In this classic Sinclair Lewis shattered the sentimental American myth of happy small-town life with its satire. Main Street attacks the conformity and dullness of early 20th Century mid western village life in the story of Carol Milford, the city girl who marries the town doctor. Her efforts to bring culture to the prairie village are met by a wall of gossip, greed, and petty small-minded bigotry.
On a hill by the Mississippi where Chippewas camped two generations ago, a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of Northern sky. She saw no Indians now; she saw flour–mills and the blinking windows of skyscrapers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Nor was she thinking of squaws and portages, and the Yankee fur–traders whose shadows were all about her. She was meditating upon walnut fudge, the plays of Brieux, the reasons why heels run over, and the fact that the chemistry instructor had stared at the new coiffure which concealed her ears.
A breeze which had crossed a thousand miles of wheat–lands bellied her taffeta skirt in a line so graceful, so full of animation and moving beauty, that the heart of a chance watcher on the lower road tightened to wistfulness over her quality of suspended freedom. She lifted her arms, she leaned back against the wind, her skirt dipped and flared, a lock blew wild. A girl on a hilltop; credulous, plastic, young; drinking the air as she longed to drink life. The eternal aching comedy of expectant youth.
It is Carol Milford, fleeing for an hour from Blodgett College.