Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Theresa A. Lloyd

Committee Members

Kevin E. O'Donnell, Michael A. Cody


The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter thrust Carson McCullers onto the literary scene at the age of 23. The year was 1940, and anticapitalistic fervor was at its peak. McCullers, familiar with the writings of Karl Marx, expresses in this novel her concern for the exploited classes, her disdain for a materialistic society that keeps the masses oppressed, and her conviction that societal reform was desperately needed. Marxist theory is evident in every aspect of this novel, from the characters to the setting. Alienation, failure to communicate, poverty, and an atmosphere of despair permeate the work. A product of the Great Depression era, McCullers was familiar with poverty; like many other intellectuals of the time, she embraced Marxism for its commitment to rid the world of this evil. This novel, arguably her finest, displays the influence that Marxist philosophy had on McCullers’s perception of society.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.