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Main Street (The Penguin Classics) Week of March 26, 2007

March 24 2007 at 4:20 PM
Sinclair Lewis  (Login chapteraday)
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Main Street

Main Street
The Story of Carol Kennicott

by Sinclair Lewis

"Lewis has lodged a piece of a continent in the world's imagination." --E. M. Forster

Sinclair Lewis's barbed portrait of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, shattered the myth of the American Middle West as God's Country and became a symbol of the cultural narrow-mindedness and smug complacency of small towns everywhere. At the center of the novel is Carol Kennicott, the wife of a town doctor, who dreams of initiating social reforms and introducing art and literature to the community. The range of reactions to Main Street when it was published in 1920 was extraordinary, reflecting the ambivalence in the novel itself and Lewis's own mixed feelings about his hometown of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, the prototype for Gopher Prairie.


 
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Lylah
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Main Street

March 26 2007, 3:32 PM 

I feel compelled to get this one from the library. I thought I had at least touched on most of the classic American writers, but I've never read anything by Sinclair Lewis.

The time and place interest me and I like the development of the characters and setting so far. However --- at first pass the tone strikes me as very elitist, both from an intellectual viewpoint and a class/ethnic viewpoint. Considering the description of the novel as "ambivalent" and Lewis's feelings about his hometown as "mixed," I'm hoping that maybe with the arrival at the town the elitism of the tone will become more complex and balanced.

 
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