The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

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With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.
Curriculet Details
134 Questions
107 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in ninth and tenth grades, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining musical references, literary allusion, and the motifs of communication, dreams, and music. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about plot structure, characterization and emerging theme. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of the use of motif to develop themes, the author’s personal influence on the text’s structure and content, and the themes of isolation and loneliness. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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1

Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up 
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The comparison of the "fat hand" to "some particular dainty" is an example of which literary device? 
American Sign Language, or ASL, was developed in the 19th century at a school in Hartford, CT. Below is an image for several common words using ASL. (This annotation contains an image)
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List the three places Singer and Antonapoulos visit on a regular basis. 
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How do Singer's actions during his friend's illness characterize his role in their friendship? 
It was not uncommon for immigrants coming to the United States to change their names in order to be more easily accepted and seen as "American" instead of "too ethnic." 
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How is this phrase used in the text? 
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How does this sentence enhance the contrast between the immigrant experience and the American South? 
Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, is often described as having gray eyes or referred to as "grey-eyed Athena." It is believed that this description is connected to her trait of wisdom. Therefore, applying this descriptor to Singer could be attributing similar characteristics to him. Pay attention to how often this description is repeated throughout the text.  (This annotation contains an image)
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Now that Antonapoulos is gone, why doesn't Singer sleep in the bed instead of on the cot? 
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The simile used here is analogous to 
A scimitar is a sword with a curved blade that was typically used in the Middle East and Western Asia. (This annotation contains an image)
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What do you learn about Singer through his written interaction with the New York Cafe's proprietor? 

2

As you already saw once and as you read the next few chapters, foreshadowing will be used often by the author. Watch the following video for an explanation and pay attention for examples in the text.  (This annotation contains a video)
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A "sponger" is someone who 
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What do you learn about the characterization of Biff and Alice through their "quarrel"? 
Calling someone "common" is NOT a compliment. It means lower-class or base in character. You often hear this description in Shakespeare when someone is trying to insult another character. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
This paragraph is told using which literary devices? 
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Using the highlighted text and the contrast included, what do you think "linthead" means? 
"Cat-houses" is a slang term for brothels or a house that prostitutes worked in. Blount's jokes are "raw" or crude and not appropriate for a place like the New York Cafe. 
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How does this detail aid in your understanding of Biff and why he is taking his time deciding how to handle Mr. Blount? 
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To "room" in someone's house means 
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How does the previous paragraph aid in the reader's understanding of Biff? 
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Why are the people in the restaurant laughing? 
"Masons" is a reference to freemasons a fraternal organization that goes back to the fourteenth century. Meeting regularly in a "lodge" location the acts of the freemasons has always been steeped in mystery, but famous people, including George Washington, have been a part of the organization.  (This annotation contains an image)
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Biff is feeling 
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Why do you think Singer is willing to take Mr. Blount home with him? 
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Why does Biff "enunciate slowly so that the mute could see"? 
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Why do you think Biff wants to "disturb" Alice since it is only dawn? 
This is a biblical reference to the moment that Jesus was able to make Simon and Andrew, along with John and James (not listed in this passage), disciples of his teaching. It represents the willingness of man to give up all he owns in order to follow what he believes. 
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What else do you learn about the relationship between Biff and Alice since she teaches Sunday school and he gave up church and religion? 

3

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
What do you notice about the structure of the novel up to this point? 
This line is an allusion to Mark Antony's speech upon the death of Julius Caesar. Many saw this speech as a way to unite the men after such a tragic betrayal. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Clearly, it is important for Mick to leave this small town and become famous for her inventions. How do you know this is NOT going to be Mick's future? 
The following is an image of M.K.'s dream car.  (This annotation contains an image)
Listen to some of the music Mick finds inspiring, but also notice that she spells the composer's name wrong. He is known as Mozart. Her love for his music coupled with the spelling error characterizes Mick in the story.  (This annotation contains a video)
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What conclusion are you able to draw about Mick's family? 
Jeanette MacDonald was an actress and singer popular in the 1930s and 1940s who introduced opera to moviegoers. (This annotation contains an image)
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What does it mean that Hazel "was soft?" 
Mick's desire to make a violin is a huge and somewhat unrealistic undertaking. Watch the following video to see the complicated construction of a violin.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Bill's response to Mick shows he is  
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Mick's tone in her response to her mother is 
This section of the story begins to develop the "loss of innocence" theme evident in the story. Mick is beginning to realize that disappointment exists in the real world and that her older brother, Bill, may not be able to solve all of her problems. 
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How does the author introduce irony into the text in this sentence? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Based on your previous reading, what can you infer about Portia's father? 
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What "pit" is Portia referring to? 
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Portia's description of Mick uses 

4

Watch the following video about static and dynamic characters. Consider which characters might fit into each description. (This annotation contains a video)
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What detail of Singer's life does Jake Blount not seem to know? 
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Again, Jake seems confused. Who is he speaking to now? 
"Blue laws" were instituted to avoid competition between retailers on Sunday in order to allow store owners to observe the Sabbath. While not common today in large metropolitan areas, these laws are still in effect in some more religious areas of the United States. 
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This phrase assists in characterizing Jake in this scene. How do you think he feels right now? 
A flying-jinny is a simple, homemade merry-go-round. 
Characterization is not only used for people, but also for locations. The use of imagery in this passage characterizes this area of the town as run-down and poor. This is quite the contrast from the previous settings established in the text. 
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According to the text, a greenhorn is someone who is 
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A "two-handed job" is a job that requires 
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Why do you think Jake is so angry with the three men? What was he trying to do? 
A caricature is an image that exaggerates or distorts certain facial features usually for comic effect. Are you able to recognize this popular actor?  (This annotation contains an image)
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At this point in the novel a theme is developing in connection with Jake's character. He is frustrated with the men because 
This is how an image can come full circle in a text. Jake said he wanted to speak "the Gospel" which means he wanted to preach the truth to a group of believers. The first three men refused to listen to him and laughed, but Singer not only listens, he also understands. At the moment of comprehension, the "silver ring of church bells" is heard. The use of religious imagery strengthens Jake's belief and his call to action in this town. 

5

Benedict de Spinoza was a well-known Dutch philosopher who often questioned the authenticity and teachings of the Hebrew Bible and was a pivotal player in the 18th century Enlightenment. 
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Why is Doctor Copeland's house different from the others on the street? How does this detail aid in his characterization? 
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Although they are part of the same family, what do you notice about the way Dr. Copeland and Portia speak? 
"Nair" means no. This is a good example of the dialect used by Portia as compared to her father. It also allows the reader to compare characters based on economic and social standings. 
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Why are so many children named for Dr. Copeland? 
Karl Marx was a German philosopher who offered economic theories that countered those of capitalism believing that capitalism served the few and not the many.  (This annotation contains an image)
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Portia's words seem rather insightful. Do you recall a time in your own experience where you quarreled with someone without using words? 
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Why do you think Portia finds suffering at the hands of a thief "a little bit funny?" 
This is the second character (Biff seems to be the first) that questions the role God has in his his life. Interestingly, when asked about children Portia responds that some things are left up to God implying that she and her father disagree on this issue in their relationship. 
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What characteristic about Dr. Copeland as a father and husband is implied here? 
This is an interesting description of Mr. Singer. It says just as much about Dr. Copeland that he describes Singer in this way. This description also emphasizes Mr. Singer's alienation from the rest of the community beyond his physical handicap.  
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What is implied by adult white men calling Dr. Copeland "boy" and "uncle"? 
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How were Dr. Copeland and Portia's interactions with Mr. Singer similar? 
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Why do you think Dr. Copeland's fingers are "trembling"? 
Harmonica music has a very distinct sound and was often a part of blues music. As you listen to James Cotton, a famous American harmonica player from Mississippi, consider how the sound of Wille's harmonica playing adds to this scene between Dr. Copeland and his children.  (This annotation contains a video)

6

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What is it about Singer's personality  that has attracted these four individuals to visit him on a regular basis? 
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How is Singer's relationship with Antonapoulos different than the other visitors he receives? 
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Using the define feature, which word is a synonym for "stolid"? 
Heart is a Lonely Hunter Part I 

1

Music is an important and autobiographical element of this text. McCullers enrolled in Julliard, but could not afford the classes and was forced to abandon her studies. She describes the plot of the text as a "fugue" where the voices of the characters converge together to examine the human experience. Click on the link below to view and listen to the "Fugue for Tinhorns" from the musical Guys and Dolls. It illustrates how three voices converge about the same topic to create a melodic piece.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Even though her father is poor and cannot work due to his health, he gives her a dime or a nickel when he can. What does this imply about her father? 
Walking through the streets at night and listening to music is freeing for Mick. The music symbolizes an uninhibited future for Mick that contrasts the limits placed on her by her family and the society in which she lives.  
Prom is a term that means to promenade or to walk. The prom Mick decides to throw is not like a senior or junior prom at most high schools. In this case, the prom is literally a party where boys and girls take turns walking with one another.  
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What does Mick mean when she says that the photograph of her great-grandfather "looks common"? 
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What transformation does Mick undergo as she prepares for the prom? 
The scene at this party is typical of many junior high and high school dances. The boys and girls don't mingle, which causes the boys to act goofy and the girls to watch and giggle.  
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Mick has "two feelings when she saw [the neighborhood children] - one was sad and the other was a kind of warning." The sight of the neighborhood children contrasted with the appearance of her school friends makes Mick feel  
Harry's remarks about Mozart sounding like a German name and asking if he is a Fascist are indicative of the setting of the story and the indirect world influence on this small town. Fascism is a political movement where a dictator has totalitarian power over judicial, economic, and social systems in a nation. There is an emphasis on nationalism and even racism in order maintain allegiance and alienate dissenters in the nation. This form of government was established by Benito Mussolini in Italy during the early twentieth century.  
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Why does Mick become so angry about the neighborhood children crashing her party? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Although the students from Vocational are "all dressed up for a real prom party," what does their behavior demonstrate? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Mick decides that she is "too high to wear shorts any more after this." This is an example of which literary device? 
The author uses music and the images of light and dark to denote a shift in mood and tone. As Mick walks in the night she feels like herself. When she hears popular music where every song "ends the same way" she feels empty, but is rejuvenated when she hears Beethoven. Music is a motif within the texts and helps to develop other elements: themes, characters, plot.  
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Why is "wonderful music like this was the worst hurt there could be"? 
This is an allusion to the book of Luke from the Bible. It is the scene at the crucifixion of Christ where the men stand by and draw lots to divide up Christ's clothing. What does Mick imply when she repeats this phrase? 

2

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
All of the terms describe how Biff may be feeling towards Mick except 
Biff is devastated by the death of his wife. He mourns both his loss of her and the loss of his dreams. This illustrates the emerging theme of loss. To review the definition of theme, please view the video clip below.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Though Singer does not verbally communicate with Biff, his presence as pallbearer and the pat he gives Biff on the shoulder convey all of the following except 
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Which contemporary mother is most similar to Lucile's in regards to her relationship with her daughter Baby? 
Lucile is more than a simple stage mother. The characters in the text are all struggling to find something more or something better than they have. For Lucile, Baby is her ticket out of their "common" town and her "common" life. Do you feel any sympathy for Lucile's position? 
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What does Biff's interactions with Baby reveal about his character? 
Lucile admits that she never wants to be close to another man again. She chooses to be alone and live with her daughter. This illustrates the theme of alienation or isolation. Throughout the text, there are various factors: social, economic, racial, that result in or play a role in the isolation of the characters.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Singer's dinner is cold because he could not look away from the conversation with Blount to eat. The narrator describes Singer as polite, but what does it also reveal about the relationship between Singer and Blount? 
By watching and observing Mick and Baby, the cause of Biff's isolation is evident: he wants a family that he believes he will never have. Like Mick, Biff's emotional state is connected to music. The narrator notes, "Since 1928 he had not enjoyed music." Do you think that this may be one reason why he feels a connection to Mick rather than the other characters? 
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What is ironic about the excerpt, "because he did not speak it made him seem superior"? 
The author uses indirect characterization to describe Singer as "superior." Mick compares Singer to God in the previous chapter and now Biff. Do you think this is perceived or does Singer have a superiority complex? 

3

Just a quick note about structure: by having each chapter told from a different character's experience or point of view, it helps to create the "fugue" effect the author sought to achieve. The commonality between all the characters is their relation to Singer. What is revealed about the characters in their relationships with Singer? 
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How does the author emphasize the contrast in characters between Portia and Dr. Copeland? 
Portia asking for "white peoples" to write letters on Willie's behalf is indicative of the racial divisions of the South in the 1930s. Due to the Great Depression, economic factors heightened the latent tensions between whites and blacks throughout the nation. 
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Some critics note the motif of heroism throughout the text. In what ways could you consider Dr. Copeland a hero? How does he demonstrate heroism? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Which literary device does the author employ to convey the estrangement between father and daughter? 
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The highlighted passage is an example of a(n) 
How do you think Dr. Copeland feels about his father-in-law's wish that all the "colored peoples" would be turned to "white as cotton"? It seems as if Grandpapa is ashamed of his race; do you think this is self-imposed or a result of the societal confines? 
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What is one possible reason why Grandpapa doesn't explicitly state how old he is? 
The man Dr. Copeland bumps into is Jake Blount. The author emphasizes the isolation and alienation the character feels by having them in similar locations yet they fail to interact (though they all have Singer in common.) This is develops the theme of isolation.  

4

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Jake realizes "with a shock that Singer did not know he was in the room." This implies that Singer is 
The ideas of faith and God are prevalent throughout the text. Religion appeals to people who feel isolated, are destitute, or are searching for a meaning or purpose to their lives. As you read, be sure to note how the characters view God and their relationship to faith.  
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Based on the narrator's use of sensory imagery, what is the mood of Jake's room? 
Do you remember the "blue laws" discussed in an earlier annotation?  
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Though Blount seems fervent in his beliefs about society, religion, and politics, he "always followed and expected Singer to lead." Why do you think he defers to Singer?  
Music is an important motif in the text, yet it is rarely used to describe Jake and his emotions. Instead the author utilizes imagery and the use of light and dark in order to convey Jake's tumultuous internal and external conflicts. 
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The graffiti scribbled on the wall is significant to Jake. What does it symbolize? 

5

Once again, we are reading a chapter from Mick's perspective. Each character's journey is considered a subplot of the text. Subplots differ from parallel plots in that subplots are all connected and help develop the primary plot. The narrator used the metaphor that Singer is the hub of the wheel and the action revolves around him.  
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Mick sacrifices her lunch money in order to learn how to play piano. Which metaphor accurately describes the relationship between Mick and music? 
Mick compartmentalizes aspects of her life into "outside room" and "inside room." The narrator informs us that Mr. Singer "was in both rooms," but he and Mick are the only characters in both rooms. The rooms symbolize the duality of Mick's character and her struggle to escape the life that is prescribed to her by circumstance.  
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Which term accurate describes Bubber's feelings about Baby's costume? 
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Which of the scenes below is reminiscent of Bubber accidentally shooting Baby? 
Bubber did not intend to harm Baby. It was an accident. But similarly to Lennie in Of Mice and Men, how does an innocent mistake change a person forever? 
Mick's desire to "teach him a lesson" may cause Bubber more harm than good. He made a mistake, but can you think of any one else who also shoulders responsibility for the incident? 
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What is the dynamic between Bubber and Mick? 
Though Mick seems so mature, the highlighted passages reveals the limitations of Mick's maturity. Like Bubber, she failed to think about the consequences of her actions. She didn't consider that what she said to Bubber could come to fruition in some form. Do you think that Mick's transformation throughout the text is greater than the other characters? 
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What is ironic about Mrs. Wilson's description of the pain and suffering Baby may have to endure the rest of her life? 
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What is the impetus for Bubber running away? 
The author uses the communication motif throughout the text to develop and illustrate the theme of alienation. In this scene, Bubber purposely miscommunicates his whereabouts in order to be alone and lost. What does this reveal about alienation? 
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The highlighted excerpt is an example of a(n) 
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What is significant about the statement, "After that night nobody called him Bubber anymore"? 

6

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
What does the author foreshadow through the dearth of letters from Willie? 
Consider Dr. Copeland's perspective about race relations and society. He is anxious about deeming Lancy Davis' essay the winner because he does not agree with the explicit rage and violence his essay promotes.  
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Portia's tone when she says, "And none of this comes from white people. All from colored" can best be described as all of the following except 
Spinoza was an Enlightenment philosopher who believed in the power of rational thought to help determine one's fate and not in the power of an omnipotent and omniscient being.  (This annotation contains an image)
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What does the audience member's question imply about the audience? 
This scene is reminiscent of the scene in Animal Farm where the animals have their first meeting led by Old Major. Dr. Copeland is appealing to the audience in terms of what they lack and promises them equality and freedom through the communist ideals. But ultimately, do you think they truly understand what Dr. Copeland is advocating? 
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Why does Dr. Copeland not allow Lancy to read his essay aloud? 
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What does Dr. Copeland's response to the crowd's cries of "Save us Lord" indicate about his views of God? 
Do you think that Singer's role in the text may simply be to assist the characters in reflection and introspection? Do they see who Mr. Singer really is or do they simply see what they need or want to see? 
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Dr. Copeland's distress is described as "angry, restless love." Do you think Copeland is capable of loving? Use textual evidence to support your answer.  

7

The bleakness that is prevalent in the text is typical of the Southern Gothic genre. Characteristics of this genre include social realism: examining the human experience through a clear narrative lens and complex characters. Gothic literature tends to focus on the vulnerability of social order and the moral shortcomings that the order is founded.  
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Though Singer has his four regular visitors, "within Singer there was always the memory of his friend." What does this imply about Singer's relationship with Antonapoulos? 
Though Singer seems nostalgic when he thinks of Antonapoulos, the memories the narrator recalls are not pleasurable. The time Singer spent with Antonapoulos seems very alienated and unstable. Why would Singer miss this company? 
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How does Singer's role in his relationship with his four friends differ from his role in his relationship with Antanopoulos? 
Singer begins to sign to himself. This indicates that he is lonely and illustrates the theme of alienation. Though Singer's friends visit him regularly, Singer is different from them. Antanopoulos was a friend who was similar; he understood Singer on a level Mick, Biff, Blount, and Copeland can't.  
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The narrator notes that Charles Parker and Singer had "taken care to avoid each other since the day when Antonapoulos left on the bus." What does that imply about what remains between Parker and Singer? 
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Remember music is a motif in the text. Why do you think Singer purchases a radio for his friends? What does the radio symbolize? Use textual evidence to support your response.  
Why do you think the situation is awkward between Singer's four friends? This illustrates the author's point of view that Singer is the hub of the action; he connects all of the characters. Without Singer, the characters have no connection to one another.  
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The narrator states that Antonalpoulos could not read. This means that Antonalpoulos could not read, yet Singer wrote to them. This is another example of which motif? 
Imagine what it would be like to lose the use of your voice (a la Ariel in the Little Mermaid). Wouldn't you feel like a piece of your identity was gone? That is how Singer feels without the need to use his hands to sign anymore. He only communicates with verbal and hearing people.  
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What is ironic about Singer's characterization of his four friends? 
When an author uses letters to convey events between characters rather than traditional dialogue this is know as epistolary style. In literature some authors use the epistolary style to reveal an more in-depth emotional side to the characters who write the letters.  
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Why is Singer so nervous and upset? What would happen to Singer if something happened to Antonapoulos? Use textual evidence to support your response.  
Singer's laugh is a cathartic experience. He releases all the emotions he has had, until this point, repressed. His sadness, longing, loneliness, and fear are all excised while he visits with his friend.  
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What do Singer's actions foreshadow? 

8

Biff is the one character who acknowledges that Singer is not who the other three characters believe he is. He knows that there is more to Singer that simply what they all wish to see.  
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Biff asks the question, "Why?" several times in this chapter, but he never tries to furnish an answer. Why do you think he is using his wife's products and perfume? 
Though Biff offers him a job, Blount refuses due to his anti-capitalistic beliefs. Do you agree with the narrator's assessment that Jake "could never have friends or even get along with people"? 
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What is Biff trying to learn about Blount? Why? 
Baby seems more precocious than usual, yet Biff has no problems handling her with ease. Biff is at his most comfortable when he is dealing with children and is most impacted by the notion he will never be a father.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
What do Biff's observations about Singer's relationship to Mick and Blount reinforce about the structure of the plot? 
Do you think Biff's concern about Mick is somehow deviant? Or do you think he is simply a man who observes, thinks, and questions? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
How does the music Biff plays and sings relate to his persona? 
Biff's searching and endless questioning exemplify the themes of alienation and loneliness.  

9

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Because she no longer has lunch money, Mick ceases taking piano lessons. How does poverty impact Mick's dreams? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Which theme is illustrated through Mick's song, "This Thing I Want, I Know Not What"? 
There is something one-sided about the relationship between Mick and Singer: it is almost as if Mick has a crush on him. She reads into his actions and their shared moments as if they are as meaningful to him as they are to her. Do you think he cares for Mick as much as she cherishes him? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Which term best describes what Mick is doing with Singer? 
Though there have been women in literature and history who donned a male costume to partake in battle (Joan of Arc, Mulan), Mick's reaction is not typical for a girl in the South in the 1930s or 40s. World War II was a time where women supported their men in every way necessary. They baked goods, had blood drives, and rationed items to support the men overseas. The idea of women going into battle would have been frowned upon. 
The author uses dark and light to reveal elements about the characters. Mick is most comfortable and at ease with herself in darkness. This helps to illustrate the themes of alienation and isolation.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Compare and contrast Mick and Harry. How are they both mature for their age? How are they both immature? Use textual evidence to support your response.  
Mick's desire to write a symphony is similar to the film "Mr. Holland's Opus" in which Mr. Holland spends his entire career writing his musical piece that symbolizes his life. The scene below is Mr. Holland's students paying tribute to their teacher by playing his opus.  (This annotation contains a video)

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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
What does Portia's uncharacteristic behavior and appearance foreshadow? 
The theme of racism is illustrated in the anecdote about William in jail. He is isolated and injured while in jail because a "white guard picked on them all the time." 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What is ironic about this statement? 
Copeland is at his lowest point in the text. His health is failing and he no longer has the strength to battle against the oppressive racism.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Though Willie is permanently injured, Mick finds _______ in the idea that "Willie can still play his harp." 
Dr. Copeland is angered by the sympathy expressed by the pharmacist because he knows that words will be the only retribution that Willie's assailant will receive for his crimes. This further develops the theme of racism and its tensions in the text.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why does the narrator state that "Rage made [Copeland] weak"?  
Copeland's night in jail is detrimental to his physical and mental health. It is also a testament to his character because even when he is feeling his worst, he still reaches over to cover the white boy from the cold.  

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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Which best characterizes Mick's behavior in the dialogue with her sister? 
How do you think Harry's beliefs and declaration that he is a "Pantheist" develop the theme of faith or religion in the text? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
It is evident from Harry's preparation that this outing is a  
The scene between Harry and Mick is one of the few scenes in the text where Mick is vulnerable and experiences pleasure. She is acting age appropriate. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
The highlighted statement conveys all of the following about the mood except 
Why do you think Mick and Harry consummated their relationship? Do you think this was a mistake? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What does Mick imply when she says, "I wasn't any kid. But now I wish I was, though"? 
Harry is instructing Mick to write to him and tell him she is not pregnant.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Though Mick has just had a monumental first experience, when she walks into her house "nobody noticed her." Which theme does this illustrate? 
Mick lies to Harry's mother. Why? Do you think it is simply out of fear or shame? Or do you think it is because she knows Harry escaped, and she doesn't want to hold him back? This is also another example of the communication motif.  

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Dreams are another motif in the text. Typically in literature dreams represent elements of a character: persona, fears, hopes, or wishes. Go back through the text and write down a brief description of the dreamers and the dreams. What do they reveal about the characters? 
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Blount discovers that a man named Simms wrote the graffiti on the wall. Unfornately, Simms is not an anti-capitalist, but a religious 
The scenes at the carnival illustrate the racial division in this town and the accepted attitudes in the South during the 1930s and '40s. These are all elements of the social realism that is captured in the Southern Gothic genre.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What is the operator referring to when he calls Jake a "Red"? 
Jake's anger, embarrassment, and alienation culminate in his behavior outside his apartment window. It is similar to Holden Caulfield's perspective in Catcher in the Rye: he believes that all the people who surround him in his privileged world are "phonies." 
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As readers, we know that Singer does not truly understand Blount's feelings and morose moods, but Blount believes that "only Singer could help him now." This is an example of which type of irony? 
Do you think Jake's motives to help with Willie are sincere? Or does Jake's anger with society need an outlet? 

13

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The men in the room trust Blount though they are not acquainted with him because Blount is acquainted with Singer. What does this reveal about how the men view Singer? 
Willie wants to know where his feet are; it is the "main thing that worries" him. This illustrates the psychological impact that losing his appendages has on him. Willie is further isolated from society by not having legs.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Describe the men who are gathered to discuss what to do about Willie's situation. How are their goals and Jake's intentions dissimilar?  
Remember Lancy's essay? What didn't Dr. Copeland like about it's implications?  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does the highlighted phrase imply about what may happen next? 
The author's allusions to the Russian peasantry and the Bolshevik revolution are not simply a nod to the times. She saw many similarities between Russia and the South: both defined people by their social class and relationship to the land.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
By comparing the "Jews to the Negroes," what can you deduce about the white Southern racists? 
The dialogue between Copeland and Blount illustrates how the characters cannot communicate effectively because of their own limitations. This exemplifies the communication motif.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
The author notes that her text has a musicality. Which musical term best describes the dialogue between Copeland and Blount? 
The men are arguing in circles because neither will relent a little in his stance and belief about which approach is "best." What would happen if the men worked together? 
The mood in the room is a mixture of intense anger, hatred, and sadness. Both men are left alone and isolated because of their inability to communicate.  

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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Compare and contrast the dialogue between Singer and Mick versus Copeland and Blount. Be sure to include musical terms to label the styles of dialogue.  
As the text continues, Mick's character evolves with her circumstances. Though she begins the text as child, her family's hardships invite the cruel elements of society into her life and her home. A dearth of money is an isolating factor.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Why does Mick feel that "she was doing wrong" when she followed Singer on his long walks? 
Mick's feeling of isolation is overwhelming. She cannot stop moving or thinking. "She wanted somebody." Who do you think would make a good counterpart to Mick? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
The author stated that the "universal truth" of "love, and especially love of a person who is incapable of returning or receiving it is at the heart of my selection of grotesque figures to write about." How does Mick convey this thought? 
This exemplifies the title of the text. She is hunting for something, searching for something, waiting for something.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why would Mick "run away from home" if her family had asked her to take the job full time? 
The word trapped accurately describes many characters in the text. Is Mick's particular situation a result of her own actions or external pressures? 

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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What does the narration of Singer's inner thoughts reveal about Singer? 
How does the love between Singer and Antonapoulos differ from the love between Mick and Singer? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Prior to arriving to see Antonapoulos, Singer is thinking about his isolated life without his friend. Upon arriving, he discovers Antonapoulos is dead. What impact does this have on Singer's identity?  
Quiz #2 
Singer's suicide is the climax of the text. To review the elements of the plot, please Predict how Singer's suicide will influence the other character's actions. (This annotation contains a video)

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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Dr. Copeland doesn't believe that he is too sick to work and must go to Grandpapa's farm to be cared for full-time. Dr. Copeland is in a state of  
Dr. Copeland feels like a failure, but did he fail? He wasn't the best father and did not succeed in raising the world's perception of his race, but he did become a productive member of society. As a doctor he healed the sick, delivered babies, and served a role model for generations after him. The notion that he is a failure is self-imposed. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
What does Portia's nervous reaction foreshadow about Dr. Copeland's future? 
It is as if Dr. Copeland is searching for a purpose for his life and is not accepting any of the goals he has accomplished as fulfilling. This is sad because he will die feeling dissatisfied with his life.  
The dialogue between Grandpapa and Dr. Copeland reveals the doctor's issue with religion and faith: religion teaches you to suffer and your suffering will be rewarded in the afterlife. Dr. Copeland wants to see the rewards now. Does he value suffering the way others do? 

2

The last chapter gave us the first date in the text. It is just days prior to the start of World War II. Dr. Copeland leaves in the morning, and this chapter is about Jake that same afternoon. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What does the simile "But it was like yelling at a break dam" imply? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What is ironic about Simms not allowing Jake to use his chalk? 
Jake is angered by Singer's death, but it is as if Singer's death allows Jake to work with Copeland.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
How does the author use pathetic fallacy to enhance the mood of the scene? 
The imagery used to described the storm is a literary device known as "pathetic fallacy." Click on the link below to read a thorough definition of the term.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Why does Biff want Blount to find people "more or less like" Blount? 
Jake's dream is another example of the dream motif throughout the text. His dream and his inability to "lay down the burden he had carried in his arms so long" exemplify the themes of isolation and loneliness.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Why won't Jake leave the South? 

3

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Which idiom describes the effect Mick's job is having on her? 
The lack of music in her mind makes Mick feel as if "she was shut out from the inside room." This feeling symbolizes the lack of joy she finds in her life anymore. Her job is literally draining the life from her.  
Quiz #3 

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Is this the ending you anticipated? How is it similar or different from what you predicted?