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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 5

Summary

Kennicott takes Carol along on a hunting expedition. She does not like the idea of killing birds but she is delighted by his enthusiasm. She listens to his lecture on gunpowder willingly and looks at his equipment eagerly. They travel by a buggy and they take Jack Elder's dog along. The dog picks up a scent and they follow it. Carol feels tired and breathless. Kennicott shoots two birds. Then they drive into Pete Rustad's farm. Pete's wife welcomes them, admires Carol and gives them a pitcher of milk to drink. Carol is pleased by the devotion shown to her husband. They have lunch and a little rest near the lake. Kennicott shoots a squirrel. On their way back Carol loses herself in the vastness of the farmyards, the beauty of the setting sun and the peace that surrounds them.

Carol and Kennicott are forced to eat at Mrs. Gurrey's boarding house because they have not found any maid to help in the house. They meet Mr. Raymond. P. Wutherspoon, manager of the shoe-department at the Bon Ton store. He talks about the cultured circle of Gopher Prairie, the library and the movies eagerly. Carol feels happy about his love for music. Kennicott shows marked disinterestedness in Raymie’s conversation.

The newspaper of Gopher Prairie-dauntless-publishes an account of the party at Sam Clark's house and how the doctor's wife -Carol Kennicott-charmed everyone at the party. Carol enjoys the role of the housewife. She begins to love every aspect of the house including the moldy furniture. Bea Sorenson is hired as a domestic help but Carol treats her as a friend. They laugh together at every thing that amuses them. Carol enjoys her shopping trips and the importance given to her as the doctor's wife. Her first impression of the town is forgotten and she begins to love the shops because her friends run them. She stops to chat with the children because she considers them to be individuals. She even wishes to have a child.


She goes to the movies twice a week and enjoys chatting with the couples present at the theatre. She spends the evenings sitting on the porch with Kennicott and greets neighbors and passers by. Yet she longs for a companion with whom she could talk. Vida Sherwin, the schoolteacher calls on her. Vida admits that the town is ugly but claims that it has a wholesome spirit. She declares that the town needs people like Carol to awaken it. She assures Carol that Guy Pollock-the lawyer shared her views about the town. She invites Carol to teach in the Sunday school. She also suggests that Carol could become a member of the library board. She informs her about the Thanatopsis club where the women study literature and also involve themselves in social work like planting trees and running a rest room for the farmers' wives. Carol begs to be given some time to think about it before she could commit herself to any of the activities.

They start discussing the book that Carol was reading. Carol feels happy to find someone with whom she could discuss subjects that interested her. She serves tea and cinnamon toast. When Kennicott returns home, she persuades him to invite Guy Pollock to supper. She finds Guy Pollock very likeable because he never tells her how wonderful Gopher Prairie is. He talks about books and authors and Carol wonders why such an intelligent man chose to remain in Gopher Prairie. She feels elated at having formed her own group and suggests to Pollock that they should form a dramatic club.

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