Main Street (novel)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Main Street is a satirical novel written by Sinclair Lewis, and published in 1920.

Plot summary

Carol Milford is a liberal, free-spirited young woman, reared in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the state capital. She marries Will Kennicott, a doctor, who is a small-town boy at heart.

When they marry, Will convinces her to live in his home-town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota (a town modeled on Sauk Centre, Minnesota, the author's birthplace). Carol is appalled at the backwardness of Gopher Prairie. But her disdain for the town's physical ugliness and smug conservatism compels her to reform it.

She speaks with its members about progressive changes, joins women's clubs, distributes literature, and holds parties to liven up Gopher Prairie's inhabitants. Despite her friendly but ineffective efforts, she is constantly derided by the leading cliques.

She finds comfort and companionship outside her social class. These companions are taken from her one by one.

In her unhappiness, Carol leaves her husband and moves for a time to Washington, D.C., but she eventually returns. Nevertheless, Carol does not feel defeated:
I do not admit that Main Street is as beautiful as it should be! I do not admit that Gopher Prairie is greater or more generous than Europe! I do not admit that dish-washing is enough to satisfy all women! I may not have fought the good fight, but I have kept the faith. (Chapter 39)

See also

  • Main Street — the iconic street in small town America




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Main Street (novel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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