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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

From Academic Kids

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940) is a novel by Carson McCullers.

It is centered around a deaf-mute named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s Georgia mill town. Singer moves into the Kelly household and Mick Kelly, based on McCullers herself, is a young woman who finds solace in music.

A 1968 film adaptation was directed by Robert Ellis Miller. It stars Alan Arkin, Sondra Locke, Laurinda Barrett, Stacy Keach, Percy Rodriguez and Cicely Tyson. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Alan Arkin) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sondra Locke).

The novel is among many works of art by numerous authors that has been subjected to social criticism for the manner in which deaf people are represented; The novel's protagonist, John Singer, is "silent", a characterization that appeals to hearing people's beliefs that silence represents a dark side in deaf people and implies that deaf people are shut off in their state from mankind. Social critics and scholars in deaf culture, as well as deaf people themselves, find these kinds of representations to be unrealistically generalized to all deaf people. They assert that deaf people, on the whole, live rich and rewarding lives, have abundant involvement with both hearing and deaf people, are secure in their orientations to their environments, and conclude that no such inference to a directionless, dark and mysterious nature is realistic.

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