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MonkeyNotes-The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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McCullers moves in this chapter to Jake Blount. In chapter three, Jake is the man who runs into Doctor Copeland on the stairs outside of Singerís apartment. Itís clear that McCullers is building up to a more significant meeting between these two men. They are very much alike in their thinking. They both have ideas at the center of their lives and live their lives with the desire of sharing their ideas with others. They think of themselves as saviors of others, but misunderstood saviors looking for a receptive listener. They think of others as instruments of their ideas. Herman Melville would call this monomania--a sort of insanity that is manifested in the person having one fixed idea--as he did when he described his character Captain Ahab who searched for Moby Dick with the madness of a fixed idea and who never considered the separate desires and feelings of the men under his command. Doctor Copeland and Jake Blount are Ahab figures.


In this chapter, we get some of Jakeís background. He was born very poor, but escaped work in the mills by a chance and then left home without even a word to his parents and assumed that his parents were relieved of him as a burden. He is self-taught, and has all the marks of being a self-taught man about him. He uses words that no one else understands and often makes up words. For instance, he speaks to Singer of the "agluttination of capital" instead of the "accumulation of capital." Since he has no formal training, his thinking is scattered, irrational, a hodgepodge of surface information from a variety of sources. Karl Marx and Jesus seem to be his heroes.

Doctor Copeland looks at Jake on the stairs and diagnoses him as insane. It seems that this might be another thing the two men have in common. They are both subject to rages. They both find it impossible to be with other people in a social manner. Jake crucifies himself during his stint as a born again believer. It seems clear that McCullers is depicting the two men as failed Christ figures.

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