At the center, is John Singer, who rents a room in the Kelly house after his deaf companion, Antonapoulos, is sent away to an asylum. Mick Kelly is a teenage girl that dreams of becoming a trained musician; Jake Blount, an alcoholic socialist; Dr. Copeland, the town’s black doctor; and Biff Brannon, the owner of the local cafe. All the characters regularly visit Singer, telling him about the pain and injustices in their lives. Whether quiet or loud, deliberate or uncontrolled, the five voices in the novel come together in the novel with different characteristics.
Characters Mick Kelly Mick, with her courageous and rebellious spirit as she moves from childhood into adolescence, is the other strong central point of the narrative. Although Singer is the focus, it is debatable that Mick is the protagonist. Her passionate obsession with music increases her desires. Mick usually listens to Singer’s radio. A lonely tomboy, her attraction to Singer, helps her cope with her low-income family. A summer picnic expedition with her Harry Minowitz only intensifies her isolation.
There are more chapters centered to Mick’s point of view in the novel than to any other character, maybe because her character is rather autobiographical of McCullers herself. Similar to Mick, McCullers was ambitious of becoming a concert pianist in future. Mick’s passion for music is essential not only as a crucial character trait but also because of McCullers’ musical responsiveness shapes the entire structure of the novel. Throughout the novel, music represents Mick’s energy and her search for beauty; she stores it in her mind’s “inner room” to which only Singer and She have access.
Her plans to assemble a violin from scratch, for example, occur from her “inner room. ” as a result, her frustration when the violin fails work is more violent than if the thought had been conceived in her “outer room” her part that allows her to interact with the outside world. Mick is the most hopeful and positive character in the novel. The fact that she is a child at the start of the novel provides McCullers the chance to portray the funny and emotional moments that accompany Mick’s coming of age.
Mick, at her worst, frightens her little scares his little brother, Bubber, into running away after shooting Baby in the head by mistake with a BB gun; at her best, she quits school to work so that she can provide for her poor family. At the end of the novel, her final words indicate to the reader will still continue struggling to achieve her ambitions. John Singer As compared to Mick, Singer is Deaf-mute silver engraver at a local jewelry store. Singer has lived with his close deaf-mute friend Spiros Antonapoulos for a long time (ten years).
Singer never appears to comprehend that he is very dedicated to his friendship with Antonapoulos, but he is contented in this obliviousness. Singer eventually becomes a sad and lonely man after his friend is moved to an insane asylum and moves in with the Kelly family. The other characters in the novel including Mick chronicle their increasing dependence upon Singer. Each of them creates his/her conception of who Singer is; because Singer cannot speak, he cannot refute or disappoint them. Singer’s devotion to Antonapoulos is McCullers’s way of exploring the human struggle to express oneself and be loved.
Singer, on the other hand, is an object of devotion and adoration from the other characters; hence, unlike Mick, who continues to struggle to achieve her ambitions, Singer represents the counter-theme that any artificial object or god worshiped is an illusion. Biff Brannon He is one of the weirdest characters in the novel. Unlike Mick, he is quiet, distanced, and observant. However, none of his observations stick into any greater insight of humanity; rather, they stand as isolated, separate fragments that offer the reader only contradictory and puzzling impulses that are never adequately explained.
Biff interacts with his wife, Alice. After fifteen years of marriage, it is clear that they do not feel any great love for one another. Just like Mick’s desire to achieve her musical dream, we also learn that Biff is impotent, and he has a strong desire to have his own children, he wishes that his niece, Baby, and Mick were his own children. Biff clearly has uncertain sexual anxieties. He keeps all the parts of his past and present life compartmentalized, his life downstairs the restaurant to his life upstairs in his room, and his relationship from his sexual life.
Biff has a feminine side to his personality because after Alice dies, he starts to sew and use his wife’s perfume that leaves us to believe that Biff is unable to resolve these inner conflicts as compared to Mick. Dr. Benedict Mady Copeland Just like Mick who sacrificed her education to help her family, Dr. Copeland is perhaps one of the notable characters. He is a black man that has made many personal sacrifices to dedicate his entire life’s work to furthering the education and support the black community. Dr. Copeland speaks very carefully and articulately.
He believes that education and strong leaders and teachers are the best ways of fighting poverty and black ignorance, but similar to Mick, he is unable to find a person of his own race who can assist him with his goals. As compared to Mick, who is a protagonist, Dr. Copeland, is a Marxist. When the two Marxists Dr. Copeland and Jake Blount finally discuss their political views, their racial, educational, and personal differences make it almost impossible for them to communicate; consequently, neither recognizes the other as a fellow reformer.
Jake Blount As compared to Mick who has a passion for music, Jake is a wanderer that comes to town with passionate and confused plans for a socialist rebellion. As compared to Mick, who spends most of her time listening to music, Jake drinks almost frequently for the first few weeks he is in town, spending much of his time at Biff Brannon’s Cafe. Among all the characters Jake is the most vulnerable to violent outbursts and mental instability. Similar to Mick, who is committed to helping her poor family, Jake consumed with his wish to see workers rise up in rebellion.
Jake is also poor at personal interaction as compared to Mick because all of the other main characters including Mick, have other friends or family outside of their relationship with Singer, but he confides in nobody else except the deaf-mute. Conclusion The aim of this essay was to examine how The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, through its characterization can be seen as an analysis towards particular intersecting power structures of the 1930s South, when looking at those power structures in the characterization of the five characters in the novel.
This paper has focused and compared Mick to other characters: what intersecting power structures she is either privileged or restrained by, how those structures shape her experiences, and how she accepts or resists. Mick is restrained by her femininity notions based on racial, sexist, and classist notions, and that her characterization challenges them through her behavior. She is also restrained to accomplish her artistic aspirations due to her poor position in the intersection of gender and class.