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MonkeyNotes-The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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Chapter 3

Doctor Copeland has been visiting Mr. Singer regularly. He thinks of Mr. Singer as an exception, nothing like the other white men heís encountered. He thinks Singer must be a Jew, a member of another persecuted group. He even takes Mr. Singer with him on his rounds. An outbreak of influenza keeps Doctor Copeland very busy. He tries to maintain his health but he becomes exhausted.

One night he cannot go on his rounds because he is so tired. He goes home and tries to rest, but finds himself feverish. Portia comes to the door in a terrible state. She reports that Highboy and Willie went to a house of prostitution and Willie got into a fight over a woman named Love Jones. Portia canít imagine why Willie would be so concerned over Love Jones because Portia thinks she is ugly because she is so dark-skinned. Willie is now in jail and is to be sent to a hard labor camp. Portia has been going around trying to get white people to write letters for Willie to keep him out of the camp. Doctor Copeland doesnít like this plan. They go to the jail together and receive very rude treatment from the white guards. They find out Willie has been sentenced to nine months hard labor.

Doctor Copeland still feels the strong purpose of his life, that of making African Americans a strong community, but he has tuberculosis and he works so hard he cannot rest. When he visits patients, he always exhorts them with his ideas. He tells Mr. Singer that his people are very strong for having survived the passage on the slave ships and the enslavement. One night, Portia comes over to borrow some of his dishes. Grandpa and the rest of the family are coming to town to help her while she is suffering over the worry about Willie in jail. She also asks her father to come and see them since he hasnít seen his other children in so many years. That night after she leaves, he thinks back over his life. His mother had been born a slave. His father was a preacher. His parents had worked very hard after slavery and had saved up eighty dollars to send him north to school. He worked in a blacksmithís shop while he was in school. After ten years, he was a doctor and he came back South with his mission to help his people to true freedom. He got married and started his practice and tried to make of his children the instruments of his ideas. Often he would get into a terrible rage and during these times he committed violence against his wife, Daisy, and his children. Daisy took the children and went to live with her father. He was left alone in an empty house.


The next day he arrived at Portiaís to visit with the family. He is so stiff and formal that he never speaks. Grandpa starts speaking about religion. He says that on the judgment day, Jesus will touch black people and turn them into white people. He then tells the story of one day while working in the fields, when he had a vision of an angel. It was a small white girl. Doctor Copeland suffers silently through the story. He feels alone and isolated. Then Highboy tells the story of his vision of God when he had pneumonia. God was a white man. Doctor Copeland feels the same rage that he had always felt years before, but keeps his mouth closed. Grandpa asks him for a diagnosis of his problem with pain in the small of his back. Doctor Copeland asks how old he is. Grandpa is around seventy or eighty and still works hard in the fields. Doctor Copeland advises him to rest as often as possible and drink lots of water. As he sits there with the others, he notices that he has no connection to his sons. When they catch his eye, they grin and look down. He feels so strained that his muscles are taut. He canít eat when they sit down to dinner. Finally, he leaves without saying good-bye.

That night at home, he canít sleep. He makes six house calls and then goes to see Mr. Singer. There he feels at peace, but as soon as he leaves, he loses his sense of peace. As he is walking down the stairs, he runs into a short, squat man who curses and says he didnít see him and apologizes. He thinks this man looks insane.

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