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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Notes

This chapter elaborates on Carol's infatuation with Erik. She feels agitated by his discovery of her secret unhappiness. Even as she corrects him she feels humbled by his humility. She sometimes wonders if it is she who is naïve. She does not wish to give him advice and tamper with his destiny. She does not like Erik to be personal. She feels embarrassed when people stare at her when she is in Erik's company. She tries to remind herself that he is only a small town youth. She used to feel attracted by fine hands and a resolute purpose in men. So she feels shocked to realize that she keeps thinking about his rough, firm hands and flabby will. She tells herself that even sculptors would have rough hands and that tailors are also human beings.

She feels sympathy for the Dillons and the Woodfords and Erik for being left out. She defies the elite crowd of Gopher Prairie by staying back to play with the outcasts. Though she is aware that the scandal mongering Juanita is watching her she is unable to control her longing to see Erik. When she goes to Nat Hick's shop to meet Erik she realizes that she is interested in Erik and his tone indicates his interest in her and she feels very agitated. She admits to herself with a shudder, "Mine is a back-yard romance with a journeyman tailor".


On her way back home she remembers her father and feels surprised that in Erik she found her father who was to her the incarnation of 'divine love and perfect understanding'. She also feels sorry that she could never find that in Kennicott. She finds many beautiful things around her. She feels that people are very pleasant, When Dave and Maud support Erik. She tries to convince herself that she is interested in Erik only because she wants to help him. All her mental pictures are of herself making a new house with Erik and Hugh looking up at him in admiration and this makes her feel all the more guilty. So, she tries to be more attentive to Kennicott even when he wants to be left alone. Her infatuation makes her feel more conscious of herself and she thinks that she looks very plain and old.

Erik Valborg seems to grow in confidence. He dares to ask Carol about her personal life. He tells her that her lips are meant for songs of rivers and the lakes. He skillfully organizes a tennis match. In fact it is his ability that makes Harry feel so threatened, that he changes the venue of the match. Encouraged by Carol, Erik designs a ladies gown. His reading also becomes systematic. He completes reading Latin grammar and proceeds to the reading of Caesar. When he is at work he looks as if he does it to amuse himself. His capacity to understand makes Carol remember her father. He manages to win the hearts of people like Dave and Maud. So impressed are they that Maud wants to invite him for a picnic and Dave defends him by telling Haydock that there was nothing wrong with being polite or in wanting to dress up well.

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