As the weeks go by, Carol becomes completely paranoid that people are constantly making fun of her. She feels like every day is like high school, walking through a minefield of possible insults and ridicule.
The more she walks around Gopher Prairie, the more Carol decides that the people she can't stand most are the young men who loiter and make catcalls at her as she walks by.
One day, Carol overhears a boy named Cyrus Bogart talking with another kid named Earl Haydock. She overhears them talking about her and about how the people of the town say she's stuck up.
Carol also finds out that Cyrus has watched her through the windows of her house before while she was tidying up. He laughs at how anal she is about tidiness.
It kills Carol to think that she's not even in private inside her own home—that's how closely the town is always watching her. She also notices that Cyrus has paid special attention to the part of her dresses that show a little skin.
That night, Carol pulls down every window blind in her house. She also wonders if she made a mistake in marrying Will Kennicott.
Will takes Carol away from Gopher Prairie for a vacation. They spend time with Will's mother, which Carol finds enjoyable.
When Carol and Will return to Gopher Prairie, Carol is heartened by how happy people are to see them back.
But things quickly go back to their old unsatisfying ways. One day, Will has to head out of town for three days, leaving Carol alone. When her maid Bea goes out, too, Carol doesn't know what to do with herself.