Arrowsmith By Sinclair Lewis Summary and Analysis Chapter XXX

Summary

A year passes. Terry Wickett returns after the Armistice, and Martin keeps up his laboratory work, studying mathematics and physical chemistry and reading books written in French and German on the side. Tubbs resigns as Director of the Institute to double his salary by working for a millionaire named Minnigen and his League of Cultural Agencies. Instantly there are diverse applications for the position of Director, Rippleton Holabird being an insistent one. To his own surprise as well as that of others, however, Gottlieb is asked to accept the position. He does so, and within a month the Institute becomes a shambles.

The unworldly and scholarly Gottlieb plans to give only one hour daily to the business, devoting the remainder of his time to research. He appoints Dr. Aaron Sholtheis, the epidemiologist, as his assistant. Both the Director and his assistant are besieged by advocates of unquestionable cures they claim to have discovered. Miss Pearl Robbins, the secretary, is the actual Director, and the Institute "reeled with intrigue." In the midst of the turmoil appears Gustaf Sondelius, back from a study of sleeping sickness in Africa. He joins the staff, and he and Martin recall with pleasure their earlier meeting in Minneapolis. Sondelius becomes a great admirer of Martin's discoveries, and the two become collaborators in investigation of a possible cure for bubonic plague, known as the Black Death. Gottlieb is commendatory of the experiment, but Wickett remains cool. Martin and the flamboyant Sondelius form a team of which Martin is the leading spirit.

Analysis

Lewis brings back most of the characters introduced in the earlier part of the book, making this the best-plotted of his novels. The sensational Sondelius is reintroduced, this time as Martin's follower, not his leader. The narrative sweeps on toward the best and most exciting portion of the book, the use of phage in fighting the plague in St. Hubert.

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