Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

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In the novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers centers her novel around fragmented individuals who struggle to relate and commune with the society; this struggle impedes their capability to discover their identities. Settled in a Southern town, McCullers portrays a deaf mute John Singer who communicates fluently with Antonapoulos, his deaf mute friend, through the usage of sign language. Over time, John Singer develops a strong bond with Antonapoulos, but this bond shatters after Antonapoulos is admitted to the asylum. For Singer, “Nothing seemed real except the ten years with Antonapoulos… the months passed in this empty, dreaming way” (McCullers 11). After Antonapoulos is admitted to the asylum, a few misfits start to visit Singer, since they are intrigued by Singer’s serenity and presence. In search of happiness and interaction, the characters divulge and reveal their lives to Singer. Without Singer, they feel a solitary sensation inside of them that instigates troubles for all these lonely hunters. Although these individuals deify Singer, Singer does not discover a feeling of relation with them, and he finds life meaningless to the point that he ultimately, commits suicide. Due to societal and personal matters, the characters cope with the difficulty of isolation and consult John Singer for comfort and support with their emotional frailties, deeming that he is the only person who grasps them. Also, McCullers describes how all of the lost souls find it essential to form a god to which they can communicate with in their times of isolation, struggle, and desperation. Primarily, McCullers portrays how only through communication will the characters be able to feel like a part of society and merge their fragmentation ... ... middle of paper ... ...cide. Even though McCullers storms through several themes throughout the novel, McCullers mainly represents how only through communication will individuals feel and be a part of society. Through communication, individuals are capable of sharing commonalties, which involve expressing ideas and self. McCullers implies that each lonely hunter should communicate not only with another individual but with all of society in order to not be left isolated after his personal guiding power is no longer in his presence. Not until his personal god is gone is the lonely hunter struck in the heart and left in the absence of self-esteem. McCullers states, “My advice to you is this. Do not attempt to stand alone… The most fatal thing is a man can do is try to stand alone” (302). Works Cited McCullers, Carson. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. Print.
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