Study Guide

Main Street Chapter 32

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Chapter 32

  • Carol is outside doing some work when she overhears Mrs. Bogart from next door throwing Fern Mullins out of her house. Fern has been boarding with Mrs. Bogart until now, but Mrs. Bogart calls her an immoral harlot and kicks her into the street.
  • When Carol asks what's going on, Bogart tells her that Fern took her poor, innocent son Cy to a barn dance and got him drunk. And she's his teacher, for crying out loud! Carol immediately knows the whole story is a lie, because Cy is the most dishonest kid in town. But Mrs. Bogart refuses to believe her son is anything other than a total angel.
  • Carol knows she needs to protect Fern. If Fern gets fired by the local school board, she'll never find a job anywhere, because word about why she got fired will spread quickly.
  • Carol visits the school board president, Sam Clark, to straighten things out. Sam Clark knows that the story didn't happen and that Cy Bogart is a liar, but he still thinks Fern will be fired because of the scandal the story has caused.
  • Carol can't believe Sam is willing to ruin a young woman's career so easily, but he says his hands are tied because there are some mighty conservative people on the school board.
  • Fern ends up leaving the town in disgrace. She later sends a letter to Carol thanking her for being the only person in Gopher Prairie who believed in her.

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