Sunday, August 20, 2006
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is a strange book. It is classic Southern Gothic, and it is with a heavy heart that you read on, page after page. The story takes place around the beginnings of World War II in a small Georgia town. The main characters are the deaf mute Mr. Singer, and the four people who all befriends him, because in him they have found a person who will listen to them. There is the young girl Mick, who has so much music in her head and who dreams of writing a symphony and move to a place where it snows. There is the café-owner Biff, whose wife recently died and left him alone with the café and his thoughts and newspapers. And there is the leftwing activist Jake Blount and the black doctor mr. Benedict. All four of them visits Mr. Singer, and tells him about their thoughts and dreams. Whatever Mr. Singer thinks about them, we are never told. Mr. Singer only dreams of his sick friend, who was taken away from him and put in a home. There is no real plot in this story, and it moves slowly along. It is even boring at some points, but on every page you can feel the loneliness and some of the despair the characters feel, and that makes this story hard to forget.