The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was Carson McCullers' first novel, written in 1940. Set in a small town in the American South, it is the story of a group of people who have little in common except that they are all hopelessly lonely. A young girl, a drunken socialist and a black doctor are drawn to a gentle, sympathetic deaf mute, whose presence changes their lives. This powerful exploration of alienation is both moving and perceptive.
THE STORY: Adapted from the novel by Carson McCullers, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER explores a universal longing for connection. At its center is John Singer, a lonely deaf man, who becomes the confidant to a constellation of disparate souls--an ang
Sylvia Stanton has to wonder how every other man on campus can appreciate her except for that sorry, no-good Chad. After a bad decision on Sylvia's part, Chad is intent on making her pay for her indiscretion. Will Chad's actions on that traumatizing night pave the way for all of Sylvia's future relationships? They're all the same-the Chads, the Peters, the Williams-and now there's Terrance. All Sylvia is looking for is a man that has some of the same qualities as her father. She isn't looking for drop-dead good looks or money. All she needs to be happy is a good, strong man who is intelligent, who will love her for the woman she is, and with whom she can grow old. After all, there are women who don't have half the charm and good looks that she has, and they're walking around arm in arm with some beautiful brothers. At least that's the way it seems on the outside looking in. Sylvia would do anything to keep a man happy and satisfied. Yet here she is-stuck in Atlanta, still wishing and hoping. Will she ever find Mr. Right?
Set in small Georgia towns that are at once precisely observed and mythically resonant, McCullers' novels explore the strange, sometimes grotesque inner lives of characters who are often marginal and misunderstood. Above all, McCullers possessed an unmatched ability to capture the bewilderment and fragile wonder of adolescence. In 'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter', an enigmatic deaf-mute draws out the haunted confessions of an itinerant worker, a young girl, a black doctor, and the widowed owner of a small-town café. Two shorter works, 'Reflections in a Golden Eye' (1941) and 'The Ballad of the Sad Café' (1943), use melodramatic scenarios and freakish characters to explore the disfiguring violence of desire. 'The Member of the Wedding' (1946), on which the play and film were based, tells of a young girl's fascination with her brother's wedding. In 'Clock Without Hands' (1960), the story of a terminally ill druggist, McCullers produces some of her most forceful and indignant social criticism.
When she was only twenty-three, Carson McCullers's first novel created a literary sensation. She was very special, one of America's superlative writers who conjures up a vision of existence as terrible as it is real, who takes us on shattering voyages into the depths of the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition. This novel is the work of a supreme artist, Carson McCullers's enduring masterpiece. The heroine is the strange young girl, Mick Kelly. The setting is a small Southern town, the cosmos universal and eternal. The characters are the damned, the voiceless, the rejected. Some fight their loneliness with violence and depravity, Some with sex or drink, and some -- like Mick -- with a quiet, intensely personal search for beauty. "From the Paperback edition."
With the publication of her first novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated—and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty. Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the New York Times. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.
The perfect companion to Carson McCullers’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," this study guide contains a chapter by chapter analysis of the book, a summary of the plot, and a guide to major characters and themes. BookCap Study Guides do not contain text from the actual book, and are not meant to be purchased as alternatives to reading the book. We all need refreshers every now and then. Whether you are a student trying to cram for that big final, or someone just trying to understand a book more, BookCaps can help. We are a small, but growing company, and are adding titles every month.