In the Sinclair Lewis novel Babbitt, the character of Babbitt is completely controlled by the power of conformity. Conformity is so powerful that even after babbitt realizes the stifling nature of the society in which he lives he is powerless to change his fate as a member of conformist society.
George F. Babbitt is a man who is completely controlled by the conformist society in which he lives. Pressure to conform lies in all aspects of Babbitt's life. Relationships, family, social life, and business are all based on his ability to conform to Zenith's preset standards of thought and action. All of Babbitt's thoughts are controlled by society. Thoughts that are not those of society are frowned upon. 'What he feels and thinks is what is currently popular to feel and think. Only once during the two years that we have him under view, does he venture upon an idea that is remotely original-and that time the heresy almost ruins him.'(Bloom)
At first the reader sees Babbitt as a person more than happy to conform to the standards set for him by the rest of society. Babbitt goes about his normal routine praising modern technology, material possessions and social status as ways to measure the worth of an individual. In fact the readers first encounter with Babbitt sees him praising modern technology. 'It was the best of nationally advertised and quantitatively produced alarm-clocks, with all modern attachments, including cathedral chime, intermittent alarm, and a phosphorescent dial. Babbitt was proud of being awakened by such a rich device.'(Babbitt pg.3) Babbitt praises the technology of his alarm clock only because it is a symbol of material worth and therefore social status.
All of Babbitt's actions and thoughts are controlled by the standards of Zenith. 'His every action is related to...