Wise Blood

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes Character Analysis

A young soldier returning from the war, whose whole family has died, leaving him alone in the world. He was raised in a very religious family – his grandfather was a country preacher – but he has grown to reject all religion as false, and is angered by the vision of sin and redemption that it offers. Hazel is odd, lonely, fierce, and proud, and is constantly being mistaken for a preacher. Part of this is because he always wears the same severe-looking hat. In Taulkinham Hazel meets Enoch Emory and becomes fascinated and then disgusted with the blind preacher Asa Hawks, founding the Church Without Christ as a protest against Hawks and his daughter, Sabbath Lily. Hazel seems to be always trying to escape his religious calling, albeit unsuccessfully.

Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes Quotes in Wise Blood

The Wise Blood quotes below are all either spoken by Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes or refer to Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Farrar, Strauss and Giroux edition of Wise Blood published in 2007.
Chapter 1 Quotes

In his half-sleep he thought where he was lying was like a coffin. The first coffin he had seen with someone in it was his grandfather’s. They had left it propped open with a stick of kindling the night it had sat in the house with the old man in it, and Hazel had watched from a distance, thinking: he ain’t going to let them shut it on him; when the time comes, his elbow is going to shoot into the crack. His grandfather had been a circuit preacher, a waspish old man who had ridden over three counties with Jesus hidden in his head like a stinger. When it was time to bury him, they shut the top of his box down and he didn’t make a move.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes
Related Symbols: Coffins
Page Number: 13-14
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel lies in a bunk of the train's sleeping compartment and reflects on the burials he has seen. Soon he will have an attack of claustrophobia, as the memories of the deaths of his various family members accumulate in his nightmare and overwhelm him. The first image from that string of burials is of his grandfather, a fiery country preacher who terrified and fascinated the young Hazel. That elder Motes, we later learn, instilled in Hazel the dark tendency toward a self-hating, guilty religious sensibility. For this "waspish" man, religion was something pointed and violent, and he often verbally abused the young Hazel to make his point. It is to avoid following in his grandfather's footsteps that Hazel is fleeing now, toward someplace new; he wants to escape the religious destiny that his family background had ordained for him. 

In the mind of the younger Hazel, his grandfather had supernatural, frightening powers, but he was nonetheless unable to escape death when his time came. Death comes inescapably to the rest of Hazel's family as well, leaving him an isolated outsider with an ingrained fear of the death that must come to him eventually. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Wise Blood quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

The boy didn’t need to hear it. There was already a black wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin. He knew by the time he was twelve years old that he was going to be a preacher. Later he saw Jesus move from tree to tree in the back of his mind, a wild ragged figure motioning him to turn around and come off into the dark where he was not sure of his footing, where he might be walking on the water and not know it and then suddenly know it and drown.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel experiences a flashback to his time as a twelve-year-old boy, following his fiery grandfather and pious mother around the county to witness his grandfather's sermons, which might also be described as holy tirades. From that early age, Hazel's worldview becomes dominated by a fear of Jesus, who has been painted in his life as a dark, wild, vengeful creature. This Jesus is most at home in the wilderness, a nightmarish, creeping figure who haunts Hazel's consciousness, ever intruding on its fringes. This dark Jesus is always hiding just beyond the next corner in Hazel's life, even now that he has decided to flee his religious destiny.

The idea that Hazel could be unknowingly walking on water in the dark until he suddenly realized it and immediately drowned, suggests that what holds Hazel back from his faith is fear, or self-consciousness. It is a dark, frightening image born in the mind of twelve-year-old Hazel, and one that clearly still informs Hazel's morbid worldview as a young man desperately determined to escape the clutches of his religious fate. 

They told him he didn’t have any soul and left him for their brothel. He took a long time to believe them because he wanted to believe them. All he wanted was to believe them and get rid of it once and for all, and he saw the opportunity here to get rid of it without corruption, to be converted to nothing instead of to evil.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel remembers his introduction to the army, when two of his fellow soldiers invited him to join them at the brothel and he refused for religious reasons, to keep his soul clean. They respond by mocking Hazel's refusal, and at his attempt to convert them, confirming the novel's continual painting of Hazel as an outsider, different from the people around him.

Hazel is intrigued by their idea that he does not have a soul at all, since all his life he has felt chained down by his obligation to resist sin, weighed down by guilt. All he wants is to escape, and to sin deliberately would be one means of doing so – but he does not have the same animal ability to leave his conscience behind exhibited by his fellow soldiers, much as he would like to. He envies them this easy relationship with sin, a relationship that essentially negates the whole concept of sin by denying the existence of the soul. This is the truth that Hazel finishes his time in the army by believing, and now that he is back in the South he is determined to spread this truth – that there is no soul, and no sin, and no evil to be afraid of. 

Chapter 2 Quotes

They stared at each other for almost a minute and neither moved. Then he said in a voice that was higher than his usual voice, “What I mean to have you know is I’m no goddamn preacher.”
Mrs. Watts eyed him steadily and with only a slight smirk. Then she put her other hand under his face and tickled it in a motherly way. “That’s okay, son,” she said. “Momma don’t mind if you ain’t a preacher.”

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker), Leora Watts (speaker)
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel puts up resistance for one final moment before giving in to the waiting Mrs. Watts, a town prostitute whose address Hazel found scrawled on a bathroom stall in the town's train station. He has snuck into her bedroom uninvited, but she lies in wait on the bed, a grotesque, motherly figure. The two size one another up in silence, in an animal stare-down that ends when the highly agitated Hazel asserts his most important truth – he is no "goddamn preacher." This protest is unprompted, at least by Mrs. Watts – it's a response, rather, to the misunderstanding of his cab driver, who saw his hat and assumed he was a country preacher, and to the destiny he is desperate to escape.

This desperation is what led him to Mrs. Watts, since he believes that sin as an expression of his free will will finally break the hold that the guilt of religion has over his conscience. Hazel wants to escape his spirituality by chasing the animal in himself, and he comes to the animalistic Mrs. Watts to gain refuge from or otherwise try to escape that spiritual, religious side of himself. Be believes that sex with Mrs. Watts will be proof of his rigid belief in the nonexistence of the soul, an act of principle linked with instinct, but mostly divorced from desire. Mrs. Watts, for her part, misunderstands the frustrated Hazel, forgiving him good-naturedly as if he had been confessing a shameful fact about himself. 

Chapter 3 Quotes

“I come a long way,” Haze said, “since I would believe anything. I come halfway around the world.
“Me too,” Enoch Emery said.
“You ain’t come so far that you could keep from following me,” the blind man said. He reached out suddenly and his hands covered Haze’s face. For a second Haze didn’t move or make any sound. Then he knocked the hands off.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker), Enoch Emory (speaker), Asa Hawks / The Blind Man (speaker)
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel confronts the blind street preacher, Asa Hawks. Hawks is a figure of what Hazel might have become if he had followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, and Hazel seems fascinated by the dark vision that he represents – a fascination that Hawks picks up on, taking it as evidence that Hazel has some unresolved religious destiny that haunts his past and will inevitably catch back up to him in the future. The surprisingly intimate moment here, initiated by Hawks, who puts his hands over Hazel's face, shows us the kinship between the two dark souls, even as Hazel quickly rejects Hawks' touch. That Hawks presumes he has a right to this intimacy deeply angers Hazel, who has decided to distance himself from his religious destiny and hates being reminded that it follows him in spite of the many miles he has traveled during his time in the military, and the many experiences that ought to have divided him from people like Hawks. 

Enoch, meanwhile, pipes up in an attempt to join in, desperate as he is for connection, but is ignored by all parties. He is an outsider, even here among society's outsiders. 

“Sweet Jesus Christ Crucified,” he said, “I want to tell you people something. Maybe you think you’re not clean because you don’t believe. Well you are clean, let me tell you that. Every one of you people are clean and let me tell you why if you think it’s because of Jesus Christ Crucified you’re wrong. I don’t say he wasn’t crucified but I say it wasn’t for you. Listenhere, I’m a preacher myself and I preach the truth.”

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel makes up his mind to become a sort of anti-preacher, finding at long last the purpose behind his voyage to Taulkinham and the self-made expression of free will that he believes most perfectly subverts the religious destiny he hopes to avoid. Ironically, though, this new role will only further the public perception that he is a man of religion, and reveals his continuing obsession with the Church (even if that obsession reveals itself through his anti-Church teachings). This irony is encapsulated in Hazel's choice to begin his tirade with a curse that actually just invokes the figure, Christ, that Hazel had hoped to reject.

Rather than giving up the spiritual as he had hoped, he finds himself focused on it from another direction, reacting in anger against Asa Hawks' Christian evangelizing by evangelizing on behalf of his own, particular atheism. The most important principle of Hazel's new Church at this early stage is a vicious devotion to the truth, an atheistic truth that rejects any comfort Christianity might offer. At the same time, though, it relieves any guilt that Christianity might impose, by claiming that everyone is already clean and does not need to be cleaned, spiritually, by the sacrifice of the crucifixion. This obsession with cleanliness is a major part of Hazel's relationship to religion – he has been brought up to feel the guilt of sin very acutely, and fought all of his life to escape from the sense of dirtiness that his grandfather's version of Christianity suggested followed everyone wherever they went. 

Mrs. Watts’ grin was as curved and sharp as the blade of a sickle. It was plain that she was so well-adjusted that she didn’t have to think anymore. Her eyes took everything in whole, like quicksand. “That Jesus-seeing hat!” she said. She sat up and pulled her nightgown from under her and took it off. She reached for his hat and put it on her head and sat with her hands on her hips, walling her eyes in a comical way. Haze stared for a minute, then he made three quick noises that were laughs. He jumped for the electric light cord and took off his clothes in the dark.

Related Characters: Leora Watts (speaker), Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes
Related Symbols: Hazel’s Hat
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel returns to Mrs. Watts' room one more time. He seeks companionship, perhaps, and also to drown himself in the physical, animal intimacy that he has decided proves he no longer believes in sin or being unclean – that he no longer believes in the soul at all. The notion that visiting a whorehouse is a rejection of the soul has been with Hazel since the army, when his fellow soldiers offered to take him there. Now, Hazel finally finds himself capable of following their example, after having found his purpose in Taulkinham as a preacher of the Church Without Christ. This is a triumphant moment for him, then – but he still has difficulty giving in, at last, to this animal act.

It is not until he sees Mrs. Watts complete disregard for the spiritual, embodied by her comic turn in the preacher hat, that he feels aroused; he is excited by the truly animal simplicity of this woman, who feels no guilt at her dirtiness, existing in a state of innocence that he yearns for desperately. She is "so well-adjusted that she didn't have to think anymore", and he has struggled all his life to escape the thoughts that haunt his every step. Now, finally, he laughs at the naked Mrs. Watts, a true embodiment of the new ideal of cleanliness he preaches in the Church Without Christ – someone who feels no guilt or self-consciousness, an unapologetic servant of instinct. This is what he longs to be, and as he takes off his clothes and "barks," he takes a step closer to his animal nature at long last. 

“What you seen?” she said, using the same tone of voice all the time. She hit him across the legs with the stick, but he was like part of the tree. “Jesus died to redeem you,” she said.
“I never ast him,” he muttered.
She didn’t hit him again but she stood looking at him, shut-mouthed, and he forgot the guilt of the tent for the nameless unplaced guilt that was in him.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker)
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel experiences a flashback to his youth, when his mother punished him for having looked into a tent in the traveling circus that contained a naked woman, where he also saw his father in the audience. Although she does not know his crime, something in her senses his guilt, and the young Hazel feels this uncleanliness acutely.

The exchange between the two, as she hits his unflinching legs and tells him that "Jesus died to redeem" him, and he mutters back that he "never ast him," perfectly sums up the resentment that Hazel has been conditioned to feel toward a God who, he has been taught to believe, sees him as dirty, stupid, and fallen. He feels a debt to this God, and that debt weighs on him so that he cannot escape it. Hazel remains trapped within this "nameless unplaced guilt," placed upon him by his street preacher grandfather and pious mother, and spends years in the army attempting to escape its grip – it's this same escape attempt that brings him to Taulkinham, where he struggles desperately to deny the inner truth of his religiosity.  

Chapter 7 Quotes

They climbed the hill and went down the other side of it, she a little ahead of Haze. He saw that sitting under a tree with her might help him to seduce her, but he was in no hurry to get on with it, considering her innocence. He felt it was too hard of a job to be done in an afternoon. She sat down under a large pine and patted the ground close beside her for him to sit on, but he sat about five feet away from her on a rock. He rested his chin on his knees and looked straight ahead.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes, Sabbath Lily Hawks / The Young Girl
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel and Sabbath take a walk in the countryside after Sabbath hides in the back of Hazel's car, hoping to seduce the young newcomer. Barefoot now, Sabbath runs ahead and they find a tree to sit under. This is a romantic situation, but Hazel, the social outsider, is completely oblivious to Sabbath's advances. In fact, he has decided to seduce Sabbath, for reasons of principle – that is, to prove to her father, Asa Hawks, that he is serious in his rejection of the idea of sin and religion.

Having made this decision, he fails completely to take advantage of the situation in front of him, mistaking the truth of Sabbath's intentions and seeing only the innocent idea he has of her. He is statuesque in his studied indifference, ignoring entirely her invitation to sit beside her. Clearly, entering into this animal, physical realm is not something with which he feels truly comfortable, but rather a deliberate, studied expression of his principled rejection of the spiritual. Blind to this truth about himself and the true aims of Sabbath, Hazel reveals his hazy relationship to the truth he claims to worship. 

Chapter 9 Quotes

Haze stayed in his car about an hour and had a bad experience in it: he dreamed he was not dead but only buried. He was not waiting on the Judgment because there was no Judgment, he was waiting on nothing. Various eyes looked through the back oval window at his situation, some with considerable reverence, like the boy from the zoo, and some only to see what they could see… Then a woman with two little boys on either side of her stopped and looked in, grinning. After a second, she pushed the boys out of view and indicated that she would climb in and keep him company for a while, but she couldn’t get through the glass and finally she went off.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes, Enoch Emory, The Woman (with the two little boys)
Related Symbols: Hazel’s Car, Coffins
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel falls asleep in his car and has a nightmare that centers on the final Judgment and the judging eyes of those around him. At the beginning of his nightmare, he is trapped in a coffin, an old fear that has haunted him since, as a young boy, he watched most of his family being buried, one by one. In this nightmare there is no Judgment, and this lack of Judgment seems to strike Hazel not as a sign of his freedom from sin, but rather as an invitation to infinite limbo, trapped forever with no hope of escape.

The eyes that look into his coffin, who may also be peering into the car where he sleeps, represent the many townspeople who view Hazel as an eccentric outsider – people with whom Hazel has tried and failed to form any connection. Enoch is mentioned, but only as "the boy from the zoo," revealing Hazel's casual attitude toward him. By directing Enoch's reverent gaze at Hazel behind the glass of his car window, O'Connor suggests that Hazel should be identified in some way with the small, shrunken mummy in the glass case of the museum. Hazel is on display, an oddity from a bygone era, not at home in the modern world – a vessel of spiritual power that is misunderstood and under appreciated. The woman with two boys, though, appreciates what he has to offer, in a lewd sense, desperate for an animal connection that frightens him most of all. 

Chapter 10 Quotes

“Who is that that says it’s your conscience?” he cried, looking around with a constricted face as if he could smell the particular person who thought that. “Your conscience is a trick,” he said, “it don’t exist though you may think it does, and if you think it does, you had best get it out in the open and hunt it down and kill it, because it’s no more than your face in the mirror is or your shadow behind you.”

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker)
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel preaches to the few people who stand and watch him, denying the existence of a conscience. He wants desperately to escape the influence of his own conscience, instilled by his religious upbringing, which led him to see sin as a deep stain that could never be removed except by the blood of a nightmarish Christ. Ironically, no one in the town of Taulkinham seems at all bothered by matters of conscience, aside from Hazel himself; nearly all of the townspeople he encounters follow an un-self-conscious, instinctive lifestyle that never dwells in the dark guilt that Hazel cannot help but feel, even as he preaches against it so intensely. The locals, by contrast, deceive easily and consume lustfully with no qualms whatsoever. 

There is also a foreshadowing of Solace Layfield in these words, the man whom Hoover Shoats hires as Hazel's impersonator. Layfield becomes like a "face in the mirror" or a shadow to Hazel, showing him the faults and self-deceptions he refuses to see otherwise until, finally, Hazel makes the decision to run him down, destroying his double in an unsuccessful attempt to kill his own conscience. 

Then he slid his legs under the cover by her and sat there as if he were waiting to remember one more thing. She was breathing very quickly. “Take off your hat, king of the beasts,” she said gruffly and her hand came up behind his head and snatched the hat off and sent it flying across the room in the dark.

Related Characters: Sabbath Lily Hawks / The Young Girl (speaker), Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes
Related Symbols: Hazel’s Hat
Page Number: 170
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel finally gives in to Sabbath's sexual advances, after escaping them first with obliviousness, and then conscious resistance. Sabbath is persistent in her desire for Hazel, as she chooses him as a replacement for her father, Asa, who is leaving soon.

Hazel resists, still, subconsciously, even after having made the decision to get in bed with Sabbath. He proceeds slowly, step by step, as she waits with impatience, and is distant and controlled, in direct contrast to her heavy breathing. This sort of passionate behavior is not natural to him, and he has to force himself to betray his spiritual nature to follow the animal instinct he has claimed to believe in. He succeeded, once, with Mrs. Watts, but quickly realized it was not a sustainable choice. Now he has been worn down, and is surrendering again in an effort to sustain his belief that sin cannot exist. When she removes his hat, the last part of his clothing left, Sabbath removes a symbol of the spiritual and reveals the animal, hailing him as "king of the beasts." This is what Sabbath wants – to teach Hazel how to follow his instincts without guilt – but it is clearly still a struggle for him to reach that point. 

Chapter 11 Quotes

The entire possibility of this came from the advantage of having a car—of having something that moved fast, in privacy, to the place you wanted to be. He looked out the window at the Essex. It sat high and square in the pouring rain. He didn’t notice the rain, only the car; if asked he would not have been able to say it was raining.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes
Related Symbols: Hazel’s Car
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel clings to the hope of escape from destiny that his car represents, at the moment when he feels most trapped, having begun his relationship with Sabbath Hawks. He is desperate to leave this place, this town, where he has only ended up circling closer to the religious destiny he had hoped to avoid. This desperate hope fills his whole mind, blocking out even any awareness he has of the rain pouring just outside. 

Hazel's car is a symbol of free will, and he sees it as a beautiful, precious vehicle capable of anything – in spite of the many voices that speak to the contrary, pointing out that it is in reality a cheap, broken-down, ugly clunker that is lucky to move at all. He is blinded by what it represents, by his desperation, and still unable to see that in fact both the car, and any notion of escape or free will, are doomed to fail. 

“I knew when I first seen you you were mean and evil,” a furious voice behind him said. “ I seen you wouldn’t let nobody have nothing. I seen you were mean enough to slam a baby against a wall. I seen you wouldn’t never have no fun or let anybody else because you didn’t want nothing but Jesus!”
He turned and raised his arm in a vicious gesture, almost losing his balance in the door. Drops of rain water were splattered over the front of the glasses and on his red face and here and there they hung sparkling from the brim of his hat. “I don’t want nothing but the truth!” he shouted, “and what you see is the truth and I’ve seen it!”

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker), Sabbath Lily Hawks / The Young Girl (speaker)
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, a dramatic confrontation between Hazel and Sabbath erupts when, after their first night together, she finds the shrunken mummy that Enoch has stolen from the park's museum and brings it to him, cradling it like the Madonna with Child. Hazel had been preparing his escape, gazing longingly at his car, when she entered the room, and he slammed the small figure against the wall in his rage. He feels trapped, desperate to escape the destiny crashing down around him, and Sabbath finds just the right words to stoke his greatest fear; by telling him that she knew as soon as they met that he would "never have no fun" because he "didn't want nothing but Jesus," she confirms that all of this work he has done to distance himself from his spiritual destiny is false and futile. 

Hazel, isolating himself again from any human connection, rejects her diagnosis of his inner desire for Jesus, and turns instead toward the truth as his ultimate goal. He is more deeply moved here than we have ever seen him, clinging to the truth as an excuse while remaining oblivious to the truth of the real world around him, nearly falling out the open door onto the wet ground below. 

Chapter 13 Quotes

“You shut up,” Haze said, leaning his head closer to hear the confession.
“Told where his still was and got five dollars for it,” the man gasped.
“You shut up now,” Haze said.
“Jesus…” the man said.
“Shut up like I told you to now,” Haze said.
“Jesus hep me,” the man wheezed.
Haze gave him a hard slap on the back and he was quiet. He leaned down to hear if he was going to say anything else but he wasn’t breathing any more.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker), Solace Layfield (speaker)
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Haze kneels over the dying Solace Layfield, the man hired by Hoover Shoats to impersonate him, after having run Solace down with his car. Even after having committed murder, in a new attempt to refuse the calling of his soul and reject the truth about his destiny that seeing Layfield made all too obvious for him, Hazel is thrust as ever against his will into the role of a preacher, forced to hear the dying man's confession.

Full of contradiction still, though, Hazel leans in to hear what Layfield has to say even as he warns him to shut up. Hazel has rejected the whole concept of confession, based in ideas of sin and redemption that he associates with the horrible, haunting guilt of his childhood. But now, faced with the dying Layfield, he cannot help but perform his natural role as a confessor. This continues until, anticlimactically, Hazel ushers the pitiful Layfield into death with a hard slap on the back, stopping his mouth once and for all. 

Haze followed him around, telling him what it was right to believe. He said it was not right to believe anything you couldn’t see or hold in your hands or test with your teeth. He said he had only a few days ago believed in blasphemy as the way to salvation, but that you couldn’t even believe in that because then you were believing in something to blaspheme. As for the Jesus who was reported to have been born at Bethlehem and crucified on Calvary for man’s sins, Haze said, He was too foul a notion for a sane person to carry in his head… he began to curse and blaspheme Jesus in a quiet but intense way but with such conviction that the boy paused from his work to listen.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Hazel berates the gas station attendant with his usual tirade on the nonexistence of Christ, but with his angry speech only continues to emphasize the depth of those beliefs he wants desperately to escape. Totally unprompted by the attendant, Hazel launches into his monologue about truth and religion, but his obsessive denial of Christianity has begun to collapse on itself. He has begun to realize, in just the last few days, that blasphemy cannot be the way to the salvation because you can't believe in blasphemy without "believing in something to blaspheme."

Hazel almost seems, in this moment, to be taking a step toward self-awareness, realizing that the truth of his crusade against religion is actually an obsession with redemption and sin, that in attempting to run away from his destiny he only circles back around from the other side. This self-awareness vanishes, though, as, just after warning the boy against blasphemy, Hazel begins to blaspheme with such intensity that the boy pauses in his work to listen. Hazel is incapable of recognizing the hypocrisy of his speech, even as he turns from one argument to another in the course of a single tirade. 

Chapter 14 Quotes

“People have quit doing it,” she repeated. “What do you do it for?”
“I’m not clean,” he said.
She stood staring at him, unmindful of the broken dishes at her feet. “I know it,” she said after a minute, “you got blood on that night shirt and on the bed. You ought to get you a washwoman…”
“That’s not the kind of clean,” he said.
“There’s only one kind of clean, Mr. Motes,” she muttered.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes (speaker), Mrs. Flood (speaker)
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 228
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Mrs. Flood discovers Haze's self-imposed penance, seeing him in his room with barbed wire wrapped underneath his bloody shirt. The simple Mrs. Flood, who is not in the least spiritually inclined, cannot comprehend Haze's decision to punish himself for being unclean, fixating instead on the literal mess that his blood has caused. As far as Mrs. Flood is concerned, there really is no kind of clean outside of the literal.

Mrs' Flood's blissful ignorance of sin and guilt is in many ways the animal approach to living that Hazel tried so hard to adopt, but his spiritual destiny would never allow him to forget his conscience, formed by a deeply religious upbringing with an emphasis on redemption. Now, just as Hazel was never able to truly understand the un-self-conscious living of Ms. Watts or Mrs. Flood, Mrs. Flood finds herself unable to understand Hazel's spiritual obsession.

She had never observed his face so composed and she grabbed his hand and held it to her heart. It was resistless and dry. The outline of a skull was plain under his skin and the deep burned eye sockets seemed to lead into the dark tunnel where he had disappeared. She leaned closer and closer to his face, looking deep into them, trying to see how she had been cheated or what had cheated her, but she couldn’t see anything. She shut her eyes and saw the pin point of light but so far away that she could not hold it steady in her mind. She felt as if she were blocked at the entrance of something. She sat staring with her eyes shut, into his eyes, and felt as if she had finally got to the beginning of something she couldn’t begin, and she saw him moving farther and farther away, farther and farther into the darkness until he was the pin point of light.

Related Characters: Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes, Mrs. Flood
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Mrs. Flood stares into Hazel's eyes after he has passed away, brought back from the winter storm by a pair of policemen who accidentally kill him en route. Mrs. Flood has become fascinated by the distance that separates her from Hazel, by his perspective on the world which is so foreign and inscrutable to her, and now that he is dead this distance is all the greater, drawing her in still further so that she holds his hand to her heart. The outline of a skull in his face, a sort of Memento Mori, is a reminder of the ephemerality of life and the closeness of death, which Hazel sought out so determinedly. 

Determined to bridge the gap between them and understand the secret that gives Hazel the composure and conviction she sees in him now, Mrs. Flood closes her eyes; Hazel has already told her that one sees more acutely when one is blind, a claim he makes literal by blinding himself to the world in order to see inside himself more clearly. With the focus that this gives her, she is able to see what is perhaps the image of Hazel's soul passing on into the afterlife, peaceful and distant, leaving the world and its struggles behind forever. 

Get the entire Wise Blood LitChart as a printable PDF.
Wise blood.pdf.medium

Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes Character Timeline in Wise Blood

The timeline below shows where the character Hazel ‘Haze’ Motes appears in Wise Blood. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
The protagonist, a young man named Hazel Motes, sits in a train car across from a slightly grotesque-looking a woman. The woman,... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel continues to stare down the corridor at the train porter, and Mrs. Hitchcock is disturbed... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel tries to talk to the porter (who is black) about Eastrod, his hometown, since he... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Mrs. Hitchcock continues to engage Hazel in small talk, but he cuts her off to tell her about the porter’s supposed... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
They wait in line for half an hour, with Hazel staring silently at the wall while Mrs. Hitchcock talks with another woman about her sister’s... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel sits, “glum and intense,” not removing his hat, and the women laugh at him when... (full context)
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
When he finally escapes the dining car, Hazel tries again to confront the porter, but the porter ignores him. Hazel wants to get... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel climbs the porter’s ladder into the upper berth, which is low and dark, but he... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Waking up, Hazel’s memories of death continue. Eastrod, his hometown, is empty now. He left for the war... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The young Hazel already held a deep conviction that he would be a preacher, and that the way... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
In the army, Hazel had only a black Bible and his mother’s reading glasses from home—glasses that tired his... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel was deeply attracted to the idea that he had no soul, and that instead of... (full context)
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel took the first train home he could find, and bought himself the suit and hat... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel reflects that his mother’s ghost will feel more at peace knowing the chifforobe is guarded.... (full context)
Chapter 2
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel arrives in Taulkinham at six the next evening, after having been left behind by the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
In the taxi, the cigar-smoking driver squints at Hazel in the mirror, recognizing Leora Watts’ address and confused about why he would want to... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The driver reassures Hazel that even preachers aren’t perfect, and that it’s okay if he needs to commit sin... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel looks at the shack that stands before him, peering in at a crack in the... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel enters the room, and wanders about, examining its grungy contents, his senses “stirred to the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Hazel almost leaps through the window, but Leora Watts’ grip is firm. She pulls him closer,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
On Hazel’s second night in the city, he walks around town past the storefronts, contemplating the stars... (full context)
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...all in black and with a scarred face, who is followed by a young girl. Hazel stares at them. He is oblivious to the salesman, who tries to speak to Hazel,... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
...crowd dispersing, but the blind preacher ignores him. The girl follows behind, handing out pamphlets. Hazel grabs one of these, which reads “Jesus Calls You,” and tears it into confetti. The... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...Enoch, and the salesman rejects his bartering. As the blind man and girl walk away, Hazel impulsively buys a peeler, paying too much, and then runs after the two, with Enoch... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Enoch tries to make conversation with Hazel, bragging that he is only eighteen, has been in town for two months, and already... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Enoch catches Hazel up, and suggests they go buy a soda. Hazel dismisses Enoch, but he continues to... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Enoch jogs to catch up to Hazel, continuing his story. The Welfare woman sent him to the Bible Academy after he tried... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Enoch is sure that Hazel is a wealthy man and tells him so, but Hazel remains silent. Enoch goes on... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
...first, but the blind man threatens her and she reluctantly takes it from the persistent Hazel. Hazel explains that he followed her to say that he “ain’t beholden for none of... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel blasphemes, sitting down with his hand on the step near the young girl’s sneaker, and... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...with long hair and a scar—although he’s never seen his mother. The blind man and Hazel continue to ignore him. The young girl steps in and tells a story about a... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
...four of them into two teams, one for each door, despite the protests of both Hazel and the young girl. Hazel tries to escape, rejecting the blind man’s invitation to repent... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Against the rush of the crowd, at the top of the large building’s steps, Hazel begins to warn people against the preacher waiting for them. In between muttering “My Jesus”... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel starts to leave the building behind, but the voice of the blind man stops him.... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Enoch half-invites Hazel to a brothel, but as they turn up Leora Watts’ street, Hazel finally stops and... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel turns in toward Mrs. Watts’ house, ignoring Enoch. Enoch then reveals that he has the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel’s experience with Leora Watts had “not been very successful.” It was the first time he... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Hazel remembers that when he was small, his father took him to a carnival, where there... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The next morning young Hazel filled his shoes with rocks and walked a mile to the creek as a way... (full context)
Chapter 4
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel wakes up and carefully extracts himself from Mrs. Watts’ bed, having decided to buy a... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Cursing, the boy follows Hazel. When Hazel asks to see the owner, the boy claims that he is Slade. Hazel... (full context)
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
The elder Slade offers an initial price of seventy-five dollars, which Haze accepts, but the man initiates a negotiation all the same, cutting his offer down to... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel buys the car for forty dollars, and buys some gasoline as well, which the boy... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Hazel drives without thinking, unable to stop or even slow down without having to restart the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Hazel is forced to slow down for a black pick-up truck carrying a mass of wet... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
The car is stopped now, and the driver of a long oil truck behind Hazel emerges to get him off the road. Hazel sits silently, staring, until the driver puts... (full context)
Chapter 5
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...car passing back and forth, looking for something. Enoch cranes to see it, and recognizes Hazel emerging stiffly from the car in his suit and hat. Hazel sits down on the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Hazel and Enoch watch as the woman pulls herself out of the pool, seeing first her... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel sits sourly in his car, tensed as if about to shout. Enoch asks him how... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...says anything, while the second part is full of words and phrases. This part engages Hazel in small talk about the car, or tries to. Hazel is totally unresponsive, as Enoch... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel is impatient as Enoch orders his milkshake from the muscled waitress. Enoch tells her that... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
The waitress, Maude, walks over to Hazel and asks him why a nice quiet boy like him is spending time with a... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Enoch rushes Hazel out the door and into the car, desperate to get him to the dark secret.... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Enoch hurries on, eager to get to their final destination, but Hazel has stopped by a cage. Enoch yells at him wildly that the cage is empty,... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel and Enoch go up the front stairs and sneak through the front door past the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...two little boys enters the room and comes to stand by the case, across from Hazel. She grins, and her reflection merges with Hazel’s in the glass of the coffin case.... (full context)
Chapter 6
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
That evening Haze drives around town until he finds Asa Hawks and the young girl. He follows them... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
As three men in red satin lumberjackets exit, Hazel begins to preach, asking them to show him where Jesus’ redeeming blood touched them. The... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The crowd disperses, and Hazel begins his speech again with the next group to emerge, and then again with the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
The next morning Hazel goes to the house where Asa Hawks lives, and asks the suspicious landlady if he... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
...the boy who keeps following her. Asa comes to the door, looking sour and unfriendly. Hazel tells him that he has moved in to the house, and says that if his... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Removing his dark glasses, Asa peers out the window at Hazel as he gets in his car and drives away—it’s clear that Asa is not blind... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Meanwhile Hazel is sitting in his car to think, and he decides to seduce the young girl.... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel returns to the Hawks’ room that afternoon, when they are eating supper. He doesn’t look... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel murmurs that “nobody with a good car needs to be justified,” and hurries out of... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Hazel takes his car to a garage and asks the mechanic to fix the horn and... (full context)
Chapter 7
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
The next day Hazel takes the car out to drive in the country. The sky is blue, with only... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Sabbath tells Hazel about a letter that she wrote to Mary Brittle, the advice columnist. She asked whether,... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Hazel continues to interrogate Sabbath about Asa’s past, asking what it was that caused him to... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Sabbath sits on the ground and motions for Hazel to join her. He sits on a rock five feet away, aware that he should... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
...rope in the well. “Would you guess me to be fifteen years old?” Sabbath asks Hazel, and suggests that he lie down and rest. He moves a few feet away and... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Hazel jumps away violently, and Sabbath runs behind the tree and says “I see you” again.... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...the car, but it still doesn’t start. He silently examines the engine, not answering when Hazel asks him what’s wrong. The man has one arm and slate blue eyes. He slides... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Hazel drives on, telling Sabbath he doesn’t need any favors. She says that the car is... (full context)
Chapter 8
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
...proceeding according to instinct, like a bird builds a nest without thinking. This started when Hazel saw the dark secret at the museum. Enoch’s sensitive blood knows that what he will... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
...by “one of those whistles that only dogs hear,” and comes upon the figure of Hazel Motes preaching on top of his car. Enoch has not seen Hazel since the day... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Enoch begins to shout in response, but without making a sound. Hazel continues preaching, telling people to take counsel from their blood and enter into the Church... (full context)
Chapter 9
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Since Hazel moved in, Asa Hawks has been hiding from him behind the bolted door of his... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Hazel’s plans have failed—he still has no followers in the Church Without Christ, except for one... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Two nights later, another disciple appears, following Hazel to all four picture shows while he preaches. He is dressed “like an ex-preacher turned... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
The man starts to draw a larger crowd, promising to recount what Hazel’s ideas have done for him. Meanwhile Hazel stands motionless and confused. The man introduces himself... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
At this point Hazel interrupts to say that Onnie Jay Holy is “not true,” telling everyone that he had... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel tries to shout that you can’t know the truth for money, but Onnie Jay Holy... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Onnie persists as Hazel tries to start the malfunctioning car, telling him that he needs an “artist-type” to help... (full context)
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel repeats himself to the transformed Onnie (who now reveals his real name, Hoover Shoats), and... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel drives home, and then decides to pick the lock on Asa Hawks’ door. He does... (full context)
Chapter 10
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
The next night, Haze parks his car outside the Odeon theater and begins to preach, striking a strange pose... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel is preaching with such concentration that he doesn’t notice a rat-colored car pulling up across... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel drives away in his car and returns to his room, where Sabbath Hawks is waiting... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Speaking for the first time, Hazel says “Yeah,” with no change in his expression. He takes off his coat and trousers,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...heavily, ducking into a drugstore and lowering his glasses—it is Enoch, on his way to Hazel Motes’ house with the mummy, which he has stolen from the museum. (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
...the cabinet. He then realized resentfully that he had to deliver the little man to Hazel. Enoch ate a candy bar rapidly, “as if he had something against it.” (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Now Enoch is on his way to Hazel’s house, although he has never been there before. He is sullen at having to spend... (full context)
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...soaked by the time he reaches the Hawks’ house, and he finds Sabbath Hawks in Hazel’s room, where Hazel is lying ashen-faced with a washcloth over his eyes. Sabbath turns when... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Sabbath takes the bundle to the bathroom where there is better light, reflecting on Hazel’s sickness. She thinks he is not really sick, just not used to her yet. She... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel is awake in the room, dressing quickly, when he sees that Sabbath is not there.... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Behind Hazel the door opens, and he turns to see a blurry pair of faces. Sabbath says... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Sabbath yells, in a rage, that she knew from the first time she saw Hazel that he was mean and evil, wicked enough to throw a baby against a wall,... (full context)
Chapter 13
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Hazel’s face watches Shoats and the “Prophet” for an hour, and then his car follows Solace’s... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Hazel tells him to take off the hat. Beginning to cough, Solace asks him to stop... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Solace begins to walk away down the middle of the road, and Hazel starts the car, yelling at him to take off the suit. Solace begins to pull... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Early the next morning Hazel drives to a filling station to get the car ready for his trip. He has... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Finishing his work, the boy tells Hazel that there is a leak in the gas tank and two in the radiator, and... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Five miles down the highway Hazel is pulled over by a policeman, who tells Hazel that he pulled him over because... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel stands silently looking out at the pasture and into the gray sky, his face reflecting... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
After a while Hazel stands up and walks back to town. It takes three hours. On the way he... (full context)
Chapter 14
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
This question—what would drive someone to blind themselves—stays with Mrs. Flood, because Hazel does indeed blind himself, and she is constantly reminded of this fact by his scars,... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
The other boarders largely ignore Hazel now, although at first they had been afraid of him. When he blinded himself, Sabbath... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Later, Mrs. Flood steams open the envelope containing Hazel’s government check, and raises his rent when she finds out how much is there. She... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Mrs. Flood enjoys sitting on the porch with Hazel, although she cannot always tell if he knows she is there. She talks at length,... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Mrs. Flood reflects on what is inside Hazel’s head, and decides that it must be big enough to contain everything, the whole world... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Mrs. Flood wonders what happens with the extra third of Hazel’s benefit check. She knows that it goes unused, and thinks of what benefits a widow... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Mrs. Flood decides, officially, to marry Hazel, so that he is under the control of “a sensible person.” In order to seduce... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Later Mrs. Flood discovers what is taking Hazel’s time, and why he limps. Cleaning his room one day, she finds that his shoes... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Mrs. Flood becomes obsessed by Hazel, following him on his walks and badgering him about his health. He didn’t seem to... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Mrs. Flood wakes Hazel and asks why he does these “unnatural” things. He says that they are natural. She... (full context)
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
At first Mrs. Flood had planned to marry Hazel and then commit him to the insane asylum, but now she plans to keep him.... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
As Hazel leaves, Mrs. Flood tells him that there’s no other place for him to go. She’s... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Two days later a pair of young, fat, blond policemen find Hazel lying in a ditch. They tell him that he needs to come with them and... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Mrs. Flood has the policemen lay Hazel on her bed, and she tells his tranquil, empty face that he can stay rent-free... (full context)