Wise Blood

Hazel’s Hat Symbol Analysis

Hazel’s Hat Symbol Icon

Hazel’s hat is an outward sign of his outsider status. It is consistently described as “fierce,” and leads many to mistake him for a preacher. Halfway through the novel, he buys himself a new hat, this one all white, as a sign of his new direction with the Church Without Christ, but it does nothing to change his outsider status. The hat is also a sign of Hazel’s spiritual calling, and is often used to highlight a contrast with the baser, more animal nature of the people around him.

Hazel’s Hat Quotes in Wise Blood

The Wise Blood quotes below all refer to the symbol of Hazel’s Hat. 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 3 Quotes

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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Chapter 10 Quotes

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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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Hazel’s Hat Symbol Timeline in Wise Blood

The timeline below shows where the symbol Hazel’s Hat 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
...begins to make observations about him: he is wearing a new, blue suit, a stiff hat like a country preacher’s, and the army duffel bag at his feet suggests that he... (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 he orders improperly. They are smoking, and Hazel... (full context)
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
Hazel took the first train home he could find, and bought himself the suit and hat along the way, stuffing his army uniform into a trashbox. When at last he arrived... (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
...been left behind by the train. He had run after the departing train, but his hat flew off, and he had to stop to retrieve it. In the city, he is... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
...there—“she don’t usually have no preachers for company,” he explains. Hazel frowns, telling the driver that he is not a preacher, but the driver persists, telling Hazel that the hat, and... (full context)
Chapter 3
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... (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
...he opens the door. When Mrs. Watts sees him, she laughs. Hazel puts on his hat before entering, but takes it off when it knocks against the electric light. He moves... (full context)
Chapter 4
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...lots before they open, ignoring any salesmen, his face fragile and intense beneath his black hat. There are no cars to be found for fifty dollars, until Hazel reaches a near-junkyard... (full context)
Chapter 5
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...to see it, and recognizes Hazel emerging stiffly from the car in his suit and hat. Hazel sits down on the grass. “Well I’ll be dog,” Enoch says, and scrambles out... (full context)
Chapter 6
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
...the young girl. If he sees his daughter ruined, Hazel thinks, then Asa will understand that Hazel is serious about the Church Without Christ. Hazel is also tired of Mrs. Watts,... (full context)
Chapter 7
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
...virtuous and kind, had a vision of its grandmother in hellfire, and it told her what it saw, but her swelling – a reaction to the good in the child -... (full context)
Chapter 9
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...lasts, with Hazel’s eyes opening “onto a deeper blankness.” Hawks then jabs at him, saying that now Hazel can leave him alone. Hazel’s expressionless face moves back under his white hat. (full context)
Chapter 10
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...floor. He slides under the covers with her. Breathing quickly, Sabbath says, “Take off your hat, king of the beasts,” and snatches off the hat, throwing it across the room. (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
At noon the next day a figure in a long black raincoat with a lightish hat pulled down over his face is moving rapidly through the streets, a bundle about the... (full context)
Religious Belief, Redemption, and Sin Theme Icon
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
...third time, this time grabbing the little man and throwing him against the wall, so that his head pops off and the trash inside sprays out. Sabbath yells, as Hazel grabs... (full context)
Chapter 13
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 staring and say what he wants. Hazel... (full context)
Chapter 14
Free Will vs. Destiny Theme Icon
Instinct and the Animal Theme Icon
The Nature of Truth Theme Icon
Isolation and the Outsider Theme Icon
...to keep him. She has grown used to watching his face and trying to see what is really behind his eyes. One day, the coldest of that winter, she goes to... (full context)