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Character Analysis For The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

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People feel the need to find a niche in their lives. They need to find a role in life that makes them comfortable and content in their family and or their community. If they don't find this they feel isolated from society and the world around them. They feel that no one really understands them because they cannot relate to the community they live in. In The Heart is a Lonely Hunter the major characters have feelings of loneliness and rejection. They all become attached to someone they believe feels the same way they do and sympathizes with them even if reality they don't.

One of the characters in the novel, Jake Blount, searches for a sympathetic ear. He appears in the New York Cafe drunk and rowdy talking to everyone and no one. He talks so much the "words came out of his throat like a cataract" (Hunter 13). He constantly talks to everyone hoping someone will take the time to really listen and understand. His words come out "as though a dam inside him has broken" (Hunter 20). Ironically, the one he thinks understands him is a deaf-mute named John Singer. He tells Singer, "You're the only one in this town who catches what I mean . . . because I know you understand the things I want to mean" (Hunter 59). Jake Blount just assumes Singer understands him. Singer never gives him reason to believe otherwise. Nevertheless, Singer writes about Blount in a letter to Antonopoulos, "The one with the mustache I think is crazy" (Hunter 183). He also writes Antonopoulos that Blount thinks "he and I

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have a secret together but I do not know what it is" (Hunter 183). Jake Blount thinks Singer understands him when he actually does not.

Another character searching for understanding is Dr. Benedict Mady Copeland. Dr. Copeland is perhaps the noblest character in the entire story, as a black man who has made many of personal sacrifices to devote his entire life's work to furthering the education and to uplift of the black community. His daughter, Portia, says that when she was a girl, he was "all the time studying by hisself" (Hunter 41). Dr. Copeland is well educated and this separates him from the rest of his family. They do not understand why he has always felt the need to educate them. At a Christmas party, Dr. Copeland talks to the guests about Karl Marx and what he stood for. When he asks if everyone understands, they reply that they do. This makes him wonder if they are answering this way just to please him. He eventually turns to Mr. Singer for understanding. Dr. Copeland thinks Mr. Singer is wise and understands "the strong true purpose in a way that other white men could not" (Hunter 114). Mr. Singer admits in a letter to Antonopoulos that he in fact does not understand.

John Singer is another character who feels a need for understanding. He is a deaf-mute that everyone else seems to turn to when they need to vent their feelings. Singer does not communicate often unless by pen. He usually watches what everyone else has to

say. Singer is in need of understanding just as much as the other characters but has no one with whom he can share his feelings. His deaf-mute friend, Antonopoulos, seems to be the only person who he can really "talk" to even though he does not quite comprehend everything Singer tells him. Even though Antonopoulos had never reciprocated Singer's

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feelings of devotion, Singer had been happy just to be in his friend's presence. Singer and Antonopoulos have been friends for ten years and although Antonopoulos does not attempt to communicate with Singer unless he is hungry or sleepy, Singer continues to tell him everything that is on his mind. Singer assumes an understanding in Antonopoulos. In his letter to Antonopoulos Singer tells him, "I do not understand, so I write it to you because I think you will understand" (Hunter 184). He also tells Antonopoulos that he wants to see him because "I am not meant to be alone and without you who understand" (Hunter 185). She immediately

Mick wants to desperately share her feelings especially about music which represents her passions in



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