Arrowsmith By Sinclair Lewis Summary and Analysis Chapter XXXVIII

Summary

Director Rippleton Holabird, jealous of Martin's newfound magnificence, which includes a limousine and a chauffeur, retaliates by shifting Martin's work from phage to influenza vaccine. After months of halfhearted experimentation, Martin tells his superior that Rockefeller investigators have found the cause of the flu and that he is going back to his first love, phage. His report stirs the laboratory world.

Then Martin joins Terry Wickett in experiments with quinine derivatives. They spend a winter together at Birdies' Rest, Terry's crude laboratory in the Vermont hills. When they return to New York, their request for money and monkeys to use in their work is granted. When they supposedly have a cure for pneumonia, however, they refuse to publish it prematurely. Terry argues with Holabird and is discharged, and Martin plans also to return to Vermont. Joyce is quite unhappy over her husband's conduct and reminds him that she is expecting a baby. He asks if she is willing to spend part of the year in a little house near the woodland laboratory, but she does not consent.

Analysis

The rift between Martin and his second wife is deepening, for he is too serious-minded to accept her way of life. He turns from one extreme to the other in clinging to his partnership with Terry Wickett. Satire of high society continues in this chapter. The superficiality of Holabird is again brought to attention. So is the principle of exploitation of scientific knowledge for the sake of money and fame.

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