The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
How we cite our quotes:
"Them three little children is just like some of my own kinfolks. I feel like I done really raised Bubber and the baby. And although Mick and me is always getting into some kind of quarrel together, I haves a real close fondness for her, too." (1.5.106)
In a way, Portia is the closest thing Mick has to a consistent mother figure, though the two of them fight like sisters, too. There's some love there, for sure.
She pounded the same muscle with all her strength until the tears came down her face. But she could not feel this hard enough. (2.1.133)
After hearing the symphony, Mick is so overcome with emotion that she tries to physically harm herself. It's as if she loves the music so much that she doesn't quite know how to show it or express it. Still, we think there are probably better options than punching yourself. But we're just spit balling here.
Why is it that in cases of real love the one who is left does not more often follow the beloved by suicide? Only because the living must bury the dead? [...] Because it is as though the one who is left steps for a time upon a stage and each second swells to an unlimited amount of time and he is watched by many eyes? [...] Or perhaps, when there is love, the widowed must stay for the resurrection of the beloved – so that the one who has gone is not really dead [...] (2.2.8)
For Biff, love is about survival. It's fitting, then, that he is the last man standing in the novel.