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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Carson McCullers

Part Three, Chapters 1–4

Part Two, Chapters 14–15

Part Three, Chapters 1–4, page 2

page 1 of 2

Chapter 1

All of Part Three takes place in the space of a single day—August 21, 1939. Chapter 1 is narrated through Dr. Copeland's point of view, and takes place in the morning. Portia and the rest of the Doctor's family have decided that he should go to live with Grandpapa on the farm so that he can get well. Most of Dr. Copeland's furniture is moved to Portia's house, and a few things are strapped on the automobile.

Dr. Copeland is very bitter about the move and about his situation in general. He does not feel that his work is done and he does not want to leave. He thinks about John Singer's death, which makes him terribly sad. Then Dr. Copeland thinks again of the plight of his people, and he can feel the love and wrath swell simultaneously and make him feel sick. He feels defeated and alone as he rides away in the wagon.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is narrated through Jake Blount's point of view, in the afternoon of the same day. A terrible fight has just erupted at the carnival, but rather than having tried to restore order, Jake had blindly started fighting, hitting both black people and white people. He had fallen down as the fight was dying down and had realized he was lying next to the dead body of Lancy Davis, who had been killed in the fight.

Jake runs from the carnival grounds, goes home, and packs all his possessions. He tries to find Dr. Copeland to make amends with him. but Portia informs him that the Doctor has left. Jake gets caught in a downpour and goes to the New York Café. He talks with Biff Brannon for a while, who gives him a free meal. Blount falls asleep briefly and has a nightmare in which he is walking through a crowd carrying a covered box and does not know where to put it down. Biff wakes Jake up and gives him forty dollars before he leaves. Jake thanks Biff and heads for the train station, uncertain of his destination.

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 is told through Mick's eyes, on the evening of the same day. Mick is wondering what good all of her plans are now that all she has time to do is work every day. On this day she has had to work overtime at Woolworth's. When her shift ends she goes to the New York Café and orders a chocolate sundae and a beer. She reflects that there are two aspects of her life that she cannot believe: that she is working at Woolworth's and is all grown up, and that Mr. Singer is dead.

As Mick drinks her beer and eats her sundae, she reflects that she is locked out of the "inside room" all the time now; however, she cannot tell if this is because her job makes her tired or because her job makes her tense. Then, Mick thinks of her plans to set aside money to pay off the rest of the installments on Singer's radio and to buy a little piano. She is determined that she will pursue her plans.

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