Friday, March 6, 2009

Quotes: Middle Class

Middle Class 8 "…it [his lawn] delighted him as always; it was the neat yard of a successful business man…that is, it was perfection, and made him also perfect." Lewis, Babbitt. Middle class value: one's lawn.

Middle class 29 "It was big--and Babbitt respected bigness in anything; in mountains, jewels, muscles, wealth or words." Lewis, Babbitt. Middle class value: bigness.

Middle class 58 "He had enormous and poetic admiration, though very little understanding, of all mechanical devices…his symbols of truth and beauty." Lewis, Babbitt. Middle class value: machines and mechanical devices.

Middle class 73 "I certainly do protest against any effort to get a lot of fellows out of barbershops and factories into the professions…too crowded already, and what'll we do for workmen if all those fellows go and get educated?" Lewis, Babbitt. We need laborers, not professionals.

Middle class 155 "…will our sons and daughters see that the ideal of American manhood and culture isn’t a lot of cranks sitting around chewing the rag about their rights and their wrongs, but a God-fearing, hustling, successful—two-fisted Regular Guy, who belongs to some church with pep and piety to it, who belongs to the Boosters or the Rotarians or the Kiwanis, to the Elks or Moose or Red Men or Knights of Columbus or any one of a score of organizations of good, jolly, kidding, laughing, sweating, upstanding, lend-a-handing Royal Good Fellows, who plays hard and works hard, and whose answer to his critics is a square-toed boot that’ll teach the grouches and smart alecks to respect the he-men and get out and root for Uncle Samuel, U.S.A.! Lewis, Babbitt. The American middle class creed.

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