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Main Street | Study Guide

Sinclair Lewis

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Sinclair Lewis

Year Published





Fiction, Satire

Perspective and Narrator

Main Street is related by a third-person omniscient narrator. Most events, however, are described from the close third-person perspective of the central character, Carol Kennicott.


Main Street is told in the past tense.

About the Title

At its simplest and most literal, the title Main Street is just what it appears to be—the name of the main avenue in a town called Gopher Prairie. From the first page, however, the narrator makes it clear this town's Main Street "is the continuation of Main Streets everywhere," along with the attitudes and way of life of the people who live there. Within a few months of the book's publication in 1920, the term Main Street had, in fact, become a sort of shorthand for provincialism or narrow-mindedness.


This study guide and infographic for Sinclair Lewis's Main Street offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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