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Arrowsmith

Sinclair Lewis

Summary and Analysis Chapter XXIII

Summary

The Health Fair is highly successful until the last day, which brings both rain and fire. Pickerbaugh, with rare efficiency and presence of mind, takes over and prevents people from being trampled. Now he is more than a local hero, and his election to Congress is assured. Soon he leaves for Washington with his family, and Martin is now appointed acting Director of Health. His youth and the opposition of Jordan prevent a permanent appointment. Martin's salary is thirty-five hundred a year instead of four thousand.

Pickerbaugh's leaving for Washington is celebrated lavishly. The mayor speaks, the band plays, and the station is jammed with thousands as the train bearing the waving Congressman-elect puffs out of sight. Martin never sees Orchid again.

Analysis

The rise of a politician opens the way to promotion for Martin, yet jealousy and opposition prevent him from obtaining all that he deserves. This is realism. So are some of the fantastic happenings at the Health Fair.