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The Idealization of Science at Sinclair Lewis' Arrowsmith Essay

Project id 1010820
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 1059
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The Idealization of Science in Sinclair Lewis' Arrowsmith Sinclair Lewis's 1924 novel Arrowsmith follows a pair of bacteriologists, Martin Arrowsmith along with his mentor Max Gottlieb, since they journey through various professions in science and medicine from the first years of the twentieth century. Through the brilliant researcher Gottlieb and his protégé, Lewis investigates the status and character in scientific work at universities, in business, and in a private research foundation as well as in various medical positions. The picture he presents is just one of stress and conflict between the objectives and ideals of pure mathematics and the surroundings in which his protagonists must operate. Although Gottlieb and Arrowsmith are able to pursue their study in some areas, their job is continually obstructed and undermined. The decision of the novel seems to suggest that it is essentially impossible to truly practice pure scientific research in early twentieth century America. It is only when Arrowsmith abandons his loved ones and his occupation, cuts his ties with the world and retreats into a kind of scientific monastery together with his compatriot Terry Wickett that he is ready to "feel as if [he] were actually beginning to work. "1 lots of the tensions that appear in Arrowsmith reflect real debates and conflicts in the real world. The debate over whether universities must be dedicated mainly to teaching or to study (and whether that study should be practical or abstract) was significant in the evolution of contemporary colleges and universities. There has been a lot of debate over the virtues of research laboratories in industry, and over how much management companies should exert over the scientists working in their labs and within the direction of theown.

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