Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

George F. Babbitt

George F. Babbitt, a prosperous real-estate dealer in Zenith, a typical American city. He is the standardized product of modern American civilization, a member of the Boosters’ Club, hypnotized by all the slogans of success, enthralled by material possessions, envious of those who have more, patronizing towards those who have less, yet dimly aware that his life is unsatisfactory. His high moment comes when, after delivering a speech at a real-estate convention, he is asked to take part in a political campaign against Seneca Doane, a liberal lawyer who is running for mayor. As a result of his campaign efforts, Babbitt is elected vice-president of the Boosters. His self-satisfaction is shattered when his one real friend, Paul Riesling, shoots his nagging wife and is sent to prison. For the first time, Babbitt begins to doubt the values of American middle-class life. He has a love affair with a client, Mrs. Judique, and becomes involved with her somewhat bohemian friends; he publicly questions some of the tenets of Boosterism; he refuses to join the Good Citizens’ League. But the pressure of public opinion becomes too much for him; when his wife is taken ill, his brief revolt collapses, and he returns to the standardized world of the Boosters’ Club.

Myra Babbitt

Myra Babbitt, his colorless wife, whom he married because he could not bear to hurt her feelings. She lives only for him and the children.

Verona Babbitt

Verona Babbitt, their dumpy daughter. Just out of college, she is a timid intellectual...

(The entire section is 653 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Babbitt is the central character around whom all the others move. He is a real estate agent in a time of prosperity. However, although he is...

(The entire section is 357 words.)