Wise Blood

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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer 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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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“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:

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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:

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“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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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“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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
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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)
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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)
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Mrs. Flood decides, officially, to marry Hazel, so that he is under the control of “a sensible person.” In order to seduce... (full context)
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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)
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Mrs. Flood becomes obsessed by Hazel, following him on his walks and badgering him about his health. He didn’t seem to... (full context)
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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)