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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 2

Summary

Carol is a regular invitee in the house of the Marburys who are her sister's friends. Mr. Marbury is a travelling insurance agent. They have mutual admiration for one another. On one of her visits, she meets Dr.Will Kenicott who does all the insurance examining for Mr. Marbury in the countryside. He belongs to Gopher Prairie, a wheat-producing town of Minnesota. He is very proud of his town and its people. Carol and Kennicott are attracted to each other. Carol believes that his profession would give him lots of scope for sympathy. Therefore she is shocked to hear him declare that the Dutch farmers need only salt and regular baths. The doctor hastens to clarify that the farmers are hardy and they do not need any sympathy. He, however admits that he is so accustomed to the broken legs and typhoid that he had become insensitive. He feels that a woman like her is what Gopher Prairie needs to change all the people like him. Carol admits that she once had such a dream. Kennicott then questions Carol about herself, and Carol starts liking him.


Dr. Will Kennicott courts Carol. She finds him to be materialistic but appreciates his honesty and believes that he would never lie to his patients. She also finds out that he keeps up with the medical magazines. They go for long walks. She discovers his boyishness when they go tramping. They walk through the Old World of the pioneering days and the stone house built by General Sibley in 1835. They grow more trusting. All those historical places viewed in the company of Carol moves Kennicott to declare that they should make America what the pioneers dreamed about. He then proposes to Carol. But Carol is not sure that she would like to marry him. He then shows her photographs of Gopher Prairie, which touch a cord in her heart and slowly Carol falls in love with Kennicott.

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