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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Notes

The concluding chapter of the book describes Carol's final homecoming. It is totally different from her first two homecomings. The first time she felt only a rising sense of panic. Then she had the longing to escape. In her final homecoming is the joyful anticipation of meeting friends-of returning home. When she came as a bride there was the unfair comparison of Gopher Prairie with big cities. But now she compares Washington with Gopher Prairie and feels that there is friendship and warmth in Gopher Prairie.

After a week the euphoria of being back home settles down to a practical acceptance of life as it comes. Her most significant discovery is that nothing has changed in two years. She feels that even if the whole world underwent a change, Gopher Prairie would accept it as a matter of fact and pay attention only to their immediate problems. The new school building revives her faith in Gopher Prairie and she willingly helps in the rest room to relieve the attendant or soothe the farmer's babies. In wearing her eyeglasses on the road she reveals that she is ready to accept the fact that she is growing old.


The discussion about Carol in the barber's shop goes into unwanted personal details. But the people who discuss her are more benevolent and they decide to let her live-accepting her as she is, even as she accepts them as they are. At the Jolly Seventeen meeting Carol is more poised and her opponents get no chance to tear her to pieces with their criticism. Carol however is unable to understand the mysterious resentment of Maud Dyer. It is a mystery because she did not allow Kennicott to make his confession. So Carol and Maud can go on being friends. She is able to understand Aunt Bessie's loneliness. This understanding frees her from the need to struggle for independence and the bouts of depression on that count. She feels only irritation at times, which is temporary. Even Mrs. Bogart is unable to ruffle Carol's serenity.

She sees in her baby girl a torchbearer. She is certain that her daughter would complete the crusade she had started. Her daughter would blow up the smugness. She decides that her one struggle would be to keep Kennicott - to keep herself from 'educating' the children. Even though her idea of the community day celebration is turned into a political affair much to her disappointment, she does not fret. She draws satisfaction from the fact that she kept up the fight.

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