Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch11

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch11

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951) - Sinclair Lewis, the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature;
  • efforts of Main Street's female protagonist, Carol Milford - bringing change to the dull, provincial town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota;
  • novel's picture of the self-satisfied insularity of the town - and small-mindedness of its citizens, challenging popular fictions of home-spun wisdom and moral righteousness;
  • Lewis, extensive research for his novels - his next book, Babbitt (1922) being no exception, set in city of Zenith, satirizing shallow commercial and material values of its business community;
  • Story of George F. Babbitt - that Lewis wrote in his planning stages of the novel;
  • novel, acknowledged as a series of set pieces - its particular target, than a unified narrative;
  • Arrowsmith (1925), exploring the world of medicine and medical ethics;
  • Mantrap (1926), story of Lewis's trip on the Mantrap River in Saskatchewan with his brother Claude;
  • conservatism in Ann Vickers - more pronounced in Lewis's subsequent novels;
  • Lewis's targets, continuing to flourish in ways - that have not fundamentally changed


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography