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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
by Carson McCullers
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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Theme of Dissatisfaction

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is hardly full of happy characters. No, the people in this Georgia town have some serious woes, and many of those woes stem from their general dissatisfaction with their lives. Isolated, frustrated, and discombobulated, these characters struggle to come to terms with the things that keep them down, like poverty, gender, race, and class. Many of these characters feel like outsiders, which means they will never feel the satisfaction of belonging, so they turn to isolation, strangely, as a means to cope.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. How do the main characters express dissatisfaction? Are there any commonalities among them?
  2. Does Singer help the main characters overcome their dissatisfaction or does he reinforce it?
  3. What dissatisfies the main characters of the novel? Do they share any causes for their dissatisfaction with the world around them?
  4. Who seems most dissatisfied? How do you know?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Biff isn't dissatisfied at all. While he's sad and lonely, he is mostly content with his choices.

Singer sets himself up for failure. He never allows himself to be satisfied without Antonapoulos, but he wasn't content with Antonapoulos either. Talk about a catch-22.

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