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MonkeyNotes-Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
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Chapter 36

Summary

Kennicott feels hurt that Carol does not show any interest in the town boosting campaign and that she did not appreciate Mr. Blausser. They have an argument over an organizer for the National Non Partisan League who had announced that he would address a farmer's meeting in spite of the ban on such meetings. He was caught by a mob of a hundred businessmen and the sheriff and put in a freight train, with the warning never to return. When Kennicott, Sam Clark and Dave Dyer are happy that the organizer was thus got rid of, Carol does not show any happiness. Kennicott accuses Carol of not being capable of appreciating good people. He declares that he will not tolerate his wife making seditious remarks. He condemns all radicals and declares that the people of Gopher Prairie will make them all become patriotic. Carol wants to know if she is considered to be pro-German because she does not applaud Mr. Blausser. She tells Kennicott that she did not belong to Gopher Prairie and so she was going to leave it. Kennicott sarcastically asks her if she expected him to settle down in Paris and study arts. Carol tells him that she will leave Kennicott and take Hugh with her. She says that she wants to find out her work. He tells her that if she had five children and had to work like a farmer's wife she would not feel discontent. She points out that she had done a lot of housework, cared for Hugh and did the Red Cross work too. She says that she cannot be satisfied with mechanical work. She would like to teach children or run an office or a library.


Kennicott asks her what would she do if he refused to let her take Hugh with her. She says that he will not refuse. He points out that she was running away from problems. She retorts that she is not afraid of being called such names and that she had a right to her own life. They discuss it for a month, hurting each other in the process. Finally he agrees to let her go. They inform their friends that she wants to go and see what the east was like in the wartime. She decides to go to Washington because she feels that it is less intimidating than New York and also because she will be able to find work there.

When the train leaves Gopher Prairie, she sees Kennicott looking forlorn at the station. Hugh wants to see Aunt Bogart. He tells her that she gives him cookies and tells him about the Dear Lord. He asks Carol why she never tells him anything about the Dear Lord? He asks her if he can become a preacher when he grew up? She tells him that where they go they will find elephants and maharanis with necklaces of rubies. He wants to know if they will have cookies. She tells him that they will have cookies till they get sick of it. Hugh believes that it would be foolish. Carol realizes that Hugh is just like Kennicott. Dauntless of Gopher Prairie informs its readers that Carol Kennicott went to Washington to work in the war office and calls her another shining star in the service of the nation. The Dyers, Mrs. Dyer's sister and Kennicott go for a picnic to the lake.

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