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Main Street | Study Guide

Sinclair Lewis

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Main Street | Characters

Character Description
Carol Kennicott Carol Kennicott is an intelligent woman who dreams of changing the world. But she finds she is not able to accomplish much, especially when faced with the provincial attitudes and hypocrisy of her town's inhabitants. Read More
Will Kennicott Dr. Will Kennicott is a skilled, intelligent, and compassionate country doctor, who is proud of his hometown of Gopher Prairie. Although his wife, Carol, sees him as unimaginative and provincial, he is actually intelligent, practical, and insightful. Read More
Vida Sherwin Vida Sherwin is Gopher Prairie's high school teacher and becomes one of Carol Kennicott's closest friends. Like Carol, Vida wants to see change in the town, but unlike her friend, she is willing to work within the system to achieve those changes. Read More
Miles Bjornstam Miles is the town handyman and the town's most outspoken critic. Miles is disliked by the townspeople because of his radical ideas and support of socialism, but these ideas lead Carol Kennicott to see him as a kindred spirit. Read More
Olaf Bjornstam Olaf is the child of Bea Sorenson and Miles Bjornstam. He dies of typhoid, along with his mother.
James Blausser James Blausser, a professional "booster," is hired by the town leaders to make Gopher Prairie more attractive.
Mrs. Bogart Mrs. Bogart is Carol's self-righteous, hypocritical neighbor. A vicious gossip, she feels no guilt over destroying the lives of others.
Cy Bogart Cy Bogart is one of Mrs. Bogart's three sons. He is a bully and a thug, but his mother sees him as an innocent, susceptible to corruption.
Percy Bresnahan Percy Bresnahan is an egotistical, self-satisfied businessman and Gopher Prairie's biggest success story. He is now a millionaire, having made his fortune selling automobiles in Boston.
Lyman Cass Lyman is the owner of a flour mill.
Myrtle Cass Myrtle is Lyman Cass's daughter. She hopes to persuade Erik Valborg to marry her.
Sam Clark Sam Clark, one of the town's wealthiest citizens, owns the hardware store and is considered one of the town's leaders.
Ethel Clark Ethel is Sam Clark's wife.
Chet Dashaway Chet is the town undertaker and the owner of a furniture store.
Luke Dawson Luke is a wealthy landowner and the town's moneylender.
Harvey Dillon A young dentist recently arrived in town, Harry and his wife find themselves on the fringes of society.
Mrs. Dillon Mrs. Dillon is Harvey Dillon's wife.
Dave Dyer Dave Dyer owns the town's drugstore and is one of the town's more prominent citizens.
Maud Dyer Maud is Dave Dyer's wife. Sexually repressed and a hypochondriac, Maud eventually seduces Will Kennicott.
Axel Egge Axel is an immigrant storekeeper, whose shop Carol patronizes when she is intimidated by other store owners.
Julius Flickerbaugh Julius is one of the town's attorneys.
Mrs. Flickerbaugh Mrs. Flickerbaugh is Julius Flickerbaugh's wife. She no longer cares about the opinions of others and has become defiantly eccentric.
Dr. Gould One of Will Kennicott's rivals, Dr. Gould is criticized by Will as not being a skilled physician.
Harry Haydock Harry is the owner of the Bon Ton Store, and Raymie Wutherspoon's boss.
Juanita Haydock Harry's wife, Juanita, is one of the "smart set" of Gopher Prairie, a social leader, and a vicious gossip.
Nat Hicks Nat Hicks is a tailor who hires Erik Valborg.
The Jolly Seventeen The Jolly Seventeen is a group of women who meet for social purposes, but their opinion can make or break the reputation of anyone in town.
Hugh Kennicott Hugh is Carol and Will Kennicott's baby.
The Marburys Carol's friends in Minneapolis, the Marburys introduce her to Will Kennicott.
Fern Mullins A young teacher who comes to work in Gopher Prairie, Fern's reputation is destroyed by town gossip.
Champ Perry One of the early pioneers who founded Gopher Prairie, Champ has been all but forgotten by the town.
Mrs. Perry Mrs. Perry is Champ Perry's wife.
Guy Pollock A liberal lawyer from the city, Guy's ambitions have been drained from him by what he calls the "Village Virus."
Bessie Smail Bessie, Will Kennicott's aunt, moves to Gopher Prairie with her husband. She is a well-meaning gossip.
Whittier Smail Whittier is Will Kennicott's uncle, who moves with his wife to Gopher Prairie.
Bea Sorenson A good-natured immigrant, Bea becomes Carol's housekeeper and friend. Later, Bea marries Miles Bjornstam and has a child with him. Both she and the child die of typhoid.
Ezra Stowbody Ezra Stowbody is president of the Ionic bank.
Mrs. Swiftwaite Mrs. Swiftwaite is a dressmaker with the reputation of being a "loose" woman.
The Thanatopsis Club Considered the intellectual center of Gopher Prairie, this group of women is actually shallow and self-satisfied.
Erik Valborg Erik Valborg is a young, somewhat effeminate man, who dreams of bettering himself and becoming a designer. After engaging in a platonic affair with Carol Kennicott, Erik leaves Gopher Prairie and becomes an actor.
Ethel Villets The town librarian, Ethel believes library patrons are merely threats to keeping the books in good condition.
Dr. Westlake One of Gopher Prairie's physicians, Dr. Westlake is close to retirement.
Mrs. Westlake Mrs. Westlake, wife of Dr. Westlake, becomes Carol's confidante but later betrays her.
Raymie Wutherspoon Raymie (Raymond) Wutherspoon is a mild-mannered clerk at Bon Ton who marries Vida Sherwin. He later enlists in the army and comes back a changed man.
Reverend Zitterel Reverend Zitterel is the town's Baptist minister. He is convinced all progressive ideas are the work of atheists.
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