Emergence of Babbitt Culture in America: An Analysis of Sinclair Lewisís Babbitt

  • Dr J P Aggarwal et al.


In this research paper, the main focus is the investigation of Sinclair Lewiss famous novel Babbitt which has become a popular phrase in the history of American cultural study. The plot of the novel is investigated relying on the theory of Cultural Materialism propounded by Harris and Raymond William. A fundamental element of materialism is that social being determines consciousness and that social practice defines consciousness. Raymond Williams (1989) was a Cambridge Professor and he came in contact with many learned people; he was nurtured in his Walsh working class environment and it is not surprising that the themes of working class culture dominate his works. His cultural work was linked to his conception of a democratic long revolution (Williams x). Williams was influenced by the relationship between technology, social change and the role of literature in the transformation of culture. He formed a link between idealism and materialism. In most of his writings Williams exhibits an understanding of, and commitment to a radically transformed social order (x) which was integral to his visions of life and society. His main focus is always on cultural change and he believed that literature plays a positive role in cultural transformation. The word culture refers to not only a body of intellectual and imaginative work, it is also essentially a whole way of life (311). Society is viewed not as a homogenous but as a composite group. Culture deals with social consciousness, the learned reservoir of thoughts and actions.