In reading Carson McCullers’ “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”, there is a torpid quality to the present for each of the characters. Mick Kelly, the thirteen year old girl who longs to learn about and play music, is the only character who remotely seems energized by the moment and her future. Even she, however, seems under some restraint that prevents her from being herself.
The future for an 18th century Englishman varied according to class. Laborers had very little future. Skilled craftsmen were slightly better off and shop owners inprisoned in class strictures. Professionals who endeavored to advance their knowledge such as the men of the Lunar Society basically lived the future through the scientific method.
Our future is certainly clouded by the economic crisis. The future is both longed for and expected and it is invariably rosy. The moment of now, of uncertainty and anxiety, is explained and examined, but it is deemed that it will end. Of course, that is true just as it is true that more crises exist as well. Perhaps we should focus on the now and fix it properly before we find ourselves in a Carson McCullers novel.