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MonkeyNotes-The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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PLOT (SYNOPSIS)

Part I, describes two mutes who are friends and live together. One is a big Greek man, Spiros Antonapoulos, and the other is a tall, thin man named John Singer. Soon, however, Antonapoulos begins to act in anti-social ways and his cousin sends him to an insane asylum. Singer is bereft. He begins to take all his meals at a cafe that is run by Biff Brannon. Biff likes to watch people and is especially interested lately in a man named Jack Blount, a drunk who shouts anti-capitalist propaganda. He is also interested in Mick Kelly. Mick is a girl of twelve of a large family that runs a boarding house. Since her parents are busy with work, the job of care-taking her two younger brothers is left to Mick. She thinks of Mr. Singer and music all the time. Jake has gotten drunk and in a strange fight with a wall. He wakes up in Singerís room and then goes out and gets a job at a carnival. On the way to the job, he sees a sign quoted from the Bible painted on a wall. After work, he likes to walk the streets of the mill town and preach the ideas of economic justice. Often he is laughed at. Another character, Doctor Copeland is introduced here. He is visited in his home by his daughter, Portia, who works as a housekeeper for the Kellys. They discuss the merits of John Singer. At the end of their evening, he meets Portiaís husband Highboy, and his estranged son, Willie, but cannot refrain from getting into an argument with them about their lack of interest in uplifting the African-American community. Singer takes a vacation so he can go to visit Spiros. He feels great relief at being about to speak to him. He takes him out to dinner on his last day there and Spiros refuses to leave the restaurant to return to the asylum. Singer finally returns to town and reestablishes contact with his four friends.


In book two, Mick has a very busy summer. She discovers a sense of her fatherís separate identity and feels compassion for him in his loneliness. She throws a party for her high school classmates. It begins as a formal affair and ends in a play time as if the children want to be children again. Meanwhile, Biff Brannon has realized that he is in love with Mick Kelly and feels very guilty over these feelings. His wife sickens and dies and he arranges the funeral with due respect. He sees Singer in his cafe with Jake and Mick. Doctor Copeland also spends a good deal of time with Singer. His son, Willie, is arrested for getting into a fight and is sent to a work camp for nine months. The doctor remembers his childhood and his early marriage to Daisy. He had loved Daisy greatly, but had wanted to make of her a different kind of person. When he had hurt her so many times, she finally took the four children and left him. Daisyís father is in town to comfort Portia in her pain over Willieís imprisonment. Doctor Copeland goes to visit them at Portiaís insistence. He is stiff with anger at their talk of a white God and a judgment day when they will all be turned white as a reward for leading submissive lives. When he goes to Singerís, he runs into Jake on the stairs. Jake remembers his life as a very poor boy. He had left home and spent some time as a traveling preacher. He had driven a nail into his palm one night. Then he found a woman who taught him about Marx and he had changed the text of his sermons. He feels like there are two groups of people, the knows and the donít knows and it is his responsibility to teach the donít knows. He has spend many frustrated years trying to organize people.

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