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MonkeyNotes-The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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Chapter 7

It is a very cold winter in the town and the townspeople become restless with the forced idleness. New beliefs sprang up. Huge tent gatherings are held weekly. Violence also springs up, much of it related to economic and ethnic injustice. Singer starts to walk through the town in the evenings. He walks in all the streets, rich and poor, black and white. He is often spoken to and people develop theories about him that reflect their own personalities and ambitions. Singer longs for his friend Spiros passionately. He never stops thinking of him. He thinks of his ten year life with Spiros. During the first few months of their separation, he remembers the bad parts of his life with Spiros. For instance, once they met another deaf mute man named Carl. He was a young man and the two of them were very happy to make his acquaintance. Spiros was especially taken with him and showed off in front of him and liked to have him over. One night when Carl was over, Spiros kept making trips to the closet to drink some gin. He offered some to Carl and even though Carl wasn’t interested, he took small sips. After a while, Spiros came back from the closet glowering at Carl and making obscene signs to him. When asked the matter, he said Carl had sneaked into the closet and drank all the gin. He wouldn’t hear anything different and Carl finally had to leave, never to return.

Soon, however, Singer thinks only of the perfection of his friend. He feels like the year he as been away from Spiros that he has been left alone in an alien land. He feels bewildered by all that is said to him. He listens to the four people who come to visit him. Doctor Copeland talks about the injustices suffered by African Americans, Mick talks about the music that is in her, Jake talks about everything and contradicts himself all the time, and Biff Brannon mainly just stares and asks questions. He has now known these people for seven months. At first he hadn’t understood anything they were saying. Now he knows before they even begin talking because they always say the same thing.


He feels tormented by his hands. He doesn’t sign anymore, but in his sleep, his hands move. During the day they feel awkward and he keeps them stuffed in his pockets. Before, he used to be very careful in grooming his hands. Now he scrubs them roughly. He pops the joints of his fingers until they ache. Sometimes as he is walking the streets, he goes back to the house he and Spiros lived in. One night he stands looking at the house for a long time. He thinks of the kitchen where Spiros had cooked their meals, the smells of the apartment. He notices the crack on the pavement where Spiros had tripped once. He feels bereft standing there alone without his friend. He walks on. He passes the candy store where Spiros used to work. Now he only goes inside when Charles Parker is away. He passes the photo store where Spiros always had his picture taken. He carries many of these pictures with him always.

He mails Spiros a large box of presents. He buys presents for all his friends and Mrs. Kelly. He buys a radio for all of them to listen to. Mick is enraptured by it. One night after Christmas all four of these people happen to show up on the same night. He is surprised that they are unable to speak and are even rude to each other. Finally, they all leave at the same time.

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