Study Guide

Main Street Chapter 18

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Chapter 18

  • Back in Gopher Prairie, Carol calls the first meeting of the dramatic club and asks for any suggestions for the play they should put on. She already has a high-minded play to recommend, but she's shocked to find out that every person is adamant about doing the play they want to do.
  • When Carol finally recommends her choice, it gets shot down almost immediately.
  • The group ends up choosing a lame play called "The Girl from Kankakee." Carol thinks it might be okay but then hates it from the moment she first sees the script.
  • It doesn't take long for Carol to get on everyone's nerves with her constant nitpicking and perfectionism. Everyone talks and laughs about her behind her back, and pretty soon people stop showing up for every rehearsal.
  • Carol attends the only professional play that comes to Gopher Prairie that year, but she's disappointed to see how amateurish it is.
  • In the meantime, Miles Bjornstam starts courting Carol's maid, Bea Sorenson. He tells Carol he hopes that she'll put on a good show, because if she doesn't, no one ever will.
  • The play ends up being a total disaster on its opening night. Carol can see how awful it is, but everyone in the audience and the cast thinks it's great. This puts Carol in a terrible dilemma. Should she tell them how horrible it is, or should she let them go on thinking it's great?
  • Three years go by in a flash for Carol, as she settles back into a mindless and ambitionless life in Gopher Prairie. The only thing that interests her is the baby that Bea Sorenson ends up having with Miles Bjornstam after they're married.

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