Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

"A big deaf-mute moron": Eugenic Traces in Carson McCullers's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2008), 2, (1), 32–43.

Abstract

The essay uses a historical approach to reassess previous literary criticism of Spiros Antonapoulos, the cognitively impaired character in Carson McCullers's novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, in which a staged drama of loneliness unfolds against the backdrop of racial segregation and poverty in the American South during the Great Depression. The rereading of the novel, which focuses on the representation of cognitive impairment in its historical context, suggests that Carson McCullers's imagination was shaped by eugenic influences that were still noticeable in American society in the late 1930s.

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Krumland, Heidi