Mick Kelley’s house. One of the biggest houses on the north side of town. Three stories tall, this large building is a boardinghouse in which some of the main characters reside. The house has a large front porch, where people gather to talk. The house needs repairs and painting and sags on one end. Its interior symbolizes the psychological and emotional states of the characters; the huge house often feels empty to the people who dwell in it, just as the people frequently feel lonely and isolated even though they are surrounded by others. Mr. Singer, the character in whom the other characters confide, rents a room from the Kelleys.
Mr. Singer’s room. This room is small and has minimal furniture. There is a closet in the room, where Singer keeps wine and snacks for his guests. Jake Blount lives with Singer in this room when he first arrives in town. Dr. Copeland, Jake Blount, Mick Kelley, and Biff Brannon frequent Singer’s room to confide in him. Singer’s room is symbolic of his role in the novel: His guests feel comfortable sitting in his small room and confiding their secrets to him.
New York Café. Restaurant near the Kelley’s house where locals go to eat and socialize. The main characters of the novel frequent the café, which Biff Brannon owns. Providing a place for community members to visit with each other, the café is typical of restaurants in southern communities.
African American neighborhood. Section of the unnamed town in which the black community resides. In this section of town, very small houses, some as small as two rooms, house up to fourteen people. Dr. Copeland, the black physician, treats this community and serves as its leader. Descriptions of the residences of Copeland’s patients are important because they illustrate that the town is segregated. McCullers depicts the poverty and disease that plague the blacks in the novel. African Americans are denied decent jobs and are treated cruelly and unjustly by some of the white characters in the novel. The novel addresses racism by showing the unjust treatment of blacks. If the southern town is a microcosm of southern towns in the 1930’s, McCullers is showing racism in the South as a whole during the 1930’s.