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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 20

Summary

Carol is furious about the inconveniences of pregnancy. She suffers from nausea. All the matrons of Gopher Prairie give her voluntary advice based on ignorance. Carol feels bad for disliking them. She is used to fighting them. Hence she feels sorry for herself for having to listen to them patiently. When her son is born she does not feel any overwhelming love, but only dislike for all the trouble he had caused. But from the second day the boy-named Hugh-becomes the center of her universe.

Kennicott is proud of his son. He wants his son to be christened in the church. Carol does not allow it. Her new status makes her acceptable to young and old matrons alike. Kennicott's uncle Whittier Smail and Aunt Bessie come to visit them. Having sold their creamery in North Dakota they decide to settle in Gopher Prairie. Uncle Whittier buys Ole Jenson's grocery business. They prove a constant source of vexation to Carol. They take the privilege to laugh at her ideas and fuss about her and flay her with their affectionate questions. Kennicott also acquires their habit. Even a slight headache of Carol's makes them question her, give suggestions, inquire about her headache and question her again and drive her crazy.

Aunt Bessie invites all the matrons to call on Carol and give advice, which they do too willingly. Carol decides to be rude to them so that they would stop interfering. Kennicott's mother comes to visit her brother Whittier. So Carol is unable to tell them anything. She finds her escape in the meetings of Jolly Seventeen. She waits for the bridge sessions and happily whispers along with Juanita, Maud and Mrs. Mc Ganum.

Carol's happiest pass time is to talk about Hugh to Kennicott, Vida and the Bjornstams. Kennicott initiates a child-welfare week. Carol helps him to weigh the babies and write out the diets. Every one comes together in the concern for the health of the babies. But when Bjornstam's son Olaf is awarded the prize for the best baby every one except Carol and Kennicott feels jealous.


Carol loves taking Hugh to play with Olaf. But the constant nagging of Aunt Bessie and her friends makes her feel a little ashamed to go to their shanty. She also feels ashamed of herself for giving in to their opinion. Bjornstam gives up his job in the mill and goes into poultry and cattle raising. He is happy that Mrs. Bogart had called on Bea. He boasts that his son would go to college with Haydock's sons.

Many people leave Gopher Prairie and many others move in to take their place. Ole Jenson sells his grocery business and goes to settle down in North Dakota. Uncle Whittier sells his creamery in South Dakota and moves into Gopher Prairie and buys Ole Jenson's business to settle down as the grocer. Dhal the butcher sells his meat business and moves to Idaho. The Dawsons settle in Pasadena. Chet Dashaway moves to Los Angeles. Rita Simmons marries Dr. Terry Gould. Harry Haydock's father dies and Harry becomes senior partner of the Bon Ton store. Vida also gets married. Carol concentrates on Hugh totally.

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