Miss Lonelyhearts Study Guide

Miss Lonelyhearts Study Guide

Original title:
Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts is a story about burnout, the tragedy of a human who sees the darkest sides of life for too long. Miss Lonelyhearts is a pseudonym of a male columnist who answers the letters of the lonely and broken people, giving them some advice and emotional support. This job is considered shameful in the newspaper and Miss Lonelyhearts (whose real name we never learn) is constantly mocked by his colleagues.

Day after day he reads the stories of grief and hopelessness. The letters are so incredibly painful and his empathy is so strong that Miss Lonelyhearts has to constantly search for a way to vent the feelings that don’t belong to him. Gradually he falls into a deep depression. His personal life starts to ruin too, neither drinking nor religion or travelling can help him anymore.

Miss Lonelyhearts resorts to love affairs, the last source of the strong positive emotions mixed with adrenaline - this is his only temporary way out of depression. But once he has a revelation, that he does exactly what makes people write letters to Miss Lonelyhearts - he breaks the families using the already existing discord in them to his benefit.

Miss Lonelyhearts shows us the importance of the jobs that some of us consider ridiculous. The psychological support can be mocked by the people who don’t need it, but sometimes it is the only thing people can hope too. We understand not only how important - but how hard and ungrateful is this job of withstanding the negative emotions of the others, comforting him without being destroyed. What Miss Lonelyhearts does is actually the volunteer counseling, the most selfless work that can save lives - but from the point of view of the successful and psychologically stable people he is a loser who spends time chatting with other losers. Even his pseudonym becomes an object of mockery. The tragedy of Miss Lonelyhearts is the tragedy of every person who dedicates themselves to saving others. We should always remember what price such people pay and respect them for it.

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