broke the plains scarcely more than would a hazel thicket

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "broke the plains scarcely more than would a hazel thicket" means in the following sentences:

And she saw that Gopher Prairie was merely an enlargement of all the hamlets which they had been passing. Only to the eyes of a Kennicott was it exceptional. The huddled low wooden houses broke the plains scarcely more than would a hazel thicket. The fields swept up to it, past it.

- Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, Chapter 3

Carol and Kennicott, the newly married, spent their honeymoon at Colorado mountains and were on their way to Gopher Prairie, Kennicott's hometown. Hearing from Kennicott that Gopher Prairie was the most heavenly and beautiful place on earth, Carol tried her best to expel all her worries that it would be just the same as all the other small towns. To her disappointment, however, when she finally got to see his hometown in the train, Carol realized that it was only an enlargement of all the small towns they had been passing.

In this part, I could not understand what it means to "break the plains" and why the houses were compared to a hazel thicket.
I would very much appreciate your help. :)
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The plains are so vast and flat that the few low houses barely stand out. A hazel thicket would be a ground covering of low bushes.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear The Newt,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    So the plains were so vast that the houses seemed so unremarkable as a hazel thicket, which is low bushes covering the ground.
    I truly appreciate your help. :)
     
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