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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 21

Summary

Vida Sherwin was born in the hilly Wisconsin village, where her father was a preacher. She taught in an iron-range town before she came to Gopher Prairie. Hence she considers Gopher Prairie, with its trees and the wheat prairies, to be a paradise. She is thirty-six years old and looks small and thin and sallow. But she is a very active woman with lively blue eyes. She is a capable teacher. She has the patience to toil for four years to hold a debate in the school. She takes a very active part in all the activities of the town.

She fears sex and is very devoted to Jesus. Even if she feels the slightest stirrings in her mind she spends hours on prayers for forgiveness and guidance. Kennicott had tried once to woo her before his marriage to Carol. But she had discouraged him - hoping secretly that he would return to her. She had despaired when she learnt that he was to marry a city girl. She had imagined that she was mysteriously linked to Carol.

Once Carol had come to live in Gopher Prairie she started imagining her to be the child of Kennicott and herself. Some times she used to wonder why Kennicott had chosen Carol when she herself was as beautiful-and then agonize over the fact that she was not as beautiful or young as Carol.

In course of time she starts imagining that she is a part of Kennicott and becomes impatient of Carol's childish behavior. She tries to build on what is already there. Hence she dislikes Carol's revolutionary ideas of tearing everything down to build a better place. She hates Carol's assumption that every thing can be changed overnight. She starts comparing Carol with the two women who disliked Gopher Prairie. One was the rector's wife who was forced to leave Gopher Prairie. The other was the mysterious woman, who had borrowed money from many men had left town without paying it back.


Vida and Raymie Wutherspoon become friends when Vida shifts to Mrs. Gurrey's boarding house. They admire one another and share many interests. They often discuss Carol and talk about Sam Clark and Kennicott. Vida boosts Raymie's confidence. One day in the course of their discussions Vida informs Raymie that she is planning to resign her job and leave Gopher Prairie. She abruptly leaves the place and a very distressed Raymie runs behind her to console her. He finds her in tears and they become engaged. They get married in the month of June.

They move into the house vacated by Ole Jenson. She does not hire domestic help. She has a passion for housework She resigns from school but retains her English class. She continues with her communal work. She tells Harry Haydock that if he did not make Raymie a partner they would open their own shop because they had some one to back them. Raymie is given a one sixth partnership and is also promoted as the floorwalker

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