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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
by Carson McCullers

Doctor Benedict Mady Copeland Timeline and Summary

  • One night, a drunken Jake tries to drag Copeland into the New York CafĂ©. Copeland quickly leaves after white customers protest. We can already see that this guy's story will be filled with drama.
  • Doctor Copeland reads alone in his kitchen when his estranged daughter Portia comes by for dinner: in true father-daughter fashion, they argue some and have a vaguely uncomfortable meal.
  • Portia's husband Highboy and her brother Willie stop by to see Copeland, too: more awkwardness ensues.
  • Copeland visits Singer to ask him for advice in dealing with a deaf baby he recently delivered. After that encounter, the two become friends.
  • The doctor is devastated to learn that his son Willie has been arrested. He tries to get Willie a lawyer but Willie is convicted and sentenced to nine months hard labor.
  • Then he attends a very awkward family reunion dinner with his late wife's family and his long-estranged children.
  • To make thing even worse, Copeland's health starts to decline: he has tuberculosis. But he still has to be the doctor, and that winter, he is kept busy treating the flu and pneumonia in town.
  • At his annual Christmas party, Copeland lectures the crowd about Karl Marx in his version of a Christmas sermon. Fun party!
  • Copeland has a near-breakdown after learning that Willie has been crippled.
  • He zones out at the Kelly house for a while and chats with Mick.
  • Copeland heads to the courthouse to get some justice for his son, but while he's there, he gets arrested by some bigoted cops instead.
  • He spends a bad night in jail and after he's released, his health is even worse than before.
  • Copeland has a very long discussion (a.k.a. argument) with Jake and the two part on bad terms after some major political disagreements.
  • At the end of his story, Copeland goes out to the country to rest on Grandpapa's farm. We're pretty sure he won't recover from his illness. The (depressing) end.
Next Page: Jake Blount Timeline
Previous Page: Mick Kelly

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