Lewis uses Chapter 26 to attack the hypocrisy of small-town life. Although the townspeople attend church, claim to be charitable Christians, and affirm a belief in democracy, they still maintain a class-divided society and look down on the poor. Indeed, the fact that they do not care about the Bjornstams appears to stem wholly from the fact that the Bjornstams are poor. While Bea and Olaf literally die from their poverty, contracting typhoid from their polluted well water, the elite members of Gopher Prairie do not even recognize that poverty in the community exists. The socially conscious Carol, on the other hand, who does not attend church often, selflessly nurses the Bjornstams, displaying a humanity and Christian charity that most of the townspeople lack.