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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter


by Carson McCullers

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Blount paid no attention to anyone in the palace except the mute. They were both looking at each other. The mute's eyes were cold and gentle as a cat's and all his body seemed to listen. The drunk man was in a frenzy.

"You're the only one in this town who catches what I mean." (1.2.76-77)

Blount appreciates the fact that Singer is listening with his whole body (which is something he does an awful lot, and Mick, too). The problem is, for all this intent listening he's doing, there's not much understanding happening. In this scene, neither Biff, nor Jake (who thinks Singer can hear him), nor Singer knows what's going on.

Quote #2

Sometimes it was fun to devil Portia. She started on the same tune and said the same thing over and over – like that was all she knew. (1.3.117)

The idea of being on the same tune is a figure of speech, and it's a fitting one for Mick's story, which is all about music. It's telling, too, that music is another form of communication or expression. Mick, more than anyone else, seems to understand the way that music speaks to people. After all, it speaks to her.

Quote #3

It was good to talk. The sound of his voice gave him pleasure. The tones seemed to echo and hang on the air so that each word sounded twice. [...] He suddenly wanted to return to the mute's quiet room and tell him of the thoughts that were in his mind. (1.4.95)

An interesting shift happens to Jake here. At first he focuses on the sound of his voice and the physical act of speaking, but then he has the urge to share what he's saying and focuses more on communicating with another person. He goes from being in love with how he's saying things to focusing on what's he's saying, and those are two very different things.

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