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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 7 Summary

  • Singer becomes increasingly popular in the town – everyone is fascinated by him. (We are, too.)
  • It's a winter of discontent in the town: protests break out and radicals of all kinds (religious, political, you name it) start to gain followers.
  • Singer wanders all over town on his walks: "He was always glad to stop with anyone wishing his company. For after all he was only walking and going nowhere." (2.7.4)
  • But of course, Singer constantly thinks of his friend.
  • He recalls that back in the day, they met another deaf-mute named Carl. Singer was glad to expand their social circle, but one day Antonapoulos flipped out on Carl and accused him of drinking all the booze, even though Antonapoulos finished it off himself. Carl was scared and got out of there pretty quickly.
  • Singer recalls more and more awful things Antonapoulos did over the years, but after a while, he forgets the bad things completely and starts idealizing Antonapoulos in his memory. (We all know that feeling: "oh, no, that girl who cheated on me wasn't that bad…")
  • He still sees his four visitors frequently, who always talk to him about the same things, like broken records: "At first he understood the four people not at all. [...] He became so used to their lips that he understood each word they said. And then after a while he knew what each of them would say before he began, because the meaning was always the same." (2.7.26)
  • Singer's hands start to torment him, yet he refuses to use them to communicate.
  • One restless night, he wanders to all the places he and his friend used to go, including their old apartment.
  • He buys Christmas gifts for all his new friends, and he even buys a radio for all of them to enjoy. Hey, this was pre-reality TV.
  • After Christmas, all four visitors show up at the same time, and it's super awkward. Singer is actually surprised: he figured they were all so chatty that they'd have a great conversation together. Guess not.
  • After they leave, he writes Antonapoulos a letter – not that he'll ever mail it, since Antonapoulos can't read.
  • In the letter, he writes that the four visitors confuse him, and he never understands what they're carrying on about all the time.
  • The worst revelation is probably about Jake: "He thinks he and I have a secret together but I do not know what it is." (2.7.68).
  • Singer thinks Jake is crazy, Mick is nice, Copeland is a bit scary, and, well, he seems to like Biff the best.
  • We also learn that Singer hates rudeness (hey, what do you know – Shmoop does, too!) and he's very upset with his four visitors for being rude to each other.
  • At night, Singer has very weird dreams about crowds and naked people and religious imagery. Paging Dr. Freud.
  • Eventually, it's time for another visit to the asylum. Singer brings Antonapoulos his very own movie projector for Christmas. Best present ever.
  • Unfortunately, Antonapoulos is sick and in the infirmary. Singer is thrilled to see his friend, but he's horribly upset when he has to leave him again.

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