Study Guide

Main Street Chapter 31

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Chapter 31

  • Carol sits on the porch one evening while Will is out on a country house call. Erik comes marching onto the porch and touches her hand, saying that he saw Will drive out of town and decided to come over. Carol doesn't want any neighbors to see them, so she leads Erik into the house.
  • Erik wants to see Carol's son sleeping, and she lets him… but maybe he's just trying to get her upstairs. Erik steps up to her and kisses her face.
  • Eventually, Carol convinces Erik to leave. When he's gone, she feels completely empty. She glances out the window to see if she can see him leaving, but all she finds is her nosy neighbor standing in front of her house and inspecting it. She feels paralyzed by the thought that this neighbor saw Erik leave while Will wasn't at home.
  • When Will gets back home, he accuses Carol of getting too chummy with the wife of his medical rival, Dr. Westlake. He's heard that Carol trash talks her in-laws with this woman, and he doesn't want to hear any more of it.
  • The next day, Vida Sherwin visits to tell Carol that there have been rumors about her being involved with Erik Valbourg. Carol denies it outright, although it's clear that she's rattled.
  • Carol starts to have daydreams about Will dying while she is somewhere with Erik. She awakens from the dream and runs to be in bed with Will, feeling horribly guilty.
  • Carol goes the next two weeks without speaking to Erik.
  • One night, Fern Mullins asks Carol to be a chaperone at a barn dance in the area, but Carol rejects her, and we find out that something bad happened after that.

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