Sinclair Lewis (February 07, 1885 - January 10, 1951)
Born: 7th February, 1885
Died: 10th January, 1951
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Sauk Centre, Minnesota, near Rome, Italy
Notable works: "Babbitt", "Arrowsmith", "It Can't Happen Here", "Elmer Gantry", "Main Street", "Dodsworth", "Kingsblood Royal"

Sinclair Lewis Facts

Biography

Sinclair Lewis, in full Harry Sinclair Lewis, (born Feb. 7, 1885, Sauk Centre, Minn., U.S.--died Jan. 10, 1951, near Rome, Italy), American novelist and social critic who punctured American complacency with his broadly drawn, widely popular satirical novels. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930, the first given to an American.

Lewis graduated from Yale University (1907) and was for a time a reporter and also worked as an editor for several publishers. His first novel, Our Mr. Wrenn (1914), attracted favourable criticism but few readers. At the same time he was writing with ever-increasing success for such popular magazines as The Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan, but he never lost sight of his ambition to become a serious novelist. He undertook the writing of Main Street as a major effort, assuming that it would not bring him the ready rewards of magazine fiction. Yet its publication in 1920 made his literary reputation. Main Street is seen through the eyes of Carol Kennicott, an Eastern girl married to a Midwestern doctor who settles in Gopher Prairie, Minnesota (modeled on Lewis' hometown of Sauk Centre). The power of the book derives from Lewis' careful rendering of local speech, customs, and social amenities. The satire is double-edged--directed against both the townspeople and the superficial intellectualism that despises them. In the years following its publication, Main Street became not just a novel but the textbook on American provincialism.

In 1922 Lewis published Babbitt, a study of the complacent American whose individuality has been sucked out of him by Rotary clubs, business ideals, and general conformity. The name Babbitt passed into general usage to represent the optimistic, self-congratulatory, middle-aged businessman whose horizons were bounded by his village limits.

He followed this success with Arrowsmith (1925), a satiric study of the medical profession, with emphasis on the frustration of fine scientific ideals. His next important book, Elmer Gantry (1927), was an attack on the ignorant, gross, and predatory leaders who had crept into the Protestant church. Dodsworth (1929), concerning the experiences of a retired big businessman and his wife on a European tour, offered Lewis a chance to contrast American and European values and the very different temperaments of the man and his wife.

Lewis' later books were not up to the standards of his work in the 1920s. It Can't Happen Here (1935) dramatized the possibilities of a Fascist takeover of the United States. It was produced as a play by the Federal Theatre with 21 companies in 1936. Kingsblood Royal (1947) is a novel of race relations.

In his final years Lewis lived much of the time abroad. His reputation declined steadily after 1930. His two marriages (the second was to the political columnist Dorothy Thompson) ended in divorce, and he drank excessively.

Top 14 Sinclair Lewis quotes

People will buy anything that is 'one to a customer.'
Anything
Buy
Customer
People
Will
When audiences come to see us authors lecture, it is largely in the hope that we'll be funnier to look at than to read.
Audiences
Authors
Come
Funnier
Hope
Largely
Lecture
Look
Read
See
Than
Us
Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
Advertising
Because
Cheapest
Economic
Factor
Goods
Particularly
Selling
Valuable
Way
Worthless
Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.
Age
May
Old
Old age
Orator
Poet
Sage
Say
Still
Whatever
The middle class, that prisoner of the barbarian 20th century.
Barbarian
Century
Class
Middle
Middle class
Prisoner
Damn the great executives, the men of measured merriment, damn the men with careful smiles oh, damn their measured merriment.
Careful
Damn
Executives
Great
Measured
Men
Oh
Smiles
He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.
Cathedral
Cathedrals
Each
Half
He
Hour
Hundred
Little
Nothing
Once
Seen
Something
Spent
Ten
What is love? It is the morning and the evening star.
Evening
Love
Morning
Star
Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.
America
Any
Any other country
Better
Country
Emotionally
Every
Intellectually
Know
Other
She
Than
Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.
American
Clear
Cold
Dead
Like
Literature
Our
Professors
Pure
Very
Pugnacity is a form of courage, but a very bad form.
Bad
Courage
Form
Very
Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.
Occupation
Season
Winter
Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile.
Become
Compulsion
Every
Obedient
Polite
Put
Safe
Sterile
Writers
There are two insults no human being will endure: that he has no sense of humor, and that he has never known trouble.
Being
Endure
He
Human
Human being
Humor
Insults
Known
Never
No sense
Sense
Sense of humor
Trouble
Two

Sinclair Lewis essays

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Main Street Essay examples
Sinclair Lewis makes stage of the work that Jean produces to reform her new residence. These efforts can be recognized by the townspeople as unwelcomed and defeated. Some of Carol's ideas are ludicrous, out of proportion and not ready for the slow-moving area. She attempts several different approaches to reforming the city from the moment of her arrival. She goes from new reform to poetic change to creative to launching liberalism to amusing interpersonal functions. Most of these tactics your woman hopes will certainly spring on a reform movement to beautify and culturalize the town and..
George Babbitt of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt Composition
George Babbitt: Picture of a PresbyterianIn Looby, Sinclair Lewis portrays religion as a damaged business. In fact , this individual emphasizes this kind of by centering on his primary character George Babbitt. George Babbitt is characterized as a entrepreneur in Zenith. He is a man preoccupied about his reputation great image ahead of the main frontrunners of the community he hails from. Lewis creates a hypocritical figure to get Babbitt through his causes of being a Presbyterian. He admits that that if you were to issue Babbitt regarding his faith he would declare, "My religion is to..
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