It reveals that the sleek, modern appearance of Babbitt's house is just that-- appearance. It is designed to show off the occupant's wealth more than anything else. Lewis states that Babbitt's house lacks the aura of a home, that it is as impersonal as a hotel room. He compares it to an ad in a magazine for "Cheerful Modern Houses for Medium Incomes," further emphasizing Zenith's empty commercialism. Lewis's description of Babbitt's house reveals the monotonous conformity of the American middle class. All of Babbitt's modern household appliances are the "standard" possessions of his class. Babbitt's house is simply a mass-produced, standardized symbol of middle-class affluence. It is like every other prosperous middle-class house in Zenith and presumably like middle-class houses all over the country.
She wants to convince a department store to create a welfare department complete with a nice restroom and wicker chairs. Her entire outlook on life is heavily influenced by the middle-class worship of material objects, as her argument with Ted about the family car further reveals. Like many other middle-class college graduates, she is in love with the
Judging from Babbitt's confused thoughts regarding business ethics, it seems that Babbitt's "business ethics" are really about keeping up the appearance of being ethical. Again, Lewis exposes middle-class values as appearance without substance. Babbitt disapproves of people who operate openly as "shysters," but he doesn't disapprove of fleecing an ignorant customer. He and other businessmen regularly trade insider information and participate secretly in numerous corrupt business deals.
Nothing about their guests suggests superior intellectual capacities. The conversation follows the conventional agenda of "required" topics. They believe the same things, and they say the same things. Chum Frink is supposedly a great "poet," but he really writes clumsy, unimpressive advertising jingles. The Babbitts and their guests do not have real appreciation or understanding of art and literature. Their knowledge extends only to money, status, and advertising. The séance for Dante reveals their ignorance of real literature. Dante's