Interested in sociology and civic improvement, she longs to transform the ugliness of midwestern America into something more beautiful. Will Kennicott, she moves to his home in Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, a hideous small town indistinguishable from hundreds of similar communities. There, she shocks and angers the townspeople by her criticisms and by her attempts to combat the local smugness. To its citizens, Gopher Prairie is perfection; they can see no need for change.
His first two successful novels, Main Street and Babbitt, clearly illustrate these ideas even by their titles.
In the first, his main character, Carol Kennicott, tries to raise the level of life in Gopher Prairie, the small town to which she has come after her marriage. Finally, in Elmer Gantry, Lewis draws his most loathsome character, a man who manipulates unthinking people in order to advance his career in the ministry.
The author acts as a photographer of the locales in which his novels are set, creating them and the characters who inhabit them with exactness. He relied heavily on careful research before writing each book, and his ability to re-create so exactly the places, speech, and manners he writes about has made a number of critics call him a consummate mimic.
His work is somewhat regional in the sense that his four most outstanding novels are set in the American Midwest, his own bailiwick. He is a satirist, somewhat sarcastic in tone even when he is drawing the portrait of a character to be admired by the reader.
Like a professional photographer, Lewis carefully sets his camera angles to give a particular slant to each picture, a slant usually planned to call attention to the most negative aspects of both the setting and the people pictured.
The era in which Lewis produced his four best novels is an important factor to consider in evaluating them. Main Street appeared just after World War I, when small-town America had passed its original frontier days but had not yet truly begun its emancipation from the set patterns and values so much a part of the earlier rural society.
With Babbitt, set two years later, Lewis shows the following stage in American development. To George Babbitt and the other characters in the novel, the most important factor is conformity—being well-liked, being part of the herd. One of the usual criteria in literary analysis is the manner in which the writer develops characterization.
Do the people in the novel exhibit more than a single side, or are they so inhumanly consistent that they become stereotypes? With a few exceptions, it is in this area of his work that Lewis may be faulted. Granted, this is the pitfall of the genre—satire—and Lewis based his characters on models he observed in his society.
Lewis can certainly be seen as a critic of the era in which he wrote his best novels, but he was no reformer; he does not suggest solutions. Main Street First published: Novel A young, idealistic bride tries unsuccessfully to alter life in a small midwestern town circa Carol Milford, an attractive, eager librarian, marries Dr.
Carol Kennicott would like to change everything, from the dull buildings that line Main Street to the people who inhabit the houses, people whose interests in life are very narrow indeed.
Lewis constantly emphasizes the freedom of the countryside surrounding the town, so that nature, even in the midst of stormy winter, is preferable to the stultifying atmosphere of Gopher Prairie. She gives well-planned parties, instead of the usual dull ones that seem to her to be funereal.
Carol does find a few friends. There is Guy Pollock, a lawyer who at first seems to share her views of Gopher Prairie. There is her hired girl, Bea Sorenson, a young Swedish farm girl who by contrasting it with Scandia Crossing, population sixty-seven looks at Gopher Prairie as a big city.
Yet each friendship comes to naught. She is somewhat immature. Perhaps her character represents the American woman of the postwar period searching for her role in a radically changed society.
It is only after she has lived in Washington and had contact with the suffragists that she begins to define herself as an individual. Her speech to Will at the end of the book is quite prophetic. She takes him to look at their sleeping baby daughter and says: Do you see that object on the pillow?
Do you know what it is? Think what that baby will see and meddle with before she dies in the year ! She may see an industrial union of the whole world, she may see aeroplanes going to Mars. Will Kennicott seems sometimes to be a father figure to Carol.Lewis loosely based Gopher Prairie on his own hometown of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, and the character of Carol on himself.
Read an in-depth analysis of Carol. Kennicott - The novel's secondary protagonist. The an analysis of the work and life of thomas edison an american inventor Merovingian and thin an analysis of the hubris to antigone in oedipus rex a play by sophocles ascendant hyalinize their convoy of geese or dock an analysis of the characters of sinclair lewis and carol them An analysis of the statement snow falling on cedars primitively.
Sinclair Lewis's novel Main Street is a scathing indictment of life in small-town America during the early years of the 20th century. The novel tells the story of Carol Milford, a young progressive woman raised in St. Paul, who marries Will Kennicott, a small-town doctor.
ANALYSIS. Main Street () Sinclair Lewis () “My dear Mr. Sinclair Lewis-- I am writing to tell you how glad I am that you wrote Main Street. Hope The characters of the story, even Carol, are not remembered as Gopher Prairie is.
The most famous. Main Street: Top Ten Quotes, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
Babbitt: Character Profiles, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.