Carson McCullers (1917 - 1967) She was born in Georgia. She suffered from many illnesses and alcoholism.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter The Heart is a Lonely Hunter tells the story of Mr. Singer, who is deaf-mute. (He cannot hear or speak) At the beginning of the story he lives with another deaf-mute man named Antonapoulos.
Question: Why do Mr. Singer and Antonapoulos stop living together?
Why do they stop living together? Antonapoulos begins bahaving strangely. He drinks too much. His cousin, who he works for, sends him away to a mental institution (sanatorium) Being separated from Antonapoulos is devastating for Mr. Singer.
Mr. Singer Now Mr. Singer is alone, he moves into a boarding house. As time goes by, four different people who live in the town start to visit his room.
Mr. Singers Friends 1) Jake Blount Jake Blount is an alcoholic. He has newly arrived in town and gets a job at the fairground. He believes that he is a religious prophet of some kind and desperately wants to share his message with others.
Mr Singers Friends 2) Mick Kelly Mick Kelly is a 14 year old girl. She has a large family and her parents run a boarding house. Mr. Singer lives in this boarding house.
Music Music is Micks favourite thing. At night she goes to the garden of a house where the radio is always playing. She listens through the window and hears Beethoven.
Mr. Singers Friends 3) Dr.Copeland Dr. Copeland is a black medical doctor. He is a clever, idealistic man, but he has a lot of difficulty relating to people. He has a lot of trouble talking to his children.
Communism Dr. Copeland tries to explain Karl Marx to the people at his Christmas party. He is a doctor and most of the other black men and women have a lot of respect for him. He feels like black people in particular can benefit from communism, because they are the most disenfranchised.
Mr. Singers Friends 4) Biff Brannon Biff Brannon is the owner of the bar in the town. At the start of the story his wife dies. But even before she dies, he feels lonely and unable to talk to her properly.
Question: What do these four people like so much about Mr. Singer?
Mr. Singer Mr.Singers friends start to rely on Mr. Singer. They each see something in him that they need. He is clearly a kind and patient man, but because he never speaks, his 4 visitors can project what they need from a friend onto him.
Secrets Jake Blount, Mick Kelly, Dr.Copeland and Biff Brannon each have secret feelings that they are unsure how to communicate. This book suggests that most people have secrets that they find hard to share.
Lonliness One day Jake Blount, Mick Kelly, Dr. Copeland and Biff Brannon all come to visit him at the same time. Though when they come alone, they have a lot to say to Mr. Singer, when they are all there, they dont speak.
Speaking in sign language Mr.Singer can only speak to his friends by writing notes. One of the reasons he misses his friend Antonapoulos so much he because he can speak to him using sign language.
Antonapoulos Singer never stops missing his friend and he goes to visit him at the asylum as often as he can. The story implies that he is in love with him Antonapoulos dies in the asylum. When Singer finds out, he shoots himself in the chest.
What Mr. Singer needed To his 4 friends (and other people that he meets in the story) Mr. Singer is the most important person they know. However the person who gives Mr. Singer what he needs in life is Antonapoulos. In this story, what people most need is someone that they can talk to, who they feel understands them. When he dies, Mr. Singer cannot continue.
Communication This is a novel about how people communicate with each other, and how difficult people find it to say important things. Often people are lonely because they do not know how to communicate the things that are most private and secret.
Flannery OConnor (1925 - 1964) She was born in Georgia. She inherited the disease lupus from her father. Because of this she had to live at home with her mother.
A Good Man is Hard to Find This story is about a family - a grandmother, her son and his wife and two children. They are taking a trip to Florida. The Grandmother wants to go to Tennessee instead.
The Misfit She tries to convince her son to change his plans by talking about the Misfit. The Misfit is a murderer who has escaped from prison. She suggests that it may be dangerous to travel to Florida.
Once on the road, the Grandmother suggests she would like to visit a nearby house. She manages to convince her son to stop by making it sound exciting for the children. To her horror, she suddenly realises that the house is in a different state. Her reaction to this realisation causes the car to crash.
The Misfit The family are stranded by the side of the road. Another car stops and three men get out, the Grandmother recognises one of them as the Misfit. Having been recognised, The Misfit and his men kill the entire family.
Question: Is the Grandmother in A Good Man is Hard to Find a good person?
Errors The Grandmother has directed the car down an abandoned road. She has caused the car to crash. She tells the Misfit that she recognises him (he may have let them go, if she had kept quiet).
Selfish? Some critics argue that the grandmother is selfish. However, she does not intentionally get the family into this trouble. There is an important conversation between the Misfit and the Grandmother before he kills her.
A Late Encounter with the Enemy This is a story about General Sash and his granddaughter, Sally. General Sash is 104 years old. His granddaughter is 62. She has just completed a degree course as a mature student.
Ceremony As a former soldier, her grandfather will be allowed to sit on stage as a distinguished guest. Sally is desperate that her father lives long enough to see her graduation.
General Sash General Sash is a very proud, arrogant man. He likes to feel important. However he is a very old man and can now do almost nothing for himself. He dies as she is receiving her degree.
Sally Sally is also a selfish person. She wants to show off her grandfather, but many of the things she is showing off are fake. He wasnt a general and his uniform is from a film set.
The past Sally wants everyone to see her grandfather in uniform on the stage, because he represents history and tradition to her. But her grandfather can no longer remember anything that has happened to him in his lifetime. The enemy that he encounters could be understood as the past.