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Sucker. Carson McCullers [US] 1917-1967. OUTLINE. Author. Plot. Questions. Theme. Characters. Lessons. Language . 1. About the Author.

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Carson McCullers [US] 1917-1967









1 about the author
1. About the Author

Carson McCullers was an American writer. She wrote novels, short stories, and two plays, as well as essays and some poetry. A series of strokes she suffered as a child left her partly paralyzed. She typically set her stories in small Southern communities and depicted the inner lives of lonely people.

Read more in the NOTE.

(19 Feb 1917 – 29 Sept 1967)

2 plot summary
2. Plot Summary

I had a cousin nicknamed Sucker sleeping in my bed with me. I used to take no notice of him.

On the night when my relationship with Maybelle began to take a favorable turn, I talked a lot with Sucker and came to understand his loneliness better and treat him better.

One night after my finish with M, I got so mad at Sucker and hurt him deeply with humiliating remarks.

I regreted about what I had done to him, but I didn’t find the courage to get things straight.

3 questions about details
3. Questions about Details
  • Why did Sucker come to live with my family?
  • How did he get the nickname?
  • How did I use to treat him? Give an example.
  • When did all this trouble begin?
  • When did the real trouble start? Why?
  • How did his look change throughout the story?
  • Act Sucker’s entering the cinema.
  • Act out the dialogue between S and me that night?37-8
  • What did I do to make up for the wrong? Why?
4 the theme
4. The Theme
  • “Her first novel The Heart Is a LonelyHunter explores thespiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the South. Her other novels have similar themes and are all set in the South.”
  • "No one has written more feelingly than her about the plight of the eccentric, " Kiernan contended, "and no one has written more understandingly than she about adolescent loneliness and desperation."
5 character analysis
5. Character Analysis


Pitiful, credulous/trustful, pure-hearted, lonely, fragile, timid, quiet, etc.


Self-centered, concerned about face saving, etc.


Enjoying dressing up, beautiful, etc.

6 lessons learned
6. Lessons Learned
  • … it is the person who doesn’t notice you that you are apt to admire.
  • You understand people better when you are happy …
  • sometimes words cut more than swords.
  • Love and reason don’t go together.
  • A friend who shares is a friend who cares.
7 language points
7. Language Points


Have … to oneself, meddle with, take in, come to, make out, run after, put my mind on, on my mind, fool with, get on my nerves, etc.


Either she would act almost nice and I would begin thinking how things would finally clear up and she would care for me—or else she'd behave so that if she hadn't been a girl I'd have wanted to grab her by that white little neck and choke her.

Your questions?