Study Guide

Main Street Love

By Harry Sinclair Lewis

Love

It's hard to say what love means for Carol Kennicott in Main Street. She's never been the type of person who defines herself as part of a relationship; she's an independent woman who puts her personal ambitions above everything else.

Now, it was totally fine for a man to feel this way in Sinclair Lewis's time, but if a woman felt this way, she was considered to be unnatural and immoral, and that's why the people of Gopher Prairie spend so much time reminding Carol that she's supposed to be happy as a baby-making housewife. Is that what love is? Or could it also mean other things? Is Carol too independent for love, or do definitions of love change?

Questions About Love

  1. Do you think Carol is capable of real love? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think Carol doesn't love her baby son at first? Is it unnatural? Does nature have anything to do with it? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think Carol will ever be able to feel for anyone the way she feels for her dead father? Why or why not?

Chew on This

In Main Street, we find almost no examples of what many people would think of as true love.

Main Street shows us that in the long run, the most you can hope for in life is to be with someone you respect. Love will just fade after the first few years.

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