Main Street Essay

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Kelly is an adjunct professor of English at College of Lake County and Oakton Community College in Illinois. In the following essay, Kelly examines why Lewis's use of repetition instead of traditional plot development has led some critics to label his novel an achievement in sociology but not fiction.

There can be little dispute of the fact that Sinclair Lewis's book Main Street has had a profound and lasting influence on what people think of when they think of the American small town. Since its publication, it has no longer been possible to think of the pleasures of the little community—the sense of oneness and the admirable determination that makes independence possible—without also thinking of its dark, smothering aspects at the same time. The book sold over a million copies in its time and keeps selling at a steady pace today, as readers examine...

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This section contains 1,955 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Main Street Study Guide
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Main Street from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.