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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 37

Summary

Carol finds employment in the Bureau of War Risk Insurance in Washington. It is not very elevating work but she feels that her contact with the anxieties of men and women all over the country was a part of vast affairs. She realizes that she can do the office work and her housework as well. She also feels that without interference housework, took very little time. She enjoys looking at the buildings in Washington.

Vida's letter helps her to make the acquaintance of the Tincomb Methodist Church members. She finds the church to be another Main Street with the Sunday school, Sunday service and the church suppers of scalloped potatoes and gingerbread. They give advice just as the matrons did back home. Carol considers joining the militant suffrage organization and going to jail.

Guy Pollock's cousin who is a temporary Army Captain takes Carol to tea dances. He introduces her to the secretary of a congressman. Through her Carol gets to meet commanders, newspapermen, fiscal experts and a teacher who knows the people in the suffrage movement headquarters. Through her, Carol gets the task of addressing envelopes of the suffrage movement and the friendly women include her in their group. They sometimes get mobbed and arrested. They also take dancing lessons and go for picnics and discuss politics when they are free.

Through her friends Carol finds a house and a good nurse for Hugh. She takes him for walks, plays with him and reads to him. She is able to mix with people who talk a lot. She finds the young girls in Washington more fashionable and more knowledgeable than she was at their age. She admires the men who are very easy going and confidant. They accept the company of women naturally, without the embarrassed banter as the men did in Gopher Prairie.


She finds a group of ladies who think and feel like her. They too consider towns like Gopher Prairie to be boring and make a comfortable living in Washington. They even find time to read. Through them she learns about many prairie towns and realizes that in comparison Gopher Prairie appeared to be more colorful and intellectual.

She also gets the perception that Gopher Prairie is not as important as it thought itself to be and that it was she who gave the Vidas and the Bogarts the power, of which she was so afraid. She realizes that she had been as personal as Maud Dyer was. She understands that her war was with the institutions like the church and the country and that she could defend herself by laughing at them without any contempt for them.

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