Lewis was an extremely cold, stern, and business-minded man.
He had, in fact, got everything from the church and Sunday School, except, perhaps, any longing whatever for decency and kindness and reason.
The author says one character's definition of a classic is any book he'd heard of before he was thirty.
Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.
To George F. Babbitt, as to most prosperous citizens of Zenith, his motor car was poetry and tragedy, love and heroism. The office was his pirate ship but the car his perilous excursion ashore.
Your lips are for songs about rivers in the morning and lakes at twilight.
To the connoisseur of scenes, nothing is more enjoyable than a thorough, melodramatic, egoistic humility.
Thus Carol hit upon the tragedy of old age, which is not that it is less vigorous than youth, but that it is not needed by youth...
She had become so dully habituated to married life that in her full matronliness she was as sexless as an anemic nun. She was a good woman, a kind woman, a diligent woman, but no one, save perhaps Tinka her ten-year-old, was at all interested in her or entirely aware that she was alive.
Thus it came to him merely to run away was folly, because he could never run away from himself.
It isn't what you earn but how spend it that fixes your class.
Except, perhaps, that he was an atheist in theology, he was a strict orthodox Christian.
For many minutes, for many hours, for a bleak eternity, he lay awake, shivering, reduced to primitive terror, comprehending that he had won freedom, and wondering what he could do with anything so unknown and so embarrassing as freedom.
Eddie Fislinger's church was an octagonal affair, with the pulpit in one angle, an arrangement which produced a fascinating, rather dizzy effect, reminiscent of the doctrine of predestination.
All the Utopias - Brook Farm, Robert Owen's sanctuary of chatter, Upton Sinclair's Helicon Hall - and their regulation end in scandal, feuds, poverty, griminess, disillusion.
Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability. One quarter of them turn reasonable and become your enemies, one quarter are afraid to stop and speak, and one quarter are killed and you die with them. But the blessed final quarter keep you alive.
The middle class, that prisoner of the barbarian 20th century.
It's one of our favorite American myths that broad plains necessarily make broad minds, and high mountains make high purpose.
Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut ‘Liberty cabbage' and somebody actually proposed calling German measles ‘Liberty measles'? And wartime censorship of honest papers? Bad as Russia!
Say, I swear the best Messiah in the whole show is this darky, Father Divine.
Reading old Gray? That's right. Physician's library just three books: 'Gray's Anatomy' and Bible and Shakespeare. Study. You may become great doctor.
She did her work with the thoroughness of a mind which reveres details and never quite understands them.
Going seventy miles an hour but not going anywhere—not enough imagination to want to go anywhere! Getting their music by turning a dial. Getting their phrases from the comic strips instead of from Shakespeare and the Bible and Veblen and Old Bill Sumner. Pap-fed flabs!
What conceivable reason could one have for seeking after righteousness in a world which so hated righteousness?
The game (baseball)was a custom of his clan, and it gave outlet for the homicidal and sides-taking instincts which Babbitt called patriotism and love of sport.
He stopped smoking at least once a month. He went through with it like the solid citizen he was: admitted the evils of tobacco, courageously made resolves, laid out plans to check the vice, tapered off his allowance of cigars, and expounded the pleasures of virtuousness to every one he met. He did everything, in fact, except stop smoking.
It is one of the major tragedies that nothing is more discomforting than the hearty affection of the Old Friends who never were friends.
And though he had almost flunked in Greek, his thesis on 'Sixteen Ways of Paying a Church Debt' had won the ten-dollar prize in Practical Theology.
I wrote 'It Can't Happen Here,' but I began to think it certainly can.
As a newspaper man, Doremus remembered that the only reporters who misrepresented and concealed facts more unscrupulously than the Capitalists were the Communists.
He called himself an agnostic instead of an atheist only because he detested the street-bawling, tract-peddling evangelicism of the professional atheists.
He who had been a boy very credulous of life was no longer greatly interested in the possible and improbable adventures of each new day.
Damn the great executives, the men of measured merriment, damn the men with careful smiles oh, damn their measured merriment.
When Buzz gets in, he won't be having any parade of wounded soldiers. That'll be bad Fascist psychology. All those poor devils he'll hide away in institutions, and just bring out the lively young human slaughter cattle in uniforms.
We'd get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all.
Harry Sinclair Lewis was born on February 7, 1885 in Minnesota.
Every man is a king so long as he has someone to look down on.
Cure the evils of Democracy by the evils of Fascism! Funny therapeutics. I've heard of their curing syphilis by giving the patient malaria, but I've never heard of their curing malaria by giving the patient syphilis!
He was afraid that the world struggle today was not of Communism against Fascism, but of tolerance against the bigotry that was preached equally by Communism and Fascism.
You," Said Dr. Yavitch, "are a middle-road liberal, and you haven't the slightest idea what you want. I, being a revolutionist, know exactly what I want -- and what I want now is a drink.
Of the love-making of Carol and Will Kennicott there is nothing to be told which may not be heard on every summer evening, on every shadowy block.
He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.
It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.
We have Nature beaten; we can make her grow wheat; we can keep warm when she sends blizzards. So we raise the devil just for pleasure—wars, politics, race-hatreds, labor-disputes.
I must say I'm not very fond of oratory that's so full of energy it hasn't any room for facts.