Study Guide

Main Street Chapter 25

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Chapter 25

  • Will sits in his office and broods about Carol's dissatisfaction. He simply can't see why she hasn't gotten used to her situation in Gopher Prairie yet. Part of him thinks that she's intentionally resisting satisfaction because she has too much pride.
  • While Will broods, a woman named Maud Dyer comes into his office asking him to examine her. He's surprised to see her, because Maud supposedly believes that only God should heal sickness. We get the sense, though, that Maud just wants Will to examine her body for its own sake, if you catch our meaning…
  • Will seems to catch Mrs. Dyer's drift, too. So he tells her that she has a repressed sex instinct and instructs her to take a vacation to help give herself an outlet for it.
  • Before leaving, Mrs. Dyer asks Will to come to her house that night and "scold" her, since her husband will be out and she'll be feeling lonely.
  • Instead of going to Maud Dyer's, Will goes home to be with Carol and their son Hugh. But the temptations keep coming when his buddy Nat Hicks comes to his house and invites him out for a rowdy night with some beer and some local girls. Again, Will does the right thing and turns down the opportunity to get wild.
  • When he comes back into the house, Will is so proud of himself that he asks Carol to start sleeping in the same bed with him again. She refuses and says she likes her own bed. So once again, Will hits a brick wall when he tries to establish intimacy with his wife.
  • Will heads back out into the street and walks to Maud Dyer's house. He peeks through the window and sees she's alone. The last time we see him, he's pushing the gate of the house and walking through.
  • Back at the Kennicott house, we find Mrs. Bogart paying a visit to Carol. Mrs. Bogart is complaining about a local woman named Mrs. Swiftwaite, who's new to town and apparently a little too friendly with the men.
  • Mrs. Bogart tells Carol to be careful letting Will around this new woman. Carol gets offended and says that Will is the most loyal husband in the world. She doesn't realize that at this very moment, Will is alone with another woman. Carol makes the mistake of thinking that Will only thinks about furnaces and cutting the grass.

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