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MonkeyNotes-The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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This chapter is devoted to Doctor Copelandís lonely misery. His isolation grows out of two things. The first is the fact that he is a man educated in philosophy and science, both of which view the world with skepticism, and he is living in a community that is educated in the submissiveness of a racialized religion. He can see clearly when they are speaking out of internalized racism and he cannot communicate it to them. For instance, when Grandpa and the others describe their images of God and angels, they describe white people. They have internalized the racism of their society and projected it onto the cosmos, the natural and divine order of things. So when Grandpa thinks of the Judgment Day when he will be rewarded for a life of submission, he thinks God will make him white.


The second reason for Doctor Copelandís isolation seems to be the problem he has in recognizing other peopleís integrity, their separateness from him. He thinks of people as instruments capable of fulfilling his ideas. So he raised his four children, not with the love of a father who looks for what is unique and beautiful in each of his children, but with a view toward shaping them into instruments for the betterment of the African-American community. When he asks Portia about her job, she starts talking to him about where her heart is. Itís in her concern for the children, her thoughts about Mickís personality and future, her sense that she is part of a struggling family. He doesnít hear any of this. He interrupts her to tell her to stick up for herself in terms of economic justice. Therefore, when he is with people in his community, he never makes connection with them and is always feeling frustrated.

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