Home > Uncategorized > Sinclair Lewis: The democracy of death

Sinclair Lewis: The democracy of death

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Sinclair Lewis: Selections on war

====

Sinclair Lewis
From Main Street

Cy was to be heard publishing it abroad that if he couldn’t get the Widow Bogart’s permission to enlist, he’d run away and enlist without it. He shouted that he “hated every dirty Hun; by gosh, if he could just poke a bayonet into one big fat Heinie and learn him some decency and democracy, he’d die happy.” Cy got much reputation by whipping a farm boy named Adolph Pochbauer for being a “damn hyphenated German.”…This was the younger Pochbauer, who was killed in the Argonne, while he was trying to bring the body of his Yankee captain back to the lines. At this time Cy Bogart was still dwelling in Gopher Prairie and planning to go to war.

***

Everywhere Carol heard that the war was going to bring a basic change in psychology, to purify and uplift everything from marital relations to national politics, and she tried to exult in it. Only she did not find it….

Carol did desire to see the Prussian autocracy defeated; she did persuade herself that there were no autocracies save that of Prussia; she did thrill to motion-pictures of troops embarking in New York; and she was uncomfortable when she met Miles Bjornstam on the street and he croaked:

“How’s tricks? Things going fine with me; got two new cows. Well, have you become a patriot? Eh? Sure, they’ll bring democracy – the democracy of death. Yes, sure, in every war since the Garden of Eden the workmen have gone out to fight each other for perfectly good reasons – handed to them by their bosses. Now me, I’m wise. I’m so wise that I know I don’t know anything about the war.”

***

She tried to be content, which was a contradiction in terms. She fanatically cleaned house all April. She knitted a sweater for Hugh. She was diligent at Red Cross work. She was silent when Vida raved that though America hated war as much as ever, we must invade Germany and wipe out every man, because it was now proven that there was no soldier in the German army who was not crucifying prisoners and cutting off babies’ hands.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: