " (p. 16). To Deacon Popplewood, "the deepest happiness that a man could have would be to i n t e r p r e t the w i l l of God to a l l the poor ignorant f o l k s " (p. 16). A missionary's l i f e i s noble (p. 54), and Aaron i s moved by the m i s s i o n a r i e s ' enduring patience: "years, decades, generations, w a i t i n g and l a b o r i n g " (p. 191) so that people may f e e l the need f o r r e l i g i o n : "Brother, you can't know how t h i r s t y I get f o r the s p a r k l i n g waters of the e t e r n a l word" (p. 97). Aaron Gadd sees Jesus C h r i s t as a man, l i k e a brother, but s t i l l God. "God was f i r e , and as unapproachable as f i r e must be" (p. 95). Even though Aaron considers Samuel W i l l i a m Pond's words unreal and mesmerizing, they are moving: "The true r e l i g i o u s experience i s , f i r s t , anrv^unmistakable perception of God, through the reason 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 that God i s so much greater than anything e l s e that 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 universe yet smalfcrthan the bee, and more tender than a l l human love together s i n c e time was; and t h i r d , i t i s a surrender to God so complete that you simply can not remember what i t was l i k e to have been outside the rapture of i t s m a j e s t i c power" (p. 343). -68-Aaron f e e l s awed and a f r a i d under the s p e l l of Samuel W i l l i a m Pond's address, but he t h i n k s : "These words of h i s , even i f they're p o e t i c and noble, are s t i l l only words. . . . I'm going to keep Selene from being mesmerized" (p. 343). L i k e Huldah, he b e l i e v e s , "The Ponds are wonderfully devout, but. . . they're wrong" (p. 343). Always Aaron returns to the problem of words and the ex-pr e s s i o n of t r u t h . I n t h i s connection, the words of S i n c l a i r Lewis w i l l be analysed to see i f h i s s t y l e changes i n kind 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 . -69-Footnotes to Chapter I I I •L^Edener, p. 30. 1 7 6 W a r r e n Beck, "How good i s S i n c l a i r Lewis?" College  E n g l i s h . IX (January 1948), 173. 1 7 7 D o o l e y , A r t , p. 130. 1 7 8Mencken, P r e j u d i c e s : F i f t h , p. 110. 1 7 9 E l m e r Gantry, p. 381. 1 8 0G.H. Lewis, 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. 1 8 4 C a r l Van Doren, Saturday Review of L i t e r a t u r e , 3 (March 12, 1927), 639. 1 8 5 L i t t r e l l , New Republic, 50 (March 16, 1927), 108. 1 8 6Lippmann, "S.L.", Essays, p. 93. 1 8 7Matthew v i . 24. 1 8 8 W h i p p l e , "S.L.", Essays, p. 74. 1 8 9 G r e b s t e i n , p. 102. 1 9 0 M a r k schorer, " S i n c l a i r Lewis and the Method of H a l f -Truths" (1956), Essays, p. 52. 1 9 1 S c h o r e r , " H a l f - T r u t h s , " Essays, p. 54. 192 Edener, p. 129. 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. 1 9 6LyH;U.S.,..p.q228. 1 9 7 G e o f f r e y Moore, "Lost Romantic," Essays, p. 159. l 9 8 J o s e p h Wood Krutch, "Mr. B a b b i t t ' s S p i r i t u a l Guide" (1927) Essays, p. 36. 1 9 9 D a n i e l Aaron, " S i n c l a i r Lewis: Main S t r e e t , " The American Novel, ed. Wallace Stegner (New York: Basic Books, 1965), p. 637. -70-2 0 0 L i t t r e l l , p. 108. Aaron, p. oJ7. 202R.W. Horton and W.H. Edwards, Backgrounds of American  L i t e r a r y Thought (New York; Appleton - Century - C r o f t s , 1952), p. 41. 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. 2 G 7 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: Chicago U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1953), p. 80. 2 0 8 G o d Seeker, p. 391. 2 0 9 F e i d e l s o n , p. 97. 2 1 0Thomas J e f f e r s o n , The Wr i t i n g s of Thomas J e f f e r s o n (Washington: Taylor and Maury, 1854), V o l . 7, p. 210. 2 1 1 S i n c l a i r Lewis, The Man Who Knew Coolidge (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1928), p. 253. 2-*-2Horton and Edwards, p. 48. 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 Lewis's s t y l e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t part of h i s r e l i g i o u s c r i t i c i s m , as W i l f r i e d Edener demonstrates i n Die 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 Lewis. Lewis's aim i s to make the reader share h i s f e e l i n g s and point of view, and sometimes h i s w r i t i n g becomes crude propaganda. There i s a "coarsening of s t y l e " i n Elmer Gantry, "The most b r a y i n g , guffawing, b e l c h i n g n o v e l " i n American l i t e r a t u r e . Lewis s e l e c t s and p u b l i c i z e s American f a u l t s , but h i s values except f o r the most b a s i c ones i n v o l v i n g honesty, i n t e g r i t y , j u s t i c e , and k i n d -ness are i n c o n s i s t e n t and h i s understanding i s not profound. The key to Lewis'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 maidens" 2-^), the adverb, and the verb: Wrenn's mustache i s "unsuccessful." He approaches a theater " p r i m l y . " H i s landlady eats enormous heaps of food " s l o w l y and r e s e n t f u l l y . " His room i s " a b j e c t l y r e s p e c t a b l e . " He plans " c o y l y improbable t r i p s . " Wrenn " t r o t s " to the th e a t e r , "peers" at the t i c k e t - t a k e r , and "trembles" i n t o the doorway.217 Lewis describes C h r i s t i a n s w i t h a tone of amused s u p e r i o r i t y : a churchgoer i s presented as "a bleached man, w i t h g o a t i s h whiskers and a sanctimonious white n e c k - c l o t h , who was p u r i t a n i c a l l y , e t h i c a l l y , R o o m i l y , 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-science of Gopher P r a i r i e , Mrs. Bogart,'was not the a c i d type of Good I n f l u e n c e . 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 , c l i n g i n g , melancholy, d e p r e s s i n g l y hopeful kind."219 i h e clergyman i n B a b b i t t , Dr. Drew, "had already flopped down beside h i s desk-chair . . . . B a b b i t t a l s o k n e l t , w h i le 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 not so much High Church as h i g h l y infrequent church." + Some-times the syntax of h i s sentences i s marked by i n c o n g r u i t y : "He kept stammering the most absurd p l a t i t u d e s about how happy h i s mother must be i n heaven regarding which he d i d not seem to have 929' very recent or very d e f i n i t e knowledge." ~ Lewis's gas-bag preachers use meaningless phrases i n t h e i r sermons: " I hope that i n the devotion to the i d e a l s of the B a p t i s t Church we s h a l l s t r i v e 223 ever onward and upward. . . ." Their congregations mix slang and d o c t r i n e : P r i c e s i s a l l going up so, Ah d e c l a r e , Ah was j u s t saying to Lee Theresa Ah dunno what we're a l l going to do i f the dear Lord don't look out f o r u s . 2 2 4 Characters made fun of by Lewis are given p e c u l i a r names (Mudge, Smeeth, Z i t t e r e l , Pickerbaugh, Speezer) and odd speech mannerisms i n the t r a d i t i o n of Dickens. (Lewis's people are the 225 grandchildren of the Americans i n M a r t i n Chuzzlewit. ) Mrs. Mudge's v o i c e "flowed on r e l e n t l e s s l y , without one comma, t i l l B a b b i t t was hypnotized. Her f a v o r i t e word was 'always', which she pronounced 226 o l l l l l l w a y s . . ." Characters are 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 the Reverend Mr. Z i t t e r e l d e l i v e r s "a prayer informing Almighty God of the news of the past week" i s " h a l f barn and h a l f Golpher P r a i r i e p a r l o r . The streaky brown wallpaper was broken i n i t s dismal sweep only by framed t e x t s . " 2 2 7 •73-Colours give tone to r e l i g i o u s s e t t i n g s : "the w a l l s were painted c h e e r i l y i n three s t r a t a -- green, watery blue, and 228! k h a k i ; ' - ' Elmer Gantry s c i t y church i s "a hideous gray-stone hulk w i t h gravy-colored windows . . . and a l t e r n a t e l a y e r s of t i l e s 229 i n d i s t r e s s i n g red and green." The e v a n g e l i c a l temple i s flam-boyant -- "an immense s t r u c t u r e , b u i l t of cheap knotty pine, 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 Jordan Tabernacle," added more and redder p a i n t , more golden go l d , and erected an enormous r e v o l v i n g c r o s s , l i g h t e d at n i g h t w i t h yellow and ruby e l e c t r i c bulbs.230 Another b a s i c technique i s Lewis's employment of f i g u r a t i v e language, i n c l u d i n g a wide range of 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 others. "With one of h i s damp hands Smeeth imprisoned B a b b i t t ' s l a r g e 231 paw wh i l e he chanted." • Arrowsmith was received "by the pastor and a committee of three, wearing 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 . " " L i k e a l l ardent a g n o s t i c s , 233 M a r t i n was a r e l i g i o u s man." Lewis's use of language predetermines the reader's r e a c t i o n to characters and s i t u a t i o n s . We are forced to share Lewis'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 impossible to escape from 234> the f i c t i o n a l world of the novel to make separate c r i t i c a l judgements. In reading, we f i n d no enigmas, no mysteries, no complexity of p e r s o n a l i t y . We do not n o t i c e ambivalence, but we are swept along on the f l o o d of r h e t o r i c , Lewis's refuge from i n t e l l e c t u a l a n a l y s i s : "Lewis's prime r u l e f o r the handling of ideas: be b r i s k with them and count on the flow of words to sweep the reader r i g h t past t h e i r 235 i m p l i c a t i o n s . " -74-Lewis's books are amusing p i c t u r e s of 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 of American smugness, p r o v i n c i a l i s m , ignorance, b i g o t r y , and h y p o c r i s y . 2 3 ^ His s a t i r e i s broad, v u l g a r , good-natured, and exaggerated -- what James Branch C a b e l l c a l l e d "a minim of r e a l i t y 237' exaggerated i n t o Brobdingnagian i n c r e d i b i l i t y . " In . f a c t , " 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, excessive, grotesquely absurd events and c h a r a c t e r s . " His works are l i k e movies, or advertisements, crudely coloured and obvious enough f o r any fourteen year o l d to under-23 9 stand, •-: and the cases f o r and against are 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 n o i s y . " . His 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 sustained pressure of p l o t , no primary c o n f l i c t , to achieve a complex d e f i n i t i o n of valu e . Characters are not forced i n t o new s e l f -awareness, and there are no."dynamics of s o c i a l a c t i o n . " ' His t y p i c a l approach (learned from H.G. Wells) was to choose an 242 i n s t i t u t i o n , or c l a s s of people, decide the point of view, then with t i r e l e s s c u r i o s i t y and energy, the "c o n s c i e n t i o u s thoroughness 243 of Z o l a , " to c o l l e c t masses of data. The gathering together of f a c t s , n o t a t i o n s , and so 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 w r i t i n g . N a t u r a l i s m i s based on the theory of " s c i e n t i f i c determinism," 4 4 which s t a t e s that man i s the product of b i o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , and economic forces over which he has no c o n t r o l . He i s a puppet, without autonomy or moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . N a t u r a l i s m makes man an animal without choice and without s i n . Romanticism on the other 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 , -75-245 when not a c t u a l l y , God." Lewis d i d not r e a l l y b e l i e v e i n the environmental theory 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 i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t . H i s characters tower above t h e i r surroundings: C a r o l , d e s p i t e her f o o l i s h n e s s and 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 our r e s p e c t ; Arrowsmith i s genuinely h e r o i c , accomplishing great things against enormous odds; Dodsworth achieves s p i r i t u a l independence over the American v i c e of keeping up with the Joneses. I t would seem that Lewis was a N a t u r a l i s t i c w r i t e r only i n h i s c o l l e c t i n g of data. 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 copious 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 places. His c h a r a c t e r s , whether r e b e l s or conformists, 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 values of Middle Western America. 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 behavior than i n inner l i f e , and 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 standards of the herd. They cannot f i n d the "bread of l i f e ; " they are the " g a l v a n i z e d dead." 2 4* 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 , Lewis sometimes hides the monstrousness of h i s f i g u r e s and portrays them as l i k e a b l e human b e i n g s . " 2 4 7 The characters s h i f t i n s i z e , sometimes l a r g e and f r i g h t e n i n g , sometimes small and s i l l y , as d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s are s t r e s s e d . W i l l K ennicott can be s e n s i t i v e and considerate, i. or he can be vulgar and b i g o t e d . Squire Harge i s noble at the r e v i v a l meeting, crude i n h i s home, and p a t h e t i c i n h i s prayers. To point h i s i n d e c i s i v e moral views, Lewis manipulates h i s c h a r a c t e r s , making them change oddly: C a r o l f e l t "young and d i s s i p a t e d " then " o l d and r u s t i c and p l a i n . " 2 4 8 Lewis'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 to the ambivalent q u a l i t y of h i s novels. However, i n w r i t i n g Elmer Gantry, Lewis'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 crudely one-sided. I n preparing h i s book on r e l i g i o n , Lewis took pains to gather a huge mass of data, an 24 9 "amazingly complete account of the shades of r e l i g i o u s controversy." He read over 90 books and h i s t o r i e s ; he studied the p e r i o d i c a l s read by Methodist and B a p t i s t preachers, 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 errant clergymen and r e l i g i o u s f a n a t i c s ) . He went to Kansas C i t y seeking clergymen as they r e a l l y a r e , 2 5 0 a n d cross-examined the "cyclopoedia of data,"251 Rev. Dr. Birkhead. He stu d i e d every aspect of r e l i g i o u s l i f e i n Kansas C i t y , even posing as a B i b l e salesman to 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 School Class of M i n i s t e r s , to 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, Lewis's energetic search f o r knowledge was based on impatience and h o s t i l i t y . Reading only supplied d e t a i l s f o r h i s 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 to prove that much of American church l i f e i s c o r r u p t . W r i t i n g to h i s p u b l i s h e r s about the need to attend 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 t ; Q f the mass of data he s e l e c t e d one-sided d e t a i l s -- h a l f - t r u t h s . He p r e f e r r e d damning d e t a i l s to matters of t r u t h and d i g n i t y . The work i s marked by i r r a t i o n a l p r e j u d i c e and propaganda. You always answer opponents by representing them as having obviously absurd notions which they do not possess, then w i t h tremendous v i g o r showing that these non-existent t r a i t s are obviously absurd, and i g n o r i n g any explanation.254 Dr. Kennicott warned Lewis not to " k i d me i n t o saying the things you've already made up your mind you're going to make me say." Lewis i s u n f a i r i n d e s c r i b i n g preachers. His clergymen are 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 connection 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 to support h i s a n t a g o n i s t i c c l a i m s . 2 5 ^ He hates fundamentalists and describes them as v i l l a i n s . Unscrupulously, he sets out to stereotype the fundamentalist, as an Elmer Gantry. "His method was h i s o l d device of assembling d e t a i l s , but i n h i s choice of d e t a i l s he was i n t e r e s t e d only i n those which were u t t e r l y damning." This i s the method of the propagandist, but i t i s without t r u t h or d i g n i t y : "A n o v e l i s t who pretends to be w r i t i n g i n behalf of a c i v i l i z e d l i f e ought not hi 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 not n e c e s s a r i l y have to be o b j e c t i v e , but i n Elmer Gantry Lewis over-employs h i s method, exaggerating i n order s a t i r i z e . He i s not aware of the deeper problems of a mature man. He cannot f i n d s p i r i t u a l i n s i g h t , or express h i s own s p i r i t ; he cannot, f o r example, share Arrowsmith's f a i t h i n the r e l i g i o n of s cience. Lewis knows the e x t e r n a l d e t a i l s of r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t i e s , but has no true understanding of the reL i g i o u s needs and f e e l i n g s which make men worship; yet a s u c c e s s f u l s a t i r i s t must have at l e a s t a good sense of the q u a l i t y whose l a c k he mocks i n others: "the general aim and end of s a t i r e i s to show the i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y between the t r a d i t i o n a l moral standards and the a c t u a l ways of l i v i n g . " 2 5 8 I n three r e s p e c t s , Lewis f u l f i l s the requirements of a s a t i r i s t : f i r s t , the s a t i r i s t s t r i p s the object s a t i r i z e d of the . f i l m of f a m i l i a r i t y which normally r e c o n c i l e s us -78-to 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 Lewis's novels make people look as i f f o r the f i r s t time at many fac e t s of American l i f e -- small towns, Eastern s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , medicine, t r a v e l , p r i s o n s , boosting, h o t e l s , office-work, r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e , marriage, and women's r i g h t s . Second, the s a t i r i s t must miss the t r u t h which most people accept, and must 259 ignore the explanation of the t h i n g s a t i r i z e d . S i n c l a i r Lewis describes the s i t u a t i o n but does not e x p l a i n how i t came to be that way. For example, he gives a p i c t u r e of business l i f e i n B a b b i t t , but does not analyse 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 to understand, and be c o n s t r u c t i v e except by i m p l i c a t i o n . S i n c l a i r Lewis i s not t r y i n g to educate, to reform or to evangelize, merely to show what i s wrong. "True s a t i r e i m p l i e s the condemnation of s o c i e t y by refemice to an i d e a l . The s a t i r i s t i s engagedin measuring the 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 , the i d e a l was Reason and Nature and the values of P l a t o and C i c e r o . The great 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 , of fwhl&^.depravity man had made of h i m s e l f . S w i f t i s not sure that the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n i s the equivalent of Reason and Nature, but he upholds the standards of the Chruch of England. For him, man the Yahoo i s h a t e f u l f o r f a i l i n g to'-.adhere to Houyhnhnm p r i n c i p l e s of sense and order. Lewis 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 to measure American s o c i e t y . The a r t i s t must be f i n e r , more complex than h i s s u b j e c t s , " with enhanced s e n s i t i v e n e s s of l i f e . " P s e u d o - s a t i r i s t s , l a c k i n g personal i n t e g r a t i o n and urbane judgment, oppose the aberrations of other men with 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 or v a n i t i e s . 2 6 2 Lewis's treatment of issues i s c a p r i c i o u s . He attacks 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 of others, so that he i s 263 d i f f i c u l t to c l a s s i f y . A w r i t e r of f i c t i o n i s permitted to change h i s point of view f r e e l y , but a s a t i r i s t or p u b l i c i s t demonstrating what he sees as wrong or unreasonable should see l i f e more s t e a d i l y . Lewis i s capable of p r a i s i n g or blaming opposite views i n the same terms; "Friends who heard him arguing any point which at the moment took h i s fancy" observed "the hyperbole made convincing, the stagger-ing general knowledge, the annoying f a c i l i t y f o r bending that knowledge to h i s uses,, t h e i i n t o l e r a n c e ( f o r the moment) of any contrary v o i c e ; and at the 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 hearers ,,264 gasping." Lewis's mind was capable of speed and ext r a o r d i n a r y v i r t u o s i t y , but i t was not capable of d e a l i n g w i t h ideas i n any profound way. His novels are 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. One of the few subjects on which he was not g e n e r a l l y ambivalent was r e l i g i o n (although some aspects 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 with steady h o s t i l i t y . The two q u a l i t i e s .of Lewis'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 with respect to the values embedded i n h i s world, and h i s general d i s l i k e of r e l i g i o n . Both these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s stem from a l a c k of pr o f u n d i t y i n Lewis's thought and f e e l i n g . He had a vast knowledge of American l i f e , and -80-h i s quick 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 and types, but there was no deep understanding 6f what makes America the way i t i s . I n the same way, he knew a l o t about the e x t e r n a l s of r e l i g i o u s l i f e , and though he d i s l i k e d w h a t he saw, he was not able to comprehend the deeper mysteries of r e l i g i o u s experience. 9 AS Lewis's t h i n k i n g was shallow and u n o r i g i n a l , he learned l i t t l e i n the course. of a madly a c t i v e l i f e . He was "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 , " 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 i n t e l l e c t u a l vacuum.. Even h i s own c h a r a c t e r , Dr. W i l l K e n n i c o t t , reproached him with -- " I f only you d i d some r e a l hard t h i n k i n g , " 2 ^ 9 echoing Rebecca West: I£ he would s i t s t i l l so that l i f e could make any deep impression on him, i f he would a t t a c h h i m s e l f to the human t r a d i t i o n by o c c a s i o n a l l y reading a book which would set him a standard of p r o f u n d i t y , he could g i v e h i s genius a chance. 2* 3 8 He admired Sam Dodsworth who stopped b u s t l i n g — " I would 2 6 9 l i k e to v i s i t with myself, and get acquainted," and M a r t i n Arrowsmith who 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 important part of l i v i n g ; " 2 7 ' - ' but he d i d not i m i t a t e them. He d i d not " f i n d the Why, the underneath p r i n c i p l e . " 2 7 1 He pointed out the 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 to take i t h i m s e l f : "The process 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 negative; i t a l s o seems to mean the f l i p p a n t evasion 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 serious d i s c u s s i o n . " "Why i s i t that you lads who defend the church are so f a c e t i o u s when you r e a l l y get down to d i s c u s s i n g the roots of r e l i g i o n ? " 2 7 3 A n o v e l i s t should explore the profoundest p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the human s p i r i t , but Lewis d i d not look i n s i d e h i s characters: 275 "he never r e a l l y penetrated the s o u l . " Most of h i s c h a r a c t e r s , -81-27 6 whether s a t i r i z e d or not, have no "innerness"; they l a c k c u l t u r a l i n t e l l i g e n c e , human graciousness, charm, d i g n i t y , and an elevated 277 sense of l i f e -- probably because Lewis a l s o lacked these q u a l i t i e s . He saw 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 g i f t that he developed to an e x t r a o r d i n a r y degree was the g i f t of m i m i c r y , 2 7 8 but he d i d not create more than observed f a c t . He saw the o b j e c t , not w^at q u a l i f i e d i t ; he d i d not understand the h i s t o r y behind the s i t u t a t ' i o n , nor the f u t u r e consequences. He i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r the amplitude 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 : he makes people aware of many d i f f e r e n t aspects of American l i f e , and s t i l l p r i c k s part of the American conscience, but he i s not g i f t e d or s e n s i t i v e enough to perceive and e x p l a i n the deeper causes of such s i t u a t i o n s and a t t i t u d e s . Though he i s able to "lodge a piece of a continent 27 9 i n our imagination," i t i s vague, and i t s deeper s t r a t a are 280 281 completely uncharted. "His America s l i p p e d out of hand." -82-Footnotes to Chapter IV 2 1 5 S c h o r e r , "H a l f - T r u t h s , " Essays, p. 57. 2 1 6 M a i n S t r e e t , p. 3. 2 1 7 G r e b s t e i n , 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 B a b b i t t , p. 394. 2 2 1 T r a i l of the Hawk, p. 290. 2 2 2 T h e Job, p. 103. 2 2 3 T r a i l of the Hawk, p. 116. 224 p u r M r > Wrenn, p. 151. 2 2 5 G r e b s t e i n , p. 33. 2 2 6 B a b b i t t , p. 357. 2 2 7 M a i n S t r e e t , p. 329. 2 2 8 E l m e r Gantry, p. 43. 2 2 9 I b i d . , p. 321. 2 3 0 I b i d . , p. 225. 2 3 I B a b b i t t , p. 379. 2 3 2 A r r o w s m i t h , p. 214. 2 3 3 I b i d . , p. 177. 2 3 4 E d e n e r , p. 15. 2 3 5 D o o l e y , A r t , p. 107. 2 3 6 A l f r e d K a z i n , "The New Realism: Sherwood Anderson and S i n c l a i r Lewis" (19421. Essays, p. 123. 2 3 7 D o o i e y } 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.", Essays, p. 81. • 2 4 0 D o o l e y j A r t 3 p . 72. -83-2 4 1 S c h o r e r , " H a l f - T r u t h s " , Essays, p. 58. 2 4 2 M o o r e , "Lost Romantic", Essays, p. 161. L o v e t t , " I n t e r p r e t e r " , Essays, p. 33. 2 4 4 R a n d a l l Stewart, American L i t e r a t u r e and C h r i s t i a n D o ctrine (Baton Rouge: L o u i s i a n a State U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1958), p. 107. 2 4 5 I b i d , , p. 124. 2 4 6 W h i p p l e , "S.L.", Essays, p. 74. 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. 230. 2 5 0 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 440. Lewis, L e t t e r s , p. 202. 2 5 2 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p.762. 253 Lewis, L e t t e r s , p. 204. 2 5 4Man from Main S t r e e t , p. 319. 255 I b i d . , p. 315. 2 5 6 E d e n e r , p. 217. 2 5 7Lippmanh, "S.L.", Essays, p. 93. 2 5 8 B a s i l W i l l e y , The Eighteenth Century Background (London: Chatto and Windus, 1940), p. 100. 2 5 9 I b i d . , p. 104. 2 6 0 J . Middleton Murry, The Problem of S t y l e . (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1936), p. 65. 2 6 1 R e b e c c a West, " S i n c l a i r Lewis Introduces Elmer Gantry" (1927), Essays, p. 44. 2 6 2 B e c k , College E n g l i s h , x i (January 1948), 180. 2 6 3 S c h o r e r , L i f e , p. 415. 2 f ) 4 H a r r y E. Maule, Man From Main S t r e e t , p. 301. -84-2 65 G r e b s t e i n , p. 154. 2 6 6 M a x w e l l Geismar, "The Land of Faery" (1947), Essays, p. 136. 2 6 7Man from Main S t r e e t , p. 316. 2 68 West, "Introduces Elmer Gantry," Essays, p. 45. 269 Dodsworth, p. 168. Arrowsmith, p. 37. 2 7 1 I b i d . , p. 54. 272 Dooley, A r t , p. 251. 273 Elmer Gantry, p. 375. 2 7 4Moore, "Lost Romantic," Essays, p. 151. 275 Dorothy Thompson, quoted by Sheean, p. 352. 276 Moore, "Lost Romantic," Essays, p. 161. 277 Beck, College E n g l i s h , p. 173. 2 7 8 K r u t c h , "S.L." Essays, p. 150. 2 7 9E.M. F o r s t e r , "Our Photography: S i n c l a i r Lewis" (1929), Essays, p. 95. 280 Becker, American Scholar,.p. 425. 281 Dodsworth, p. 170. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY WORKS BY SINCLAIR LEWIS Novels Our Mr. Wrenn. New York: Harper, 1914. The T r a i l of the Hawk. New York: Harper, 1915. The Job. New York: Harper, 1917. The Innocents. New York: Harper, 1917. Free A i r . New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1919. Main S t r e e t . New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1920. B a b b i t t . New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1922. Arrowsmith. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925. Mantrap. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1926. Elmer Gantry. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1927. The Man Who Knew Coolidge. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1928. Dodsworth. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 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 Parents. Garden C i t y : Doubleday, Doran, 1938. Bethel Merriday. Garden C i t y : Doubleday, Doran, 1940. Gideon P l a n i s h . New York: Random House, 1943. Cass Timberlane. New York: Random House, 1945. Kingsblood Royal. New York: Random House, 1947. The God-Seeker. New York: Random House, 1949. World So Wide. New York: Random House, 1951. -86-S e l e c t i o n s Selected Short S t o r i e s . Garden C i t y : Doubleday, Doran, 1935. From Main S t r e e t to Stockholm: L e t t e r s of S i n c l a i r Lewis, 1919-1930. Selected 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 York: Harcourt, Brace, 1952. The Man from Main S t r e e t : Selected Essays and Other W r i t i n g s , 1904-1950. Edi t e d by Harry E. Maule and M e l v i l l e H. Cane. New York: Random House, 1953. I'm a Stranger Here Myself and Other S t o r i e s . • Se 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 Schorer. D e l l L a u r e l e d i t i o n s . New York: 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 are to be found i n Mark Schorer, S i n c l a i r  Lewis; D.J. Dooley, The A r t of S i n c l a i r Lewis; Sheldon G r e b s t e i n , S i n c l a i r Lewis; 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 references to Essays are found i n S i n c l a i r Lewis: A C o l l e c t i o n  of C r i t i c a l Essays, 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 Lewis i s abbreviated to S.L. BOOKS Aaron, D a n i e l . "S.L.: Main S t r e e t " , The American Novel, ed. Wallace Stegner. New York: Basic Books, 1965. A l l e n , Walter. The Modern Novel i n B r i t a i n and the U^S. New York: Dutton, 1964. Anderson, C a r o l . The Swedish Acceptance of American L i t e r a t u r e . Stockholm: Almquist and W i k s e l l , 1957. Angoff, C h a r l e s . The Tone of the Twenties. New York: Barnes, 1966. Beach, Joseph Warren. The Twentieth Century Novel. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1932. C a b e l l , James Branch. Goblins i n Winnemac. New York: McBride, 1930. Davies, Horton. A M i r r o r of the M i n i s t r y i n Modern Novels. New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1959. De r l e t h , August. Three L i t e r a r y Men. New York: C a n d l e l i g h t Press, 1963. -87-Dooley, D.J. The A r t of S^L. L i n c o l n : U n i v e r s i t y of Nebraska Press, 1967. Edener, W i l f r i e d . Die 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 Amerikastudien, No. 10. Heidelberg: C a r l Winter, 1963. Fadiman, C l i f t o n . P a r t y of One. New York: World, 1955. F e i d e l s o n , Charles. Symbolism and American L i t e r a t u r e . Chicago: Chicago U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1953. Gr e b s t e i n , Sheldon Norman. S.L. New York: Twayne, 1962. G r i f f i n , Robert J . "S.L.," American Winners of the Nobel L i t e r a r y  P r i z e , eds. W.G. French and W.E. K i d d . Norman: U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma Press, 1968. Hoffman, F r e d e r i c k J . The Twenties. New York: 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 character," F i f t y years of the  American Novel: A C h r i s t i a n A p p r a i s a l , ed. Harold C. Gardiner, S.J. New York: S c r i b n e r s , 1952. Horton, R.W. and H.W. Edwards. Backgrounds of American L i t e r a r y  Thought. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1952. Kramer, Maurice. "S.L. and the Hollow Center," The Twenties Poetry and Prose: 20 C r i t i c a l Essays, eds. R.E. Langford, W.E. T a y l o r . De Land: Everett Edwards Press, 1963. Lewis, Grace Hegger. With Love from G r a c i e . New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1951. Mencken, H.L. P r e j u d i c e s ; Fourth S e r i e s . London: Jonathan Cape, 1925. . P r e j u d i c e s : F i f t h S e r i e s . New York; Knopf, 1926. . A Book of Prefaces. New York: Garden C i t y P u b l i s h i n g , 1927. 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 : from James to Cozzens. Edinburgh: O l i v e r and Boyd, 1964. Mizener, A r t h u r . The Sense of L i f e i n the Modern Novel. Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1964. Murry, J . Middleton. The Problem of S t y l e . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1936. Rosenthal, T.G. American F i c t i o n , N a t i o n a l Book League Reader's Guide. Cambridge, Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1961. -88-Schorer, Mark. S.L. U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota Pamphlets on American W r i t e r s , No. 27. Minneapolis: U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota Press, 1963. . S.L.: An American L i f e . New York; McGraw-Hill, 1961. . "The Burdens of Biography." To the Young W r i t e r , ed. A.L. Bader. Ann Arbor: U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan Press, 1965. Sheean, Vincent. Dorothy and Red. New York: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1963. 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 the United S t a t e s . New York: Macmillan, 1953. Stewart, 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 . Baton Rouge: L o u i s i a n a State U n i v e r s i t y P ress, 1958. Van Doren, C a r o l . The American Novel 1789-1939. New York: Macmillan, 1940. Wagenknecht, Edward. Cavalcade of the American Novel. New York: H o l t , 1952. W i l l e y , B a s i l . The Eighteenth Century Background. London: Chatto and Windus, 1940. ARTICLES Angoff, C h a r l e s . " R e f l e c t i o n s upon aspects^of American 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 Journal of Speech, L I (1965), 275-285. Beck, Warren. "How good i s S.L." College E n g l i s h , IX (January 1948), 173-180. Becker, George J . "S.L.: A p o s t l e to the P h i l i s t i n e s . " American  Scholar, XXI (Autumn 1952), 423-432. Breasted, C. "The S a u k - C e n t r i c i t i e s of S.L." Saturday Review, XXXVII (August 14, 1954), 7-8, 33-36. Brown, Daniel R. "L.'s S a t i r e : a Negative Emphasis." Renascence, XVIII (1966), 63-72. Canby, H.S. " V i c i o u s Ignorance." Saturday Review of L i t e r a t u r e , I I I (March 12, 1927), 637. Couch, W i l l i a m J r . "S.L.: C r i s i s i n the American Dream." Comparative  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. • - 8 9 -Davis, Elmer. "Review of Elmer Gantry." New York Times Book Review, (March 13, 1927), 1. Durham, Frank. "Not according to the book: M a t e r i a l i s m and the American Novel." Georgia Review, XX, I (Spring 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 Realism i n Form andjContent." S a t i r e Newsletter, IV (1966), 20-24. Geismar, Maxwell. "S.L.: Forgotten Hero." Saturday Review (June 25, 1960), 29-30. . " D i a r i s t of the M i d d l e - C l a s s . " Saturday Review of L i t e r a t u r e , XXX (November 1, 1947), 9-10, 42-45. Genthe, Charles V. "The Damnation of Theron Ware and Elmer Gantry." Research Studies (Washington State U n i v e r s i t y ) , XXXII (1964), 334-343. , G r e b s t e i n , Sheldon. "Education of a Rebel: S.L. at Y a l e . " New  England Q u a r t e r l y , XXVIII (September 1955), 372-382. Jones, Howard Mumford. "Review of The God Seeker." Saturday  Review of 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. Wells 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 , Robert. "The Preacher f r i e d i n o i l . " New Republic, 50 (March 16, 1927), 108. M i l l e r , Perry. "The i n c o r r u p t i b l e S.L." A t l a n t i c Monthly, CLXXXVII ( A p r i l 1951), 30-34. Muir, Edwin. "Review of Elmer Gantry." Nation and Athenaeum, 41 ( A p r i l 23, 1927), 85. O'Connor, W.V. "The Novel and the ' t r u t h ' about America." E n g l i s h  S tudies, XXXV (1945), 204-211. Palmer, Raymond H. "The Nobel Jury Judges America." C h r i s t i a n Century, XLVII (1930), 1448. Rosenberg, Charles E. " M a r t i n Arrowsmith: the 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. Schorer, Mark. "My L i f e and Nine-Year C a p t i v i t y w i t h S.L." New York Times Book Review (August 20, 1961), 7-26. S h i l l i t o , Edward. "Elmer Gantry and the Church i n America." Nineteenth Century, 101 (May 1927), 739. -90-T a n s e l l e , G. Thomas. "S.L. and Floyd D e l l : Two Views of the Midwest." Twentieth Century L i t e r a t u r e , IX (1964), 175-184. Van Doren, C a r l . " S t . George and the Parson." Saturday Review of  L i t e r a t u r e , 3 (March 12, 1927), 639. Warren, Dale. "Notes on a Genius: S.L. at h i s best." Harpers, CLVIII (January 1954), 61-69. Waterman, Margaret. "S.L. as a teacher." College E n g l i s h , X I I I (November 1951) , 87-90. Whipple, Leon. "Review of Elmer Gantry." Survey, 58 (May 1, 1927), 168. DISSERTATIONS Coleman, Arthur B. "The Genesis of S o c i a l Ideas i n S.L." D i s s e r t a t i o n  A b s t r a c t s , XV (1955), 1069 (New Yo r k ) . Conroy, Stephen Sebastian. ."The American C u l t u r e and the I n d i v i d u a l i n the Novels of 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 Decline of the Reputation of S.L." Chicago, 1954. D a n i e l , Benne B. "S.L.: N o v e l i s t and Speaker." Oklahoma, 1962. Dooley, David J . "The Impact of S a t i r e on F i c t i o n . " Iowa, 1955. G r e b s t e i n , Sheldon Norman. " S i L . : American S o c i a l C r i t i c . " D.A., XIV (1954), 828. H i l f e r , Anthony C. "Revolt of the V i l l a g e i n American L i t e r a t u r e . " North 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 (1960), 1567 ( I l l i n o i s ) . 

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