Babbitt is a satirical novel about American culture and society that critiques the vacuity of middle-class life and the social pressure toward conformity. The controversy provoked by Babbitt was influential in the decision to award the Nobel Prize in literature to Lewis in 1930.
The word "Babbitt" entered the English language as a "person and especially a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards".
Lewis has been both criticized and congratulated for his unorthodox writing style in Babbitt. One reviewer said "There is no plot whatever... Babbitt simply grows two years older as the tale unfolds." Lewis presents a chronological series of scenes in the life of his title character. After introducing George F. Babbitt as a middle-aged man, "nimble in the calling of selling houses for more than people could afford to pay," Lewis presents a meticulously detailed description of Babbitt's morning routine.