Arrowsmith

by: Sinclair Lewis

Chapters 4–6

Perhaps the best thing that happens to Martin in these chapters is that Madeleine leaves him, and Leora accepts him. Madeleine is too much of an "improver" for Martin to find himself feeling the freedom he needs to become the kind of man he wants to become. Martin feels freer with Leora because, although he occasionally likes the luxuries of life, he is "simple" in many ways. Leora accepts him for who he is, likes Vaudeville, is not impressed by big dinners, prefers simplicity, and better complements Martin in this way.

It becomes apparent that although Martin is an independent thinker he is not capable of being alone. He falls in love frequently and easily, which coincides with his romantic nature. Although Leora is seemingly strong-minded when we are first introduced to her, she is the kind of woman that wants to make her husband happy. Lewis's portrayal of women throughout is less than flattering, sometimes submissive, and sometimes frivolous. Lewis intends to portray Leora as "the good wife," which may irk the modern reader. It is important, however, to also remember that this book takes place in the early 1900s.