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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 39

Summary

Carol is happy to return home. She is given a warm welcome. Juanita accepts her as a friend, while Vida cautiously watches her for her old ideas. At the mill, Champ Perry tells her that he missed her very much. She feels happy to have been missed. She is happy to see the friendly Guy Pollock. She is even ready to give up her separate room. But Kennicott tells her that he understands her need for privacy and that he too would like to be by himself sometimes in his own room.

Carol finds that her friends discuss the same topics that they were happy to discuss two years back. The new school building looks cheerful. Carol relieves the attendant at the rest room for one hour every day. She talks to the farmer's wives and soothes their babies. She even starts wearing her eyeglasses on the streets.

The men of Gopher Prairie discuss Carol in the barber's shop. Sam points out that they need a smart woman like her to fix up the town. Dr. Westlake says that though she knows lots about books, her ideas of political economy are not sound. He hopes that she would not try to tell them how to run the town. Nat Hicks adds that she was very friendly with Erik Valborg and that he would miss him. Sam Clark tells him that they never thought about making love but only discussed books. After analyzing every aspect of her personality they decide to let her live.

Carol is surprised to find that Maud resents her return. She asks Carol to tell them about the officers she met at Washington. They all look at her eagerly. Carol pats down a yarn and tells them that she would tell them about the officers some other time. She understands that Aunt Bessie interferes only because she needs her love. She is able to tolerate Mrs. Bogart's declaration that they need to prohibit cigarettes. She feels hurt that nobody asked her for her opinions about Washington.


Carol's second baby is a girl. She is unable to decide if her daughter would be a feminist or marry a scientist. They have an argument about Hugh's discipline. Kennicott claims that he monopolized the conversation. Carol argues that Hugh had his own ideas and insists that they should listen to him. She goes for a ride with the Clarks and willingly sits at the back with Mrs. Clark. Kennicott gives her a light gun and she learns to shoot. Mrs. Clark suggests going to a movie and Carol agrees.

Carol feels upset when her idea of a community day is highjacked by Mr. Bert Tybee-the mayor. He wants to invite a politician to address the meeting. She complains to Kennicott that Vida agreed without protest. Kennicott sympathizes with her and wonders at her energy to fuss about such things. Carol tells him that she has not even started anything but her daughter would blow up their smugness. She is certain that her daughter would see many changes. She tells Kennicott with satisfaction that she had won her war by keeping up the fight and by keeping her faith. He agrees with her and wonders if the maid kept the screwdriver back in its place.

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