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MonkeyNotes-The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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Chapter 4

Biff Brannon washes his face and puts on some perfume. He goes downstairs and finds that Louis is asleep in the back instead of watching the front. It is almost midnight. He listens to the radio as it broadcasts the news about Hitler and Danzig. He tiptoes into the kitchen to keep from waking Louis and gets a pot of water and some zinnias to make an arrangement for the front window display. He spends a good deal of time over the flower arrangement and then feels satisfied in the artistic look of it. He thinks about the reason for keeping the cafe open all night long. He has been asked the question for years, but can never give a clear answer. He realizes he would never have met certain people if he hadnít kept the cafe open. He feels like night is the time when interesting things happen.

He goes outside and sees only an empty street. Inside he thinks of Willie and decides to send him a quart of whisky next week. He does a crossword puzzle. He picks at the petals of a zinnia and ends on love. He wonders who he will love and then realizes it wonít be one person, but many. He thinks of Mick. He is relieved that he no longer feels the strong attraction to her that he did for so long. Now he only likes her. On the radio, a foreign voice comes on. He isnít sure of its nationality, but it sounds foreboding. Suddenly he feels utterly lonely. He calls out to Louis, but gets no answer. He thinks of the riddle of Singer and the rest of them. It has been more than a year since it all started when Jake came into his cafe that night. Biff had managed the funeral. All of Singerís things were only his on installments. There was just enough money to bury him. He thinks of the grave side ceremony. Mick had cried so hard she had choked herself. Jake had scowled into the grave. Doctor Copeland had stood on the edge of the crowd moaning. Many people came to the funeral.

Suddenly, Biff feels something quickening in him. He thinks of all the people in the world and feels great love for them. He thinks of the past and he thinks of the future. He feels suspended between bitterness and love. he calls out to Louis again, but gets no answer. Then he pulls himself together and waits for morning to come.


Notes

The last chapter is Biff Brannonís, the character who has been the watcher in the novel and the character who has changed the most. He has changed from being the harassed husband to being a man who is happy with his place in the world. He has changed from feeling inappropriate attraction to a young girl to feeling simple affection for her. Yet, even at the beginning of the novel, he was a caring and giving person. At the end, he stands in his empty cafe and waits for the morning.

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