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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Notes

The difficulties a maiden venture has to go through are described in this chapter. Carol's initial interest dies from the day they start their discussions of the play. She expects the others to look blank and ask for her suggestions. So she is surprised to find all of them ready with their own suggestions. Even her admirers like Guy Pollock and Raymie reject her suggestion of Shaw as improper. The rehearsals are conducted the way the amateur actors want it to be, not the way the visionary director would like to do it. When she tells them to be serious about their work they retaliate that it was she who said that they did not know how to have fun and when they were having their fun she wants them to stop it. They consider her to be a mad woman when she tries to tell them that it was fun to be serious about what they did.


Carol would have given up the play but for the encouragement of Bjornstam's faith in her capability and in the town's expectation indicated by the sale of all the tickets. It is honest on Carol's part to admit that it is a badly presented play. But all the actors feel that they act very well. When even the Dauntless is full of praise for the play Carol wonders if it was her failure or theirs. She gives up all hopes because she hears the banker's comments. It is surprising that a reformer should accept one man's comment as the opinion of the entire town. She is too uncertain of herself to be able to pester them to work hard to put up a good play.

Wes Brannigan's account of how the town exploited them is a true account of what the farmers went through in the 1920s. The market towns did exploit them and they did deny the charges as Kennicott does when he claims " that's the old crank Wes Brannigan shooting his mouth again...They ought to run that fellow out of town!" This completes Carol's disappointment with the town. She is unable to show any interest in the fete of youth in Gopher Prairie. Nor is she able to whip up any interest when Kennicott talks of going to stay in the lake cottage.

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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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