I found the book a fascinating take on the agony so many, especially women, faced in the early 1900's. They moved from the east, from cities, from society, and settled in upstart, unkempt communities filled with prejudice, gossip, small-town thinking, ugliness, and unending hard work. Anything and anyone who did not fit into their little "mold" was disparaged and ridiculed. Though I grew up a half century later, I could see that many of the shackles spoken of in Main Street were still alive and well in my main street.
Thankfully, many of us kicked against the "norm" and pushed for a different type of thinking. In my little corner of the world, at that time, it was a travesty to go to a non-Lutheran church, to believe in equality of all races and both genders, to wear pants off the farm, to want to travel to other countries, or to want a career other than teacher, nurse or secretary.
Oh, how the world has changed...especially in the past 100 years! But ... is it better? Or have the issues, the prejudices, the lack of acceptance, the smallness just moved around? Rather than tight family units with a defined set of mores all must adhere to, do we now have tight ideological units that are superior to all others? Do we still try to make others think and believe and act just like us? And when they don't, do we disparage and ridicule them?
Sometimes I think we haven't changed that much at all....