Paul Jellinek's Reviews > Main Street / Babbitt

Main Street / Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
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's review
Feb 19, 11

Read in January, 2011

Although this volume includes both Main Street and Babbitt, I've only read Main Street so far. Main Street is a classic account of a high-spirited young woman (Carol) from the Twin Cities who winds up marrying a rural physician and moving back to his hometown of Gopher Prairie with him. The book is a little uneven and could have been tightened up here and there, but at its heart it is about Carol's struggle to overcome, and ultimately to come to terms with, what she views as the small-mindedness and mediocrity of her fellow citizens (including her husband). What for me elevates this book to its status as a classic is its ambiguity: despite the obvious flaws and shortcomings of her fellow citizens, you're never really sure that Carol is right to condemn them--and in the end, neither is she.

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