英语学院 E1101班 张巧凤 2102110103
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis's classic work of literature, Main Street, chronicles the struggles faced by an independent modern thinking woman, Carol Kennicott. Carol has had an aristocratic upbringing and has been taught to ask questions but her life revolves solely around a small town in Minnesota.
The book begins with Carol at college in the Twin Cities, idealistically dreaming of goals that even her friends at school think are a little extreme. After graduating, she lives in Chicago, Illinois, for a year before taking a job at a public library in St. Paul. After a few years, she meets Dr. Will Kennicott at a gathering at a friend's house.As Dr. Kennicott and Carol began to date, he told her a great deal about the town he lived in, Gopher Prairie, and he made it sound very exciting with wholesome family values. After getting married and moving to the town, she was shocked to learn it wasn't as rosy the good Dr had made it seem. Seeking to find something positive to do she plans to bring some culture from the city to the small town.
Small towns are skeptical of newcomers and this was a challenge to Carol although as a physician's wife she was considered upper class. Shocking the small town wives discussing relevant topics of the day such as unions and sex she was not a standard upper class socialite wife. Carol tries hard to fit in but can't seem to make it work.Carol does become friends with the town schoolteacher, Vida Sherwin, who is a member in good standing with the women's clubs, and she appreciates the plans that Carol has for improving the town culture, counseling her toward patience having patience and giving things time..About this time Carol finds a lawyer, Guy Pollock, to be some sort of a kindred spirit. Pollock is an outcast like her, a reader and a gentle spirit. She makes up an excuse to visit him at his office and begins to fall in love with him but then realizes her true love lies with her husband.Carol continues to be frustrated with life in Gopher Prairie. And has a baby, Hugh. Carol and her baby spend time with her former maid, who also has a baby boy. The local women find this relationship improper, because of their class differences.
In her boredom, Carole becomes infatuated with a new young man, Erik Valborg, who arrives in town. He is a tailor's apprentice, and Carol finds him sensitive and intelligent. He wants to design women's clothes, and Carol encourages him to follow his dream. Their infatuation with each other comes to a head one night when Erik convinces her to go for a walk in the woods with him.Her husband drives up and, without a word of jealousy, insists on driving them home. At home, he describes what life would be like for Carol to be married to a young assistant tailor who might never be worth anything as an artist. The next day, Erik leaves town.Carol takes Hugh and goes to live in Washington D. C. for a couple of years getting a job in the government. While there, she is able to lead the urbane lifestyle that she always imagined: going to concerts, museums, and
英语学院 E1101班 张巧凤 2102110103
lectures. She is able to freely talk about progressive social movements, such as women being able to vote.
Kennicott does not try to restrict her freedom and stays faithful writing her while she is away. He visits her after a year but isn't sure whether they are still married. Carol warms to him and they take a trip together to South Carolina. Dr Kennicott convinces Carol to return to Gopher Prairie. When she does so, she is five months pregnant with their second child, a daughter. Back in Gopher Prairie a second time she is less concerned about the small-mindedness of the people. She accepts small roles with women's groups and spends her time planning a better life for her children.