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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Carol is introduced to the Dawsons first. Carol finds them to be shy. George Edwin Mott, the superintendent of the school informs Carol that he dislikes the German farmers because they hate to pay school taxes. He too boasts about Percy Bresnahan. Carol inquires whether they follow the modern kindergarten method or the Gary systems. The Superintendent dismisses them all as the ideas of notoriety seekers and asserts that manual training; Mathematics and Latin will be the backbone of American Education system. The Dawsons obviously appreciate his wisdom.

Carol then meets the Haydocks, Rita Simons and Dr. Terry Gould. Juanita Haydock informs her of their club, Jolly seventeen. The members play bridge and hold a supper party once a month. Carol confesses that she did not play bridge so Juanita offers to teach her to play. Haydock too boasts of Percy Bresnahan. Carol, however feels the urge to regain the importance she lost because of her ignorance of the game of bridge. Therefore she plays the role of the clever bride. She shocks them with an account of how her short dress that revealed her ankles shocked the Ioway schoolteachers. She also tells them about how she dared Kennicott to swim in the icy Mountain Brook. She feels certain that though the people were shocked Juanita admired her. She teases Dr.Terry Gould by asking him for his opinion of her husband as a doctor. She finds that every body except the Dawsons and Mr.Mott are amused. So she declares that Mr.Dawson was a regular heartbreaker and that he had squeezed her hand tight when they were introduced and the Dawsons look very pleased. She keeps up the lighthearted flippant conversation but gets exhausted soon. The other guests do not contribute to the fun but expect her to go on entertaining them. She realizes that they are not capable of having fun. She listens with dismay their discussions of the other people. Clark calls his guests to perform their stunts to enliven the party. Dave Dyer does an impersonation of a Norwegian catching a hen and Miss Ella Stowbody recites 'old sweetheart of mine'. Carol watches with interest the Jewish stunt, the Irish stunt and Nat Hick's parody of Mark Anthony’s funeral oration. Only she does not know then that she would watch the same stunts in all the parties that she would attend at Gopher Prairie.


After the stunts the men and women return to their gossip and she feels left out. She joins the men and finds Kennicott talking to Ezra Stowbody who is the president of the Ionic bank. He had been one of the arbiters of the town. He is old fashioned. He considers the Clarks and the Haydocs to be upstarts. Even they gossip about other people. Carol tries to steer the conversation towards important social issues like labor trouble, unions and profit sharing. Ezra Stowbody asserts that he has no labor trouble because all laborers have taken loans from him. He does not approve of unions and dismisses profit sharing as half-baked socialistic ideas of college professors. All others agree with Ezra Stowbody on all the issues. They then return to their gossip. They get tired of even that and wait for the eatables. Once they finish eating they take leave.

Kennicott warns Carol that the people of Gopher Prairie are very conservative. He advises Carol to watch what she says because Juanita and the others would criticize her. Carol feels hurt that all her efforts to entertain should be criticized by the very people she tried to entertain. Kenicott however manages to convince her that the Clarks and the Dawsons admired her.

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