The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Visions of America: The South Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
The locations were changed but the settings were alike – a strip of wasteland bordered by rows of rotted shacks, and somewhere near a mill, a cotton gin, or a bottling plant. (2.4.18)
We get numerous descriptions of poverty in this book. Here, the emphasis is on how all poor locations look alike – it's a sad condition repeated all over the country, and Jake has witnessed it too many times.
"If there's anything I hate worse than a nigger it's a Red." (2.12.25)
We get a lot of examples of racism in this book, but not as many about political disputes. Here though, an anonymous guy sums up two of the era's, and especially the South's, biggest social issues: racism and a distrust and even hatred of socialist politics.
"And here in these thirteen states the exploitation of human beings is so that – that it's a thing you got to take in with your own eyes. In my life I seen things that would make a man go crazy. At least one third of all Southerners live and die no better off than the lowest peasant in any European Fascist state. (2.13.87)
Jake's rant about issues particular to the South is a climactic moment for him – it's one of the few coherent, extended speeches he gets in the novel. He compares the South to a European fascist state, which makes sense when you consider the fact that the rise of fascism was a huge concern for many Americans during this era.