At the center of the story is a deaf-mute, John Singer. His silence and civility make him a magnet for the local lost souls. They share their secrets with him. Each believes Singer to be the only one who really understands. He’s a human Rorschach card and they project onto him what they need. Singer, in turn, is fixated on his own personal Rorschach card: his one real friend, another deaf-mute, too crazy and selfish to possibly reciprocate Singer’s love.
Every heart in this novel is a lonely hunter. Maybe we all are. I’m in awe of how much McCullers conveyed without explicating, judging or moralizing. A classic read and a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize.