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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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The food is served on dinner plates and coffee in cups without saucers. Hot buttered rolls, stuffed olives, potato salad and angel's food cake are served and relished. Carol feels conscious that she was the only one who omitted angel's food in her party. She watches them eat enormously and gets the feeling that some of the thrifty ladies were trying to save on their evening supper.

Carol feels more at ease after Vida's arrival with Miss Ethel Villets-the librarian. She starts talking about her trip to the country and remarks that the Scandinavians down there are the hardiest and the best people and lands in a controversy. Mrs. Jackson Elder declares that they are selfish because they keep demanding raises. Juanita also declares that they are ungrateful and demanding, and Mrs. Dave Dyer adds that the Scandinavian girls as domestic helps are ghastly. Carol justifies that they are ungrateful because of the way they are treated. She asserts that Bea, her Scandinavian maid is friendly, sturdy and honest. She inquires about how much they pay their maids and is told that Mrs. Clark paid an extravagant five-fifty a week. They all want to know how much she paid and protest angrily when she tells them that she paid Bea six dollars a week. Carol points out how hard a maidís work is. She is at once rebuffed that they themselves did work as hard as the maids did. Carol points out that the maids did it for strangers. But the ladies glare at Carol in a hostile manner.


Vida Sherwin saves the situation by ordering Carol to go and talk to the librarian and by telling Juanita to stop fighting. Carol commits another blunder while talking to Miss Villets. Villet criticizes the city libraries for letting even the tramps occupy the reading room. Carol remarks that the duty of a librarian is to get people to read. But Miss. Villets believes that the duty of a librarian is to take care of the books. Carol responds with an Oh-, which irks Miss Villets. She asserts that children tear the books and young men take out more books than they are allowed to. Carol remarks that books are cheaper than minds. Villets goes on and on about how the minds of some of the children being cheaper than anything else and how she would not allow her library to be turned into a kinder-garten. Carol senses the hostility of the people around her and beats a hasty reatreat.

Back home Carol tries to find a reason for their hostility. She wonders if she opposes them too much. But she also knows that she can not accept their views and become just another member of the crowd. She feels terrified by the situation.

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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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