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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 4 Summary

  • Jake wakes up late in the afternoon feeling really nasty. This dude is seriously hung over.
  • He sees Singer and asks him some questions, but Singer only smiles and nods.
  • Finally Singer hands Jake a card explaining that he's a deaf-mute, but that he can read lips just fine.
  • Jake feels like a jerk, but he chats a bit more with Singer before leaving.
  • When he gets outside, Jake starts up a conversation with a kid named Bubber (that should sounds familiar). While they're chatting, he sees Portia leave the house with Highboy and Willie.
  • Bubber gives Jake directions to the New York Café.
  • On the way, Jake stops into the fruit and candy store and picks up the classified ads to look for a job. Yeah, a job can't hurt.
  • Then he heads back to the Café and chats with Biff, who gives him the low-down on the town.
  • Biff agrees that he should check out the job at a local fair that needs a mechanic. So Jake wanders over to Weavers Lane, which is the not-so-nice part of town.
  • "Groups of dingy hungry-looking children called to each other and played games. The two-room shacks, each one like the other, were rotten and unpainted. The stink of food and sewage mingled with the dust in the air." (1.4.92) You get the picture.
  • Biff approaches the Sunny Dixie Show (most ironically named fair ever) and meets the owner, Patterson, who is really gruff.
  • Jake lands the job even though the empty show and the run-down merry-go-round give him the creeps. (Sounds like the set for a Stephen King novel, if you ask us.)
  • He then decides no day is complete without some socialist propaganda, and he tries to preach the word to some guys chilling on a street corner.
  • Jake likes to hear himself talk, but he hates being laughed at. When his audience starts mocking him, he shouts at them and storms off, a la Mick Kelly.
  • He wanders back to the nicer part of town and buys some fruit at Charles Parker's store. Then he goes back to Singer's room and starts telling Singer his life story.
  • Jake is convinced that Singer knows what he's talking about and knows the Marxist "truth" of the world.

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