Black in the Day
In 1940, an American novelist named Carson McCullers wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Born on February 19, 1917 in Columbus, Georgia long after the abolishment of slavery, discrimination and segregation had reached a pinnacle in her childhood. In this time era, African – Americans experienced lesser rights and opportunities. The works of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter began in a period of time when African – Americans experienced roles of indentured servants because of the lack of well – paying jobs. McCullers set the story in a small town in Georgia in the late 1930s, where the main character, a deaf – mute named John Singer became friends with four different characters: A girl named Mick Kelly, an aspiring musician; a political radical named Jake Blount; Benedict Copeland, an African – American doctor; and Biff Brannon, a restaurant owner. Each of these characters believed Singer has compassion for them and empathizes with their situation. Yet in reality, Singer only became cordial towards them because of his politeness; he only cares for his mute friend Antonapoulous. On September 29, 1967 McCullers died due to serious health conditions, but she leaves the readers with the true image of discrimination and segregation. In McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter the reader sees that the acts of discrimination and segregation can affect all people regardless of race, gender, or creed, and the reader sees this through Doctor Copeland’s essay: “My Ambition: How I Can Better the Position of the Negro Race in Society”, Lancy speech about the need to arrange a plan against the white race of the United States and to establish a one race populated country, and when the colored girl wanted her ticket back from Mick.
In the beginning of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, McCullers displays the acts of discrimination and segregation comes through the yearly essay contest for black high - school students, sponsored by Dr. Copeland. The topic was “My Ambition: How Can I Better the Position of the Negro Race in Society” (McCullers 182). The novelist explained that the winner, Lancy Davis, wrote on the future plight of young African – Americans. This contest showcased the African – American community and the winner would be awarded five dollars and receive city wide recognition.
Another way McCullers illustrates the acts of discrimination and segregation comes through Doctor Copeland talking about Karl Marx. “Karl Marx was a wise man. He studied and worked and understood the world around him. He said that the world was divided into two classes, the poor and the rich. For every rich man there were a thousand poor people who worked for this rich man to make him richer. He did not divide the world into Negroes or white people or Chinese – to Karl Marx it seemed that being one of the millions of poor people or one of the few rich was more important to a man than the color of his skin. The life mission of Karl Marx was to make all human beings equal...