People feel the need to find a niche in their lives. They need to find a role in life that makes them comfortable and content in their family and or their community. If they don't find this they feel isolated from society and the world around them. They feel that no one really understands them because they cannot relate to the community they live in. In The Heart is a Lonely Hunter the major characters have feelings of loneliness and rejection. They all become attached to someone they believe feels the same way they do and sympathizes with them even if reality they don't.
One of the characters in the novel, Jake Blount, searches for a sympathetic ear. He appears in the New York Cafe drunk and rowdy talking to everyone and no one. He talks so much the "words came out of his throat like a cataract" (Hunter 13). He constantly talks to everyone hoping someone will take the time to really listen and understand. His words come out "as though a dam inside him has broken" (Hunter 20). Ironically, the one he thinks understands him is a deaf-mute named John Singer. He tells Singer, "You're the only one in this town who catches what I mean . . . because I know you understand the things I want to mean" (Hunter 59). Jake Blount just assumes Singer understands him. Singer never gives him reason to believe otherwise. Nevertheless, Singer writes about Blount in a letter to Antonopoulos, "The one with the mustache I think is crazy" (Hunter 183). He also writes Antonopoulos that Blount thinks "he and I
have a secret together but I do not know what it is" (Hunter 183). Jake Blount thinks Singer understands him when he actually does not.
Another character searching for understanding is Dr. Benedict Mady Copeland. Dr. Copeland is perhaps the noblest character in the entire story, as a black man who has made many of personal sacrifices to devote his entire life's work to furthering the education and to uplift of the black community. His...