As the novel’s title suggest, blood plays an important role in Wise Blood. Like O’Connor’s other symbols, its significance is split. On the one hand, Hazel often asks those around him about the redemptive blood of Jesus, and where it can be found in the real world. This blood represents the ideas of sin and salvation that he rejects. For Enoch, on the other hand, blood represents the instinctual voice that drives him forward. He has “wise blood,” inherited from his father – and in some ways Hazel’s strange ways seem inherited as well, from the blood of his mother and grandfather. This wise blood takes over Enoch’s free will, pushing him to do things he despises.
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The timeline below shows where the symbol Blood appears in Wise Blood. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...they live, but only if he comes to see something, insisting on the trade. Enoch’s blood pounds, anticipating the struggle of getting Hazel through the daily rituals ahead, but he is... (full context)
...but without making a sound. Hazel continues preaching, telling people to take counsel from their blood and enter into the Church Without Christ. Enoch tries to bellow that he has the... (full context)