Critical essay on MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis

Essay by jspencerB, April 1997

download word file, 6 pages 4.7

In the novel Main Street by Sinclair Lewis, a small town in the United States is described concerning a segmented society. The small town was named, Gopher Prairie, in Minnesota. As ambitious and outgoing as city people had become, Gopher Prairie was not changing at all. People were flocking from all over the world to come to the big cities of America. These people desperately wanted to take place in a new, more sophisticated society. Riches and beautiful places inspired these people to better themselves in many different ways. This happened suddenly and while small town people carried on their ordinary lives. Large cities were industrializing and going through massive progression, while laborious town people were being left behind to their somewhat monotonous work. Almost as though they are being left in the past. Due to the segmented society, economics, in small towns, was affected greatly, as well as the political and social views of the townspeople.

Living in a small town, such as Gopher Prairie, people could not live in the same way as city people because of a major difference in economics. Factories were not unheard of, but rarely did these people ever see one. Most of the people worked for themselves. Small town people usually consisted of mainly farmers, and maybe a banker, a store clerk, or a physician. There was no reason, or use, for more professional people. There was no reason for city people to journey to these small towns whatsoever. This resulted in a major lack of communication. Telephones were expensive and unheard of to call a long distance such as this. With this happening, the small towns' people were missing out on progression in economics. The demand for jobs in cities was a considerable amount higher, forcing the small town people...