These standard advertised wares -- toothpastes, socks, tires, cameras, and instantaneous hot water heaters -- were his symbols and proofs of excellence; at first the signs, then the substitutes, for joy and passion and wisdom. read the second paragraph of the passage again to answer the question. what is the main idea of this passage? he has wealth, but no real joy and passion in his life. he rejects the advancements of the 1920s, such as toothpaste and cameras. he would rather have more wealth than joy, passion, or wisdom. he has joy and passion for life and his future.
The paragraph your questions refers to, is an excerpt from 'Babbit' by Sinclair Lewis. Babbit, in his book, was a country boy, one that had dreams. He appears to be the clear representation of the American dream. However, his longing for the fairy child slowly start to stain the vision he has of himself.
In this paragraph, the main idea is: He has wealth, but no real joy and passion in his life. We can get to this conclusion from the use of the words: 'sign' and 'substitute'. Because the toothpaste, socks, tires, cameras and water heaters were signs at first, we could say that he was passionate at first.
When the signs turn into substitutes, the 'real joy' and 'real passion' are no longer real. They just become substitutes. So he is wealthy, but not happy or passionate about life anymore.
Have a great day! :)
Short answer is A.