Main Street | Study Guide

Sinclair Lewis

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Main Street | Chapter 34 | Summary



Carol and Kennicott travel out west for over three months. Carol feels refreshed and resolves to love "the fine Will Kennicott quality that there is in Gopher Prairie." They arrive in the middle of a sleet storm and take temporary refuge in the home of the Haddocks, where Harry proceeds to one-up everything Kennicott tells him about their trip. When they return to their home and baby Hugh, Kennicott is absolutely blissful. But Carol suddenly realizes nothing has changed, in her or the town, and that without Erik and Fern, there is no one she even wants to call. She feels guilty about her dissatisfaction but knows she may soon have to leave, and break Will's heart.


With the return of the Kennicotts to Gopher Prairie, it is clear the trip has done nothing to change Carol's outlook. The town seems even shabbier to her, and Kennicott's contentment with it only confirms to her that he lacks the imagination and sophistication she thinks she is looking for. Carol chides herself, however. She seems to suspect that being content and seeing good in people is not necessarily a crime, and that it is her own eternal restlessness that may be the problem.

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