By Sinclair Lewis
A private challenge jars a middle-aged genuine property agent from his complacency during this satire of middle-class American existence. Sinclair Lewis' nice novel bargains a scathing portrait of the results of clinging to standard values.
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Barlow asks. Go south, go south; you need not fear a shortage of prey. The earth is full of Napoleon’s slaughter. ” In lines of disturbing beauty he describes the transformation of dying soldiers into fallen statues of ice. ” He then explains to the ravens in gruesome detail why the dead in Poland make such bad dinners: . . from their visual sockets, as they lie With beak and claws you cannot pluck an eye. The frozen orb, preserving still its form, Defies your talons as it braves the storm. But stands and stares to God, as if to know In what curs’d hands he leaves the world below.
Wilcox entered Middlebury College with no thoughts of entering the church. He had already begun to write poetry and he was eager to pursue his classical studies. ” When a religious revival swept through the college during his first year he kept apart from it. Though he sometimes had fears for his salvation, he had decided to put conversion off to “a more convenient opportunity” – though he also worried that such procrastination might provoke Divine wrath. He decided to return home to Orville for a few weeks, an absence that required the permission of the college authorities.
The previous American minister had complained repeatedly, to no avail. In one last attempt to avoid war with France, Madison had decided to try negotiation, and Barlow’s known diplomatic skills with fickle dictators (he had once succeeded in ransoming a group of captive American seamen from the mercurial Dey of Algiers) made him the logical choice to approach the Emperor whom he privately despised. Barlow reached France in September of 1811, but Napoleon, then engaged in planning his invasion of Russia, had little interest in negotiations with the United States.