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MonkeyNotes-Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 11

They stop in New York for a few hours before proceeding on their journey to Maine. Babbitt is happy viewing magnificent buildings, like the Pennsylvania Hotel, but Paul longs to see the ships lined on the docks. After spending time in New York, they continue their trip to Maine. A few days later, they arrive at the holiday resort. The first flush of freedom delights them and they decide to make the most of their holiday. They indulge in their favorite pastimes and experience the luxury of leisure. The change of place and atmosphere and relaxation refreshes their body and soul. They feel fulfilled.

It is a dull shock when their wives join them, even though the ladies tell them to continue their rest as before. Instead, they reluctantly play the roles of dutiful husbands. Soon their holiday is over. Babbitt has fond memories of Maine but looks forward to resuming his work in Zenith.


Notes

The chapter emphasizes the fact that holidays act as a soothing balm to the tired nerves of busy businessmen living in a modern and commercial city. Both Babbitt and Paul are tense and restless from leading their monotonous lives in Zenith. Visiting Maine, inhaling its natural beauty and relaxing under its soothing atmosphere help them to unburden their tired bodies. Their attitude towards their families also undergoes a change after their refreshing holiday. They are more tolerant toward their spouses and vow to act responsibly with them. In this way, the short trip to Maine helps the friends to cope up with the pressures of life and the problems at home. And when it is time to return back to Zenith, they don't feel bitter. Instead, they look forward to their future with hope.

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