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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 Part 1: Chapter 1 Summary

  • Once upon a time there were two best friends named Felix and Oscar ... oh wait. Wrong story.
  • Okay, let's try again: once upon a time there were two men who lived in a small southern town. The men were both deaf and mute and they only hung out with each other.
  • They really were an odd couple, though, and their names were Spiros Antonapoulos and John Singer.
  • Antonapoulos was a fat Greek who liked eating and being lazy. He worked at a fruit and candy store. Singer was tall, thin, and intelligent. He worked as an engraver at a jeweler's.
  • Singer did pretty much all of the talking (signing) in this relationship. Antonapoulos did most of the eating and drinking.
  • Everything was business as usual for about ten years, until one day Antonapoulos got sick and the doctor told him to go on a diet.
  • At this point, Antonapoulos started acting really badly and did things like urinate in public and steal things from shops. He was basically going nuts.
  • Singer got increasingly upset at this change in his friend and finally – after the behavior got worse and worse – Antonapoulos' cousin Charles Parker decided to have him institutionalized at the state insane asylum.
  • FYI, Charles Parker took an American name, though he was Greek, too. He owned the fruit and candy store where his crazy-pants cousin worked.
  • Singer was devastated.
  • Charles Parker said "good riddance."
  • Singer frantically talked to his friend as much as possible before Antonapoulos was finally taken away, but Antonapoulos didn't really seem to care.
  • Then, just like that, Singer was alone. And here's where we'll start narrating in the present.
  • Singer wanders the town and begins eating at the New York Café. He gives the owner a little note explaining that he's deaf and noting what he wants to order – the same thing every day.
  • "His gait was agitated and he always kept his hands stuffed tight into the pockets of his trousers. (1.1.45). Singer was so depressed and silent that a look of peace came over him.

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