Andrew Lee's Reviews > The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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's review
Mar 30, 2011

Read from December 06, 2010 to January 08, 2011

Today's date : 12-06-10
Read from page 1 to page 117
Time spent actively engaged in reading : at least 10-30 pages a night.

Who is telling the story? & How is the story designed?
Surprisingly this story is actually told by many characters. What I mean by that is that for each chapter, a certain character in the story will tell their point of view of the story. For example, John Singer, the main character, tells the story in the first chapter. However, in chapter 2, the story is told by another character named Briff Brannon, a proprietor of the New York Cafe. This pattern goes on since I started reading. This is very interesting considering that it gives a whole different perspective. Since each chapter is told by different characters, I really got to know what the personality, physical characteristic, and judgment are with the characters. Now, I'm not saying that all of these characters are talking about the same time period because chapter 2 takes place after 3 months in chapter 1. I just wanted to clarify that.

Just like I said in the previous chapter, the story is designed by many characters, telling their perspective of the story. I really like this concept. This kind of reminds me of the Simpons's episode. Basically, the events that were happening in one day were all connected by the Simpsons's family members. So one would watch one family member's perspective of his/her day and it will switch to another family member's perspective and somehow all the events connect together. I really like this because it's so just so interesting to see all the events coming in together. Now, I'm not sure if this book is like that but I'm sure somehow this will all connect.

So far, I am really liking the book and hope to read more. =D

Today's date: 12-20-10
Read from page 117 to page 236
Time spend reading this book : Tried to read this book as much as I could in a night. Averaging about 20-30 pages.

Who is involved and what is their conflict?
This character named Dr.Copeland, he's a very confusing character. He's so isolated from his family. His wife and his children just abandoned him and his view in the world is the very opposite from his own family. His family believes in God and such, but Dr.Copeland doesn't believe in such things, thus having no close relationship. When Portia tried to have a family reunion, Dr.Copeland just kept arguing about the point in life with his family and he got so mad that he just left. This is just awful because Dr.Copeland cannot even talk or relate to his family anymore. Did I mention he has a son? His son just got into jail because he got into a fight because he was fighting over a stripper in a stripper club. To Dr.Copeland, he looks at him as uneducated failure and now a convicted felony. Even though Dr.Copeland is very educated, still he seems to be miserable in my opinion.
Music seems to be a huge part of this novel in my opinion. This character named Mick goes to the rich part of the neighborhood because they all have radios there. From the window, Mick listens to the classical music. Her favorite music is from Mozart. She seems to be relaxed and feels peaceful when she listens to them. But in the end of Part 2 Chapter 2, she listens to Beethoven and has a some kind of a effect on her. It seems that music is a big part of Mick and seems to inspire her in some way.
This book can get kind of confusing since this book has many perspective of many characters, but this is what I like about this book. I never read this kind of book in my life. Even though reading is not my thing, still I enjoy this book very much. =D

Today's date : 1-10-11
Read from page 237 to 430
Time spent reading : 30 min, usually in Barnes and Noble =D

The ending was somewhat confusing, but interesting. I was so surprised when Singer killed himself because his deep friend, Antonapoulos, passed away from a disease. I even gasped when I was reading and a few people in Barnes and Noble were looking at me. This was just so sad because I never thought Singer was going to take his life away like that because many people in the story cared about him. There was one part where all of the 4 major characters, Dr.Copeland, Mick, Blount, and Biff came to Singer to talk. However, they weren't talkative when they were together. When the individuals talk to Singer alone, they had tons of things to talk about, but it seems they are uncomfortable talking some issues with other people. One of the problem with Singer was that he wasn't able to tell what was wrong with each individual person considering the fact that he was deaf and mute. "You remember the four people I told you about when I was there... They are all very busy people. In fact they are so busy that it will be hard for you to picture them. I do not mean that they work at their jobs all day and night but that they have much business in their minds always that does not let them rest...the New York Café owner is different. He watches. The others all have something they hate. And they all have something they love more than eating or sleeping or wine or friendly company. That is why they are always so busy." ( pg 344 )This causes loneliness for Singer since he can't communicate with each other. However, Antonapoulos seem to be the only one who can sort of understand him even though he was taking Singer for granted by being lazy and selfish. I think that's why Singer killed himself because he thought there was nothing to live for anymore after Antonapoulos left him.
In the end, there were 4 chapters dedicated to each major character. Each chapter was narrated by one character and all of the 4 chapters happened on the same day. Dr.Copeland felt he failed his mission because he wanted more civil rights for African Americans because his son, Willie was beaten by white guards in prison and had to get his feet amputated and felt he needed justice. Mick had to get a job to fiance her family, giving up her high school career and her desire for music ( piano ). She decides to save up the money to pursue her long-held dream. Blount just leaves town because he has put all of his stocks on Singer and since he's dead, he has nothing. Briff kind of just goes on with his life with his cafe. In the end, even though they are upset by Singer's death, his death didn't really change anyone.
While this was happening, there are all these news about Hitler and Germany. Even though most people were concerned, they didn't really care all that much and instead, focus on the character's lives. However, this one kid named Harry Minowitz is the only character in this novel to care about the world events. He was worried about Germany taking over since he's jewish and even thought about killing Hitler himself. The adults however, they didn't even talk about it or think about it in full detail. This is kind of ironic considering that fact that shouldn't adults care more about world events than children? Instead, each individual adult characters only care about their issues and struggles.
I really enjoyed this book and even though it was pretty tough, I really recommend it!


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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Miss P-C (new)

Miss P-C Andrew,
I'm glad you're enjoying your novel! I am not too familiar with McCullers work, so I look forward to your updates!

message 2: by Miss P-C (new)

Miss P-C Great discussion of the music- I look forward to your update! Don't forget to reference the text!

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