Simile in Babbitt

Simile Examples in Babbitt:

Chapter XXX 2

"As he began to drift away he also began to see her as a human being, to like and dislike her instead of accepting her as a comparatively movable part of the furniture,..."   (Chapter XXX)

Babbitt’s view of his wife is changing, albeit slowly. Instead of viewing her as part of the decor—something he keeps around for show, beneath him and not necessitating interaction—he’s beginning again to see her as an actual person worthy of his attention, as noted in the simile of Myra as similar to furniture. It’s paradoxical that it takes distance from her in order to again regard her as an equal.

"In matrimonial geography the distance between the first mute recognition of a break and the admission thereof is as great as the distance between the first naive faith and the first doubting...."   (Chapter XXX)

This comparison of marriage and faith is appropriate when considering Babbitt’s character. As indicated in the comparison, Babbitt is experiencing a “break” between both—he doubts the superiority of nonconformity while at the same time Myra grows increasingly suspicious and combative. While his conviction in his new lifestyle wanes, so does his wife’s confidence in him as a faithful husband. The power of the simile also suggests that it is unpleasant to come to terms with these difficult truths.