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Main Street

Sinclair Lewis

Critical Essays Style

Lewis' style is vivid and readable, though not of first-class literary quality. He uses background liberally, with figures of speech making his narrative graphic. More dialogue appears in Main Street than in some of his later books, such as Arrowsmith. Dorothy Thompson especially commended his use of verbs. He has a tendency toward long sentences, probably as a result of his wide reading of nineteenth-century American and British novelists. In his later books, Lewis' style improved. Arrowsmith, Dodsworth, and It Can't Happen Here are better written than Main Street, though the subject matter is not always superior. Lewis' work as a whole shows unevenness, both of style and content.