Main Street

Main Street:The Myopic Nature of Gopher Prairie

Small towns are often depicted as serene and bucolic places filled with caring people. Gopher Prairie appears, at first glance, to be one of these towns. But through the trials of Carol Kennicott the true nature of these towns is exposed. In this town the people are narrow-minded and despise outside influences. Carol is a young woman with great ambition who marries a doctor from Gopher Prairie. Some of the town’s citizens; including Carol, Fern Mullins, and Miles Bjornstam, are individual thinkers who do not wish to conform to the ways of Gopher Prairie. When they try to keep their foreign ways this quaint prairie town turns into a vile place filled with rejection and prejudice towards them. The town and its Village Virus essentially suck the life out of Carol by the end of the novel. In Main Street, Sinclair Lewis suggests through social setting, tone, imagery, and satire, that the myopic nature of Gopher Prairie can overwhelm individuals and crush their ideas, creating a truly tragic environment.

As its natives are unwilling to accept change, Gopher Prairie has become isolated and its views are myopic. As Carol and Kennicott first arrive in Gopher Prairie, Carol is stricken with an unwavering sense of fear and hopelessness....

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