The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
How we cite our quotes:
"Our Willie didn't have no knife, so he commenced to bellow and ran about the parlor. Then finally Highboy found Willie a razor and he backed up and nearbout cut this Junebug's head off." (2.3.15)
How easily this dispute devolved into near-deadly violence! It's disturbing, for sure, and it serves as a reminder that many of these characters' lives hang in the balance, even when everything seems calm. Circumstances can turn on a dime.
Often he was laughed at and when this happened he [...] spoke scornfully in words of many syllables. [...] And if he was still laughed at he sometimes fought. He swung his big brown fists with crazed violence and sobbed aloud. (2.4.23)
Crazed violence and sobbing? Jake is clearly a troubled guy. Notice how quickly his angry thoughts can turn into violent actions. We certainly wouldn't want to be around when Jake flies off the handle. And may we recommend some anger management classes, ol' Jakey?
The three of them reached Baby at the same time. She lay crumpled down on the dirty sidewalk. Her skirt was over her head [...] There was blood all over her hair ribbon and the top of her yellow curls. (2.5.58)
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter tends to deliver graphic descriptions of violence in a very detached way, using blunt vocabulary and fairly short sentences. This description of Baby after she has been shot is no different. We get the facts, but not the gore and emotion that go with those facts. McCullers has enough faith in our imagination to spare us the more graphic details.