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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 8 Summary

  • Biff spends his days pondering the mysteries of life and worrying about his business. Not super uplifting, that's for sure.
  • His life as a widower has made him even more thoughtful. He starts wearing Alice's perfume and wallowing in memories of the past.
  • Biff totally redecorates his apartment, showing a definite flair for interior design.
  • "Certain whims he had ridiculed in Alice were now his own. Why?" (2.8.7) Good question – and neither Biff nor anyone else really knows the answer.
  • Biff and Jake talk frequently and eventually, Biff offers Jake a job. But – surprise, surprise – Jake refuses to work in his capitalist business. Creepy carnival it is, then.
  • They two guys then chat about what historical eras they'd like to live in. Biff picks Ancient Greece because of the fashions, the kids running about, the luxurious baths, and the temples for thinking deep thoughts. Jake picks the Incas in Peru or the American Revolution, so he can shoot those capitalist Brits.
  • Biff then rearranges the window display so it's more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Lucile comes in and complains about her life and what a little hellion Baby has become. It's true: Baby is a major troublemaker.
  • Lucile blames the whole thing on Baby's appearance, since she had to get her head shaved after she was shot.
  • Biff goes back to pondering the Singer mystery and worrying about the strangeness of the whole situation. He recalls that Singer used to have a fat Greek friend, but opts not to pursue that mystery. "The thing that mattered was the way Blount and Mick made of him a sort of home-made God. Owing to the fact he was a mute they were able to give him all the qualities they wanted him to have." (2.8.64)
  • More screen-time for Biff: he has hired Harry Minowitz to work part-time at the diner, and he stops to chat with him. Then he goes to his back room and plays his mandolin, remembering his past with Alice. In his nostalgia, he dreams of adopting children.
  • Then he spends the rest of his night thinking and waiting for Mick, but she never comes.

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