Main street
Free

Main street

By Sinclair Lewis
Free
Book Description

SINCLAIR LEWIS MAIN IT dr P. F. COLLIER SON CORPORATION NEW YORK COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY, INC. PRINTED IN TH UNITED STATES OF AMERICA To James Branch Cab ell and Joseph Hergesheimer This is America a town of a few thousand, in a region of and corn and dairies and little groves. The town is, in om tale, called Gopher Prairie, Minn esota But Us Main Street is the continuation of Main Streets everywhere. The story would be the same in Ohio or Montana, in Kansas or Kentucky or Illinois, and not very differently would it be told Up York State or in the Carolina hills, Main Street is the climax of civilization. That this Ford car might stand in front of the Bon Ton Store, Hannibal invaded Rome and Erasmus wrote in Oxford cloisters. What Ole Jenson the grocer says to Ezra Stowbody the banker is the new law for London, Prague, and the unprofitable isles of the sea whatsoever Ezra does not know and sanction, that thing Is heresy, worthless for knowing and wicked to consider. Pur railway station is the final aspiration of architecture. Sam Clarks annual hardware turnover is he envy of the four counties which constitute Gods Country. In the sensitive art of the Rosebud Movie Palace there is r Message, and humor strictly moral. Suck is our comfortable tradition and sure faith. Would he not betray himself an alien cynic who should otherwise portray Main Street, or distress the citizens by speculating whethef there may not be other faiths MAIN STREET CHAPTER I ON a Mil by the Mississippi where Chippewas camped two generations ago, a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of Northern sky. She saw no Indians now she saw flour mills and the blinking windows ofskyscrapers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Nor was she thinking of squaws and portages and the Yankee fur-traders whose shadows were all about her. She was meditating upon walnut fudge, the plays of Brieux f the reasons why keels run over, and the fact that the chemistry instructor ad stared at the new coiffure which concealed her ears. A breeze which had crossed a thousand miles of wheat-lands bellied her taffeta skirt in a line so graceful, so full of animation and moving beauty, that the heart of a chance watcher on the lower road tightened to wistfulness over her quality of sus pended freedom. She lifted her arms, she leaned back against the wind, her skirt dipped and flared, a lock blew wild. A girl on a hilltop credulous, plastic, young drinking the air as she longed to drink life. The eternal aching comedy of expectant youth. It is Carol Milford, fleeing for an hour from Blodgett College. The days of pioneering, of lassies In sunbonnets, and bears killed with axes in piney clearings, are deader now than Came lot and a rebellious girl is the spirit of that bewildered empire called the American Middlewest. Blodgett College is on the edge of Minneapolis. It is a bulwark of sound religion. It is still combating the recent heresies of Voltaire, Darwin, and Robert Ingersoll. Pious r 3 MAIN STREET families in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, the Dakotas send their children thither, and Biodgett protects them from the wicked ness of the universities. But it secretes friendly girls, young men who sing, and one lady instructress who really likes Milton and Carlyle. So the four years which Carol spent at Biodgett were not altogether wasted. The smallness of the school, the fewness of rivals, permitted her to experiment with her perilous versatility. She played tennis, gave chafing-dish parties, took a graduate seminar in the drama, went twosing, and joined half a dozen societies for the practise of the arts or the tense stalking of a thing called General Culture. In her class there were two or three prettier girls, but none more eager. She was noticeable equally in the classroom grind and at dances, though out of the three hundred students of Biodgett, scores recited more accurately and dozens Bostoned more smoothly...

Table of Contents
  • MAIN STREET
  • To James Branch Cabell and Joseph Hergesheimer
  • CHAPTER I
    • I
  • CHAPTER II
  • CHAPTER III
  • CHAPTER IV
    • I
  • CHAPTER V
    • I
  • CHAPTER VI
    • I
  • CHAPTER VII
    • I
  • CHAPTER VIII
  • CHAPTER IX
  • CHAPTER X
  • CHAPTER XI
    • I
  • CHAPTER XII
  • CHAPTER XIII
  • CHAPTER XIV
    • SHE was marching home.
  • CHAPTER XV
    • THAT December she was in love with her husband.
  • CHAPTER XVI
  • CHAPTER XVII
    • I
  • CHAPTER XVIII
    • I
  • CHAPTER XIX
    • I
  • CHAPTER XX
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXI
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXII
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXIII
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXIV
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXV
  • CHAPTER XXVI
  • CHAPTER XXVII
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXVIII
  • CHAPTER XXIX
    • SHE had walked up the railroad track with Hugh, this Sunday afternoon.
  • CHAPTER XXX
  • CHAPTER XXXI
    • THEIR night came unheralded.
  • CHAPTER XXXII
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXXIII
  • CHAPTER XXXIV
  • CHAPTER XXXV
  • CHAPTER XXXVI
  • CHAPTER XXXVII
    • I
  • CHAPTER XXXVIII
  • CHAPTER XXXIX
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