A Lonely Hunter Isolation

1128 Words5 Pages
Jodi Picoult once said, “Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” The novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, written by Carson McCullers, highlights the theme of isolation throughout. In most cases, an astute listener helps ease a person’s feeling of isolation. John Singer, the town’s deaf mute, represents a confidant to the other protagonists, Dr. Benedict Copeland, Biff Brannon, and Mick Kelly as they struggle with their isolation. These protagonists, including John Singer, hold backgrounds that explain their loneliness. They manage their seclusion in unique ways, but they…show more content…
Dr. Copeland’s position in the black community as the “hero” causes him to own a pride that ultimately detracts him from healthy relationships. Throughout the novel, Dr. Copeland experiences a constant battle between love and hate because of his firm beliefs in equality - “The warring love and hatred - love for his people and hatred for the oppressors for his people” (333). These two passions fuse and muddle Dr. Copeland’s relationship with both his community and his family throughout the course of his life. His strong sense of idealism takes over his parenting and destroys his relationship with his wife and children; this leads Dr. Copeland even further down the path of self-isolation. Dr. Copeland awaits regret when he is subject to his loneliness - “Doctor Copeland turned off the lights in his house and sat in the dark before the stove. But peace would not come to him. He wanted to remove Hamilton and Karl Marx and William from his mind. Each word that Portia had said to him came back in a loud, hard way to his memory” (90). Dr. Copeland carries this theme with him up until the point at which he meets John Singer. Although a deaf-mute, Singer understands Dr. Copeland and provides security for him. Singer takes on the role of Dr. Copeland’s confidant, and the doctor begins to realize that Singer is slowly easing his loneliness. “Many times…show more content…
Biff Brannon, the clerk at the New York Café, excludes himself from the opportunity for relationships by his lack of participation in society. Instead, he takes the role of a savior for those who are vulnerable. “he did like freaks.He had a special feeling for sick people and cripples” (22). Biff has the goal throughout the novel to discover the mystery within the other protagonists, but mostly within Singer. Because of his permanent role as the story’s “observer”, Biff ultimately pushes himself away from achieving normal relationships. After the death of his wife, Biff’s desire to uncover the puzzle of others only becomes more prominent. Biff begins to question everyone around him and even sometimes scares himself with his progressing mission to find out about the other characters. “The riddle. The question that had taken root in him and would not let him rest. The puzzle of Singer and the rest of them… And the riddle was still in him so that he could not be tranquil. There was something not natural about it - something like an ugly joke. When he thought of it he felt uneasy and in some unknown way afraid” (358). Biff’s loneliness motivates him to read into the lives of the people around him to detract himself from his solitude at hand. Singer takes on the primary focus of Biff, who intrigues the lonely café owner, because of his similar interest in helping others. After the
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