Main Street

Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951

Paperback - 2008
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Main Street
Print
Penguin Putnam
The provocative masterpiece

Sinclair Lewis's Main Street is notable for shattering the uniquely American myth of the open, progressive-minded small town. Its incisive attack on the provincial mentality stunned a nation proud of its new prosperity and power.

Random House, Inc.
The first of Sinclair Lewis’s great successes, Main Street shattered the sentimental American myth of happy small-town life with its satire of narrow-minded provincialism. Reflecting his own unhappy childhood in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Lewis’s sixth novel attacked the conformity and dullness he saw in midwestern village life. Young college graduate Carol Milford moves from the city to tiny Gopher Prairie after marrying the local doctor, and tries to bring culture to the small town. But her efforts to reform the prairie village are met by a wall of gossip, greed, conventionality, pitifully unambitious cultural endeavors, and—worst of all—the pettiness and bigotry of small-town minds.

Lewis’s portrayal of a marriage torn by disillusionment and a woman forced into compromises is at once devastating social satire and persuasive realism. His subtle characterizations and intimate details of small-town America makeMain Street a complex and compelling work and established Lewis as an important figure in twentieth-century American literature.

Baker & Taylor
Features the story of a college graduate from St. Paul who leaves to marry a doctor in a small, middle-class town, only to find her efforts to bring culture and beauty to the town thwarted by its residents, testing her idealism.

Publisher: New York : Signet Classic, 2008
ISBN: 9780451530981
0451530985
Branch Call Number: CLASSICS FIC L
Characteristics: 475 p. ; 18 cm.
Additional Contributors: Killough, George

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Jun 04, 2014
  • ser_library rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

very long, and makes me thankful for feminist support

Dec 19, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Nobel and Pulitzer laureate Sinclair Lewis's first major novel was one of his most controversial and one of his best. Taking dead aim at the hypocrisies, jealousies and gossips of a small, anytown USA, Lewis offers an unflinching look at American values and culture. He also, at a time when there were not many major female writers (Wharton, Cather, Chopin), creates a full-realized female protagonist whose discontents are almost proto-feminist.

Sep 14, 2013
  • Cecilturtle rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I must admit to having trouble seeing this book through. Although I identified Carol's struggles, her socialist and feminist ideals, her inner and personal battles, I found the novel slow, even sluggish - which I suppose was the point. Main Street has an inertia, resistance to change and conformism which swallows and engulfs... for nearly 500 pages. Miles' defeat and Valborg's success are foils that show just how deeply Carol has been enveloped to the point that she wasn't even able to rebuild her life in Washington. The last lines are so pathetic that there's nothing left but to pity Carol. A harsh critique which does not leave much room for hope.

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