Definitely a book you have to take the time to fully engross yourself in to appreciate it. Insightful as most of his books are. And still relevant today too. Overall, worth taking the time to read.
very long, and makes me thankful for feminist support
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.
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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