The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

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The people in Carson McCullers’ Great Depression era novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter are all victims of injustice.  Mick Kelly, a sensitive young girl; Dr. Copeland, an elderly, hurt and frustrated black man, Jake Blount, a nervous and unbalanced alcoholic, and Biff Brannon, whose consciousness is one mass of timid bewilderment, all struggle to deal with the powerful emotions injustice triggers.

Richard Wright described their fates:

Mick Kelly is doomed to a life of wage slavery in a five-and-ten-cent store; Dr. Copeland is beaten by a mob of whites when he protests against the injustices meted out to his race; Jake Blount stumbles off alone, wistfully, to seek a place in the South where he can take hold of reality through Marxism; and Biff Brannon steels himself to live a life of emptiness.

There was no happy ending, there was no reprieve for any of them from the punishing impact of the Great Depression, but literary critic May Saxton observed that when one finishes reading The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, “it is not with a feeling of emptiness and despair, but with a feeling of having been nourished by the truth.  For one knows at the end, that it is these cheated people, these with burning intense needs and purposes, who must inherit the earth.  They are the reason for the existence of a democracy which is still to be created.  This is the way it is, one says to oneself–but not forever.”

They were cheated people.  We know what that feels like.  Everyone on progressive blogs feels cheated, cheated by corrupt economic elites, cheated by Wall Street greedmongers, cheated by craven RePug politicians, cheated by Democratic politicians too chickenshit to enforce subpoenas against brazen BushCo criminals, cheated by a corporate system that rewards exploitation and punishes the exploited.  

The heart of a progressive blogger is a lonely hunter, it seldom finds the justice it seeks.   But like readers of Carson McCullers’ novel, we must not feel emptiness and despair when we finish reading progressive blog essays about injustice, for we have been nourished by the truth.  Instead, our idealism must be rekindled, our determination to seek justice must be strengthened, so the victims of greed and oppression may someday inherit the earth.    

We know that this is the way it is in too many countries . . .

Corruption Pictures, Images and Photos

We know that this is the way it is for too many suffering people . . .

darfur Pictures, Images and Photos

We know that this is the way it is for those who exploit them  . . .

filthy rich Pictures, Images and Photos

They have immense wealth and power.  They are ruthless, they have no intention of giving up any of their wealth and power.  Not one blood-stained dollar of it.  Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post just sent us that message, it just sent President Obama that message . . .


The wealthy and powerful think they are beyond the reach of justice.  They think we will never stand up to them. For far too long, we haven’t.  But it will not be that way much longer.  The clock of justice is ticking, the fuse of revolution has not yet been lit, but it will be if those arrogant bastards keep robbing us blind while the unemployment lines keep getting longer, the recession keeps getting deeper, and the outrages keep piling higher.      

The heart of a progressive is a lonely hunter, it seldom finds the justice it seeks, but it is a heart filled with idealism and it is strong.  Our hearts have been broken many times, but they’re still beating. And as long as our hearts are still beating, we will fight back.

The Kings of Corporate Power sent us a message.

Well here’s one for them:



We the People Pictures, Images and Photos


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  1. john hancock signature Pictures, Images and Photos

  2. Can I have my user ID back now?  I might need it again.

  3. I have seen the movie The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and it runs on AMC once in a while. Highly recommended. I always wanted to read the book. Carson McCuller’s seems to be one of those once great but neglected writers who never gets discussed.

    Anyway I think when I am out and about this weekend I might zip out to a local bookstore and look for it.

  4. Don’t tolerate blatant racism, please sign their petition:

    Color of Change petition

  5. this cartoon startled me. So obvious. What is this blowback were seeing from sources that are considered legitamit. Rush is considered worthy of note as he pumps the hate. It’s insane they lost, it’s over, kiss the hate and ignorance goodbye.

  6. I also told the NY Post (in kinder words than I feel) what I actually think about them.

    OTOH, I didn’t mention that I never bought their rag (well, once I did…Cindy Adams had a piece on the company I worked for being sold…she actually broke the story…I spent 25 cents for that issue, but otherwise–?  I read it for free.  When I read it at all).

    Point is: NYP is going to write me off as another DFH (& I don’t resemble that remark…I’m not old enough to have been a real hippy & that still pisses me off! :-D).

    Thanks for this essay.  Did read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter but it was many years ago…probably time to revisit it.

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