Analysis Pages

Foreshadowing in Babbitt

Foreshadowing Examples in Babbitt:

Chapter I

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"a dismaying thing. ..."   (Chapter I)

In middle-class Zenith, social etiquette reigns supreme. Babbitt disobeys the unsaid rules of the domestic household, foreshadowing how he will later attempt to reject Zenith middle-class society.

"it seemed to him that General Topics interested Tanis only when she could apply them to Pete, Carrie, or themselves...."   (Chapter XXXI)

Babbitt wants to discuss abstract ideas and events, but Tanis prefers to confine her discussion to people. This interaction suggests that the group Tanis belongs to might be just as shallow as the one Babbitt is trying to escape.

"he was alarmed and astonished that he could have flared out at his wife, and thought fondly how much more lasting she was than the flighty Bunch...."   (Chapter XXXI)

Here is the first suggestion that Babbitt might return to his wife and old ways due to his dissatisfaction with the Bunch and Tanis. One of the benefits of social conformity is stability, and the instability of the Bunch is beginning to grate on Babbitt.

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