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Chapters 22–24

Summary Chapters 22–24

Also, to add to Martin's potential to corruptibility, he allows Clay Tredgold to use his money, power, position, to secure Martin's the directorship of the Public Health office. This is the very same political crookedness that Martin had previously critic ized. And yet, Martin does not allow himself to be corrupt in office and is actually quite ardent about that in which he believes. In fact, his determination seems extreme at times.

Martin is not perfect. In fact, it seems as though even Lewis is criticizing him as the town of Nautilus does. For example, Martin is ardent when it comes to closing down the down of the dairy. His insistence is somewhat cold and although it may seem nece ssary, still, we are meant to feel sorry for the owner, who is a Polish immigrant who had worked himself up in life. Martin does not feel for him, and the "coldness" of the laboratory scientist, as was once evidenced in Gottlieb, surfaces here in Martin. Furthermore, Martin is not the kind to sympathize with labor unions because he feels superior to them, and this arrogance is, needless to say, not one of Martin's most admirable qualities. However, it is not until Martin applies this conviction to his own life, until he commits himself to what he wants as much as he commits himself to the closing of the dairy and the burning of the putrid tenement. He has it in him to be determined, but he simply needs to place that energy in the right place.

The satire also continues throughout these chapters in the form of the Health Fair, a disastrous event in which everything is ridiculous and in which firemen set fire to fire-prevention exhibits. And yet, Pickerbaugh, the politician, comes out winning bec ause of his ability to smile and sell. Pickerbaugh's commercialism, despite his "good will," is heavily criticized. It is not only Pickerbaugh who is criticized, however, so is the Ashford Group and their cloak of "aristocracy." The group is made up of pe ople who know New York and are educated, have money, and have been to Europe. They take in Martin and Leora, despite their poverty because they are "amused" by them and because they find the couple entertaining. Also, the reader should pay attention to na mes. The name Clay Tredgold, for example, is not coincidental, given his rich status.