The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is set in an unnamed town in the Deep South between the spring of 1938 and august 1939. The main characters John Singer, Mick Kelly, Dr. Copeland, Biff Brannon, and Jake Blount have their lives changed or affected, though some less then others.
Singer becomes so distraught over his friends death, and in the end he commits suicide. Dr. Copeland, who is extremely sick, allows his daughter Portia to move him to their grandfather's farm outside of town; he leaves feeling defeated, thinking his work was not finished. Jake Blount flees the town after a terrible fight at the carnival where he works; he tries to find Dr. Copeland to make amends with him before he leaves but he discovers that he has already gone and leaves the town with the feeling of defeat as well.
Mick and Biff are the only two characters to survive through all of the drama surrounding their lives.
Though all of the characters were affected by Singer's death, Mick and Biff continue through their lives as if nothing had changed very much for them on the outside.
Though she hopes she'll maybe one day be able to start saving for her piano, Mick feels frustrated and slightly separated from her music since she began working, as if it could no longer be such a significant part of her life anymore. "What good was it? That was the question she would like to know. What the hell good was it. All the plans she had made, and the music. When all that came of it was this trap- the store, then home to sleep, then back to the store" (Part Three Ch. 3 pg. 299).
Biff's life continues as it had after Singer's death, though it affected him deeply.