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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Notes

Fern Mullins, the young and energetic teacher is made to face the scandal mongering, self-righteous crowd of Gopher Prairie. Her only fault is her desire to have fun, and her choice of companion to go with her to the dance. Mrs. Bogart believes that Fern made her son drink whisky and goes around the town informing the people of her scandalous behavior. Even though everyone in the town knows Cy's nature, nobody is ready to defend Fern. The scandalmongers are ready to believe the worse of Fern. Only Carol understands her, Carol is full of sympathy for the girl and she draws parallels between herself and Fern and shudders at the thought of what they would do to her.

Kennicott as usual is just and makes Mrs. Bogart admit that Cy had taken drinks on his own. When Mrs.Bogart uses her lustful imagination to guess what might have gone on, Kennicott tells her to stop it. Maud phones Carol to gleefully recount the scandal. Even when she is informed that it is a false story, she does not allow the facts to stand in the way of her getting some fun out of it.

Carol is dismayed to find everyone in the town take pleasure in narrating the scandal, always adding new information, and their own details. People who would like to do it but do not dare to, talk about it with relish. Even those who do whatever they want to do in the sly-the people like Nat Hicks giggle at Fern and assert that they knew that she was a gay bird. Carol feels sorry that not one man in the town had the moral indignation to demand proof and ask, "what are these unheard of sins you condemn so much-and like so well?"


In the town where people pride themselves of being good Christians, no one except Carol takes the trouble to rush to the aid of the much-wronged Fern. Not only does Carol show the girl sympathy, but she also goes to meet each one of the school board member's house to tell them the facts and consider Fern's case in that light. She points out to them that they should not spoil a girl's career. Everybody agrees with Carol, that Fern is not to be blamed. They all know what sort of a boy Cy is. Yet they sacrifice the girl because they do not want to offend Mrs. Bogart. Reverend Mr. Zitterel even makes the snide remark that there are more licenses in high places in the town. Carol wonders if he had her in mind when he said it. Carol watches with dismay how even grown up men like Nat Hicks encourage Cy and help him thereby to continue to be abominable.

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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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