The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
by Carson McCullers
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Violence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
The town seemed more lonesome than any place he had ever known. [...] When he had been drunk the place had seemed violent and riotous. And now it was as though everything had come to a sudden halt. (1.4.46)
There are a lot of different kinds of violence in this novel and the "violence" of an unsettled mind is absolutely one of them. It's fitting that Jake experiences a lot of external violence in his life – it serves as a counterpart to his disturbed mindset and his serious drinking problem. He projects his violent inner life onto the world around him, especially when he has been drinking.
The hopeless suffering of his people made in him a madness, a wild and evil feeling of destruction. At times he drank strong liquor and beat his head against the floor. In his heart there was savage violence, and once he grasped the poker from the hearth and struck down his wife. (2.3.67)
We're not sure we're buying Copeland's argument here. Did you notice how he seems to be justifying his violence against his wife with the suffering of his people? Does that seem like a good excuse to you? Shmoop certainly doesn't think so.
"You married this certain party when you were seventeen, and afterward there was just one racket between you after another. You divorced him." (2.2.51)
Biff's fairly bitter rundown of Lucile's disastrous marriage to Leroy hammers home the fact that violence is an everyday reality for many of these characters, whether it's domestic or racial. No matter how common it is, though, it doesn't lessen the impact.