Comparing Satire in Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis and The Simpsons
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The Power of Satire in Babbitt and The Simpsons
Sinclair Lewis used his writing to promote the enrichment of American society by attacking the weaknesses he perceived in his era. His most notable work, Babbitt, is a satire on the middle class lifestyle and attitude of the 1920s. Lewis' satirical style and voice is comparable to the modern television series The Simpsons, written by Matt Groening. Babbitt and The Simpsons contain numerous similarities in satirical writing, presentation and commentary. Matt Groening satirizes many modern situations with his style and characterization in The Simpsons that are similar to the conditions in Babbitt. The Simpsons represent the pinnacle of how Lewis' opinions are still…show more content… Next, Myra explains to him that people may criticize him, causing his reputation to be ruined. Babbitt comes back with, "Let 'em criticize!" (Lewis 353). Babbitt eventually realizes how much his liberal mindedness is hurting his family and image, and resorts back to being a sound businessman with a mechanized workday.
Sinclair Lewis and Matt Groening use similar satiric writing styles that mock the middle-class lifestyle of their eras. Lewis and Groening use their unique styles of hidden humor to satirize the cruel domination of business, obsessions with status and material possessions, the lack of culture, mechanical thought, religious issues and prohibition to express their feelings of distaste and uneasiness towards their time period's values and compliant lifestyles.
The tyranny of business and all its twisted ethics are very apparent in Babbitt and The Simpsons. In Babbitt, Lewis points out the corrupt nature of business dealings and their effects on other people. An example is the Lyte-Purdy deal where Babbitt gets Lyte to buy some property next to Purdy's lot where Purdy planned to expand. By Babbitt helping Lyte, the price is marked up by ten thousand dollars, "the reward paid by the community to Mr. Conrad Lyte for the virtue of employing a broker who had Vision and who understood Talking Points, Strategic Values, Key Situations, Underappraisals and the Psychology of