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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Notes

This chapter describes the happiest month in the life of Carol in Gopher Prairie. In January on a moonlit night, Carol experiences the bliss of her friends' company at the lake cottage. Everyone is laughing and singing. The party they have is totally different from the ones Carol had attended as a new bride. The fun now seems more spontaneous. Their spirit captivates Carol and she loves them very much. The moon adds to the magic by transforming the snowfields into a brilliant land of magical light. Carol feels enchanted.

Yet the men talk about the same topics in the same tone and the speakers can be distinguished only by looking at who speaks. But she also finds Dave Dyer and Harry Haydock nosily enjoying themselves. Harry Haydock swings Carol up in the air, while dancing and Carol regains her spirit. The game of charade in which they improvise and pretend inspires Carol to form a dramatic club. Even though they all agree enthusiastically only fifteen members join the club and only seven members attend the meeting. Carol includes the Dillons because she feels sorry for them. The town's aristocrats always ignore them. Since the Westlakes are not their partners as Kennicott had suspected Carol feels that they should be a part of the dramatic club. She feels so virtuous about including the Dillons that she does not feel very disappointed about the small number of people present. Ella Stowbody regards herself to be an authority on drama because she had had some formal training in elocution. The writer humorously comments that she sat sulking like Lady Macbeth because they did not accept her suggestion to select Shakespeare's play.


Carol prepares herself to play the director by watching the plays of dramatists like Bernard Shaw at Minneapolis. Kennicott too humors her by taking her to Minneapolis and by enduring the 'highbrow stuff' for her sake. For all her sophistication she lets herself wail that she does not have anything decent enough to wear. In the hotel the gushing water taps thrills her. So does the rose-colored lamp. She loves the engraved stationary. She feels like a rustic and even looks at Kennicott critically. She loves Kennicott for bringing her there and he feels happy to see her childish excitement.

Strangely enough Carol misses Gopher Prairie. The anonymity of the city for which she longed once, frightens her now. Her longing to see familiar faces explains the enthusiasm with which she greets the Mc Ganums and her reluctance to let them go. The way they talk and the way they say good bye as if they were going away to Tibet instead of Gopher Prairie is very humorous. Like children, the Kennicotts tramp through the city and see places they had not seen when they were students. They pride themselves on the fact that nobody-not even Harry Haydock - had seen the city the way they did.

Carol feels transported to a distant enchanted land when she watches the one-act plays. Kennicott sleeps through them and when Carol feels sorry that the plays are over he feels grateful that they are. She has the lofty ambition of recreating the magic in Gopher Prairie.

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