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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Notes

Erik feels as restless as Carol does without meeting her. When he notices Kennicott driving out of town he takes the bold step of calling on Carol. When they stand watching the sleeping child, Carol feels that an older version of Erik should have been Hugh's father. She imagines that they would have played incredible, imaginative games. When Erik is in her room, she believes that he was in harmony with the spirit of the room. She also remembers how Kennicott always seemed to be out of place in her room. Before Erik's arrival the night seemed to be empty and after his arrival it seems to be full of possibilities. But she is not sure of what she expects. Once he kisses her, she knows that that is not what she wanted. Probably she is 'cold' as Kennicott thinks. The thought of sex never seems to occur to her. Nor does she tolerate any physical intimacy. She is rather in love with the idea of being in love. When Erik leaves the house, she feels the house to be empty. All she wants of Erik is sane friendship.

She feels betrayed when she learns that Mrs. Westlake had been spreading rumors about her. She feels as hurt as she felt when Vida had revealed to her about the town's gossip about her. She childishly repeats to herself that she must never think about meeting Erik again. She is prepared to listen to Vida's sermon but not for her tears. She feels amused at Vida's confession. She feels more amused when Vida tells her that reformers should lead a blameless life, otherwise people would think that they attack the system to excuse their own infractions. She remarks that it was meant to keep the 'strays in the flock'. She adds "you must live up to the popular code if you believe in it; but if you don't believe in it, then you must live up to it!"


The Vida episode proves that she has stepped down from the moral pedestal and reveals her fondness for Carol. For the first time she moralizes without feeling any contempt or hatred or jealousy for Carol. Though Vida believes that Carol is innocent, Carol herself feels sorry that her affair can only turn into a farce. It is because there is "no one big enough or pitiful enough to sacrifice for..." she thinks even more sarcastically about it as "the eternal flame all nice and safe in a kerosene stove". When Aunt Bessie warns her about Kennicott she loftily proclaims "whatever I may do, I'll have you understand that Will is only too safe" only to worry herself sick about how Aunt Bessie would interpret it. When Kennicott tells her that Aunt Bessie complained that she was rude to her, Carol laughs at herself for expecting Aunt Bessie to interpret.

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