Dear Book Clubbers,
We have come to the end of our lonely hearts journey. The journey has been bittersweet, don't you think?
Throughout the novel, Mick, Biff, Doctor Copeland, and Jake have all focused their burning heart-felt questions—the needs that will not let them rest—onto Singer, in whom they see answers and understanding. Then, in one shocking instant, their lives threaten to unravel. Each is left to struggle with his/her questions on their own. Do you think they will be able to move past their loss? Or are they permanently caught in the wheel, destined to make the same mistakes again?
Part Two took us through the seasons…the final section of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter takes us through one lonely day. As our last day progresses, the clouds of doubt give way to some rays of hope that each of our lonely hearts will find answers within themselves.
In the morning, poor Doctor Benedict Mady Copeland is forced to move to his father-in-law's farm—the last place he wants to be. Weak from cancer, his body can no longer support the strength of his convictions. He wants to scream out for justice—but he can only muster the strength to shield his eyes from the sun.
In the afternoon, Jake is a lost soul without Singer. He sees the street prophet's chalked message, "He Died to Save You", and feels angry—not sad—that Singer has killed himself. He is impatient to leave town and start over again until he remembers the fight he had with Doctor Copeland. Jake thinks Copeland is crazy but he knows that in spite of their differences, they could be allies. When he finds out the Doctor has left, he braves a storm to hit the highway, hopeful for what lies ahead.
Early evening finds Mick giving herself a pep talk over an ice cream sundae and a beer at Biff's café. She feels like she's been cheated, forced to work at Woolworth's and left without much of a life. In her heart she realizes she has made this choice herself…she understands there is nobody to blame. And we see the beginning of strength building in her. She hopes in the end she will get her piano and the plans she made in her inner room will pan out—"else what the hell good had it all been? It had to be some good if anything made sense. All right!" Mick has found her resolve.
And from behind the counter of the New York Café it is Biff who has a swift illumination. "He saw a glimpse of human struggle and of valor. Of the endless fluid passage of humanity through endless time. And of those who labor and of those who—one word—love." In the end, love is the ultimate source of hope. Love is hope…and much more. That much I know is true.
The Journey of a Lonely Hunter
Doctor Copeland is torn between two desires—his ideals of service and demands of justice for his race keep him at arms length from his estranged family and community. Is he a sad father figure or a man fighting a losing battle?
Read in-depth character studies.
Love on the Rocks
From her hometown to her failed marriage, find out how Carson McCullers' personal experiences shaped some of her greatest stories. Explore her timeline, meet her circle of friends, read excerpts of her autobiography—even her first published short story!
Get to know this amazing author!
Published on May 28, 2004