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It's been a decade or more since the last Sinclair Lewis book I read. I went through a spate in school reading everyone I could get my hands on. Arrowsmith wasn't one of them but my local library had a copy and feeling nostalgic for an old favorite author, I snatched it up.
Martin Arrowsmith, the title character, is a high spirited medical student, and later doctor. He's in constant fear of selling out while the women in his life wish for him to be a rich and famous doctor. Or at least successful
The book covers his entire career from medical student, to resident, to country doctor, to researcher and his work down in Jamaica. My favorite part of the book by far was his time in college because Lewis managed to capture what college life is like in the sciences. Having been with my husband through his entire college education I saw a bunch of points of similarity between Arrowsmith's education (the lack of free time, the juggling of different papers, the research, the oddball advisors) that I was often laughing as I read through this section
What fascinated me most though was how Arrowsmith compartmentalizes the different aspects of his life. There's Dr. Arrowsmith, world famous doctor, Sandy Arrowsmith husband, Martin the student and so forth. Throughout the book the plot pauses for Arrowsmith to have dialogues with the different aspects of his life and personality
Like a typical Lewis novel, Arrowsmith ends without a pat resolution. Martin's life goes through good parts and bad parts as does his career and even when he finally has a huge success, becoming a household name, Martin Arrowsmith still isn't satisfied with himself or his skills. Thus the book ends with him just about to start another internal dialogue.
Comment #1: Wednesday, December, 9, 2009 at 20:32:51
Thanks for linking to me! I feel honored.
I shall return the favor, once I figure out how!