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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 2: Chapter 14 Summary

  • Mick can't be alone with her thoughts anymore. She wants to be around people, and she constantly needs to be thinking of something in order to distract herself.
  • She starts growing more and more fixated on Mr. Singer and even starts following him on his walks. Creepy much?
  • She does talk to him, though, and she learns that he's seen snow and has been to Canada.
  • In other news, Etta has lost her job due to her illness, and the family's money problems are getting even direr.
  • Her dad desperately tries to get more work as a watch repairman, but nothing comes his way.
  • Harry, meanwhile, has gone to Birmingham and found a job. Mick writes him after a few weeks to say that she's okay (i.e. not pregnant) and decides to forget about him.
  • She tries to stay frantically busy during the day and at night, she's too scared to sleep. She often goes in to George's room to talk to him at night, but he isn't all that cooperative.
  • Mick grows fixated on George, too, and loves him to an almost scary degree.
  • Finally summer arrives, and Mick starts writing music again.
  • One day, Hazel comes home with news – there's a job opening for a clerk at the Woolworth's dime store.
  • Mick's dad says she should finish school, though – she shouldn't take a job. The rest of the family all agrees that it would be a mistake for Mick to have a full-time job at her age.
  • But Mick asks about the pay, which is ten dollars a week. (That would be more than $160 today.)
  • She says that she wants to take the job to help the family, but that she'll just work this summer and then return to school. Sounds fair enough.
  • Hazel quickly agrees, at which point Mick realizes what's happening: "It was like she had been trapped into something. The job wouldn't just be for the summer – but for a long time, as long as she could see ahead. Once they were used to the money coming in it would be impossible to do without again." (2.14.99)
  • Mick is horribly stressed out, but she can't back down now. She asks Singer what he thinks, and he agrees that she should take the job.
  • She lands the job without trouble and starts work on June 5. Off she goes.

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