With ... small-town life ... there are hundreds of thousands ... who are not content. The more intelligent young people ... flee to the cities ... and ... stay there, seldom returning even for holidays. The reason, Carol insisted ... is an unimaginatively standardized background, a sluggishness of speech and manners, a rigid ruling of the spirit by the desire to appear respectable. It is contentment ... the contentment of the quiet dead, who are scornful of the living for their restless walking. It is the prohibition of happiness. It is the slavery self-sought and self-defended. It is dullness made God. A savorless people, gulping tasteless food and sitting afterward, coatless and thoughtless, in rocking-chairs prickly with inane decorations, listening to mechanical music, saying mechanical things about the excellence of Ford automobiles, and viewing themselves as the greatest race in the world.
Cities and City Life