12 Quotes from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
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Carson McCullers (1917 – 1967) won literary accolades for her 1940 novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Published when she was only twenty-three, she described herself as “much too young to understand what happened to me or the responsibility it entailed.” Still, it was an epic achievement and a marvel that one so young had such a grasp of human nature.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is concerned with the struggle of human beings to build bridges of communication between their separate islands of loneliness. The main characters look to Singer, a deaf mute, for answer to their confused desires. Here are 12 quotes from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a twentieth century classic.
“My advice to you is this. Do not attempt to stand alone …The most fatal thing a man can do is try to stand alone.”
“All we can do is go around telling the truth.”
“Maybe when people longed for a thing that bad, the longing made them trust in anything that might give it to them.”
“How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?”
“She wished there was some place where she could go to hum it out loud. Some kind of music was too private to sing in a house cram fall of people. It was funny, too, how lonesome a person could be in a crowded house.”
“The heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of another’s fire … driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there’s no sign of love in sight!”
“The way I need you is a loneliness I cannot bear.”
“I´m a stranger in a strange land.”
“The people dreamed and fought and slept as much as ever. And by habit they shortened their thoughts so that they would not wander out into the darkness beyond tomorrow.”
“I do not have any home. So why should I be homesick?”
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“Wherever you look there’s meanness and corruption. This room, this bottle of grape wine, these fruits in the basket, are all products of profit and loss. A fellow can’t live without giving his passive acceptance to meanness. Somebody wears his tail to a frazzle for every mouthful we eat and every stitch we wear — and nobody seems to know. Everybody is blind, dumb, and blunt-headed — stupid and mean.”
“We live in the richest country in the world. There’s plenty and to spare for no man, woman, or child to be in want. And in addition to this our country was founded on what should have been a great, true principle — the freedom, equality, and rights of each individual. Huh! And what has come of that start? There are corporations worth billions of dollars — and hundreds of thousands of people who don’t get to eat.”
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