Carson McCullers Writing Styles in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

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Grotesque

The idea of the grotesque has run throughout American literature, through the works of Melville, Hawthorne and Poe, and may in fact have to do with the democratic political system, which emphasizes the individual over the collective. In twentieth- century literature, it is usually associated with Southern writers such as William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor. Put simply, "grotesque" refers to work that portrays characters who each have an exaggerated trait or characteristic, which is used to symbolize their entire personality. McCullers once explained that "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—people whose physical incapacity is a symbol of their spiritual incapacity to love or receive love—their spiritual isolation." Clearly, this applies to John Singer in the novel, a character who is loved by all of...

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