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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Carol is wary of asking for Vida’s support because she has a very patronizing attitude. Yet she turns to Vida as her last hope to get the work done. Vida too rejects the plan as impractical and advises that one should work from within and have patience to wait for even ten years if it would take that long for the committee members to understand the need. Carol feels that she is being blocked by mere stupidity. She is however happy that no one can stop her from dreaming of a beautiful city. She feels sorry that there is no one in the whole town to share her dreams.

The reaction of the rich Dawsons is also very disappointing to Carol. The very idea of parting with his hard-earned money sends Dawson into a rage. He considers spending money on ‘shiftless beggars that never had the sense to save money’ a waste. He assures her that Gopher Prairie is a beautiful city at the same time he tells her that he is planning to settle in Pasadena. Bjornstam whom she considers a kindred spirit surprisingly agrees with Dawson’s view that there is no need to spend money on the town. He even shocks her by saying that they should not request him for the money but take it away from him. He invites Carol to join the ‘cheerful bums’ and Carol dislikes the ‘autocracy’ of ‘his cheerful bums’. She soon forgets Bjornstam and her plans to beautify the town.


Carol replaces her plan for the city with plans to help the poor. Once again she believes that the Thanatopsis will help her to help the poor. Their reaction is characteristic. The pastor’s wife says ‘I should hate to think of a world in which we were deprived of all the pleasures of giving’. Miss. Ella Stowbody claims that the tenant farmers simply pretend that they have a lot of trouble in getting seed and machinery. Thus they shut their eyes and minds to the reality. When Carol suggests that they should sew the clothes they give away as charity Ella Stowbody haughtily remarks that she would not think of sewing anything for the lazy Mrs. Vopni. Carol remembers that Mrs. Vopni is a widow with ten children to take care of. Mrs. Mary Ellen Wilks opines that if the poor understood that they were the children of God ‘they won’t be in error and poverty. They shut their minds completely to whatever suggestion Carol has to make even in the matter of selecting a topic for the next year’s study. They are so happy to be what they are, that Carol accepts the fact that she can not plant any seed to crack the wall of mediocrity.

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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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