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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 30

Summary

Carol, the Dyers, Erik, Cy Bogart and Fern Mullins go to Lake Minniemashie. Dave plays the clown. Cy also becomes very playful. They go for a swim. Carol remains very quiet. She is dressed like how she used to dress when she was a college girl and feels very conscious. She admires Erik's Greek dance and feels that Dave and Cy did not have good taste. The Dyers are very pleased with Erik. Maud calls him to sit near her. She tells Erik that she had become very sensitive and that the doctor had advised her to have nice people around her. She asks him to go with her to see the minnies. Carol does not like Erik paying attention to Maud. She is left alone with Dave and he tries to amuse her. Then Erik comes to Carol and asks her to go for a boat ride. She hesitates but goes with him and feels very conscious of his presence. They reach another part of the shore. Erik wants to stop there for a while. When they sit down he tells her that she looks innocent and defenseless. Carol likes to hear that. She doesn't want sit there for long and insists on returning. But she feels content to be in his company because he is being himself. When they return she realizes that it is very late and feels very embarrassed. Kennicott however, does not say anything when she reaches home late.

The next day Mrs. Bogart tries to grill Carol about the picnic and their boat ride. She tells her that people in Gopher Prairie can not enjoy such clean fun. However, she feels very conscious of herself when she is at the Jolly Seventeen. She meets Erik again at the Baptist church supper. He is busy helping Myrtle Cass to fill the coffee cups. She hates Erik for talking to so many people. Then she realizes that he wants to be accepted and feels sorry for him. She notices Mrs. Bogart watching her and feels frightened. She knows that her emotions are impossible and wishes to escape from it all. She tells Kennicott to take her to Chicago but he is too busy. She then begs him to let her go alone but he does not agree. She wakes up in the middle of the night and feels sorry for herself for being in love with a pretentious young man.


Harry Haydock gives the lawn-festival of the season. Erik is also invited and Carol feels happy to see him in the company of the Dyers, the Elders, Guy Pollock and Myrtle Cass. Carol is invited to join them and Myrtle takes Erik away to meet the girl from Wakamin. Carol remarks to Mrs. Westlake that Myrtle and Erik make a good pair. Mrs. Westlake looks at her curiously and Carol gets worried. Erik meets her alone and tells her that Lymn Cass wanted him to work in the flourmill and learn the business and one day he might become the general manager. He waits for Carol's advice. She points out that he would also become like Lymn Cass and asks him to decide. He says that he does not know and she calls him unstable. He tells her that he wants her and if he is ready to take Myrtle it was only to forget her. He asserts that he would be happy even to be a ditch digger if only she would accept him. Carol tells him that she is a wife and a mother. But Erik says that he will make her love him. She walks away from him. When Kennicott remarks that she seemed to be very friendly with him, she lies that he was telling her about Myrtle. She detests herself for the lie and begs Kennicott to let her go to St.Paul. But once again Kennicott tells her that he cannot go and will not let her go alone. She is unable to sleep the whole night.

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