defects in their own character. Biff Brannon’s situation is less desperate than that of the other
main characters because he has achieved a sort of adjustment: the mechanical relationship which
in his role of restaurant proprietor, he enjoys with them alleviates somewhat his sense of
loneliness. Even though the place loses money, he continues to maintain it: ‘The business was
losing money. There were many slack hours. Still at meal-time the place was full and he saw
many hundreds of acquaintances as he stood guard behind the café counter,’ Biff, Jake, Mick,
Dr. Copeland and the others do not talk only about loneliness and alienation.
No fewer than six cases of frustration occur in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Five of
them involve the love of one individual for another which is either unreturned, unrecognized,
spurned, or mistaken for its opposite. Three of them involve the love of an individual for an
ideal: Copeland longs for racial equality, Jake for social justice, and Mick for her music. But the
fact that love, whether it be for a person or an ideal, is seldom completely or permanently
successful does not mean that it is not valuable while it lasts. Its value, however is chiefly to the
lover in that it affords him release, however partial and temporary, from his cell so that for the
time that he loves he is happy, as was Singer. The wish to love, also is so universal that it tends
to join men together often without their realizing it: in the very attempts to love however
awkward that attempt and however unworthy its object by standards inadmissible to the lover
man finds a measure of relief from his loneliness. Finally love i...
... middle of paper ...
Copeland devastated by the white torture of his prisoner son, goes in broken health to live with
relatives who ignore his message. But these events are not causally related to Singer’s death. The
Kelly family is impoverished because of damages they must pay to the mother of a child their
son injured, and Mick took the dime store job while Singer was still alive; in fact he approved
the choice. Copeland is shattered not by anything related to Singer, but by impotence frozen
incomprehension and the obvious failure of his dream.
“Nothing seemed real except the ten years with Antonopoulos. In his half dreams he saw
his friend very vividly and when he awakened a great aching loneliness would be in him.
Occasionally he would pack up a box for Antonopoulos, but he never received any reply. And so
the months passed in this empty dreaming way.”(Book, p.no.14).
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