Analysis Of O ' Connor 's Wise Blood Essay

789 Words May 5th, 2016 4 Pages
Religious symbolism, especially in names, is also prominent in O’Connor’s Wise Blood. Hazel Motes, a grotesque character warped by his experience in World War II, is a noticeable example because his name not only reflects his character, but it also contributes a religious context to the story. The name Motes is an allusion to the biblical verse that condemns judging others for the mote in their eye when there is a beam in your own (Matthew 7:3). This biblical reference not only touches on the issue of judgement, but it demonstrates the struggle with hypocrisy. Hazel constantly points out the flaws of the people around him. He is a nihilist, and he condemns society for having a traditional, religious viewpoint. When he meets Asa Hawks, a conman posing as a blind preacher, Hazel warns the people against believing in the Jesus that Hawks is preaching about. He, in comparison, argues that the people are clean and that Jesus did not die for them. He backs up his argument with the statement “don’t I know what exists and what don’t… don’t I have eyes in my head? Am I a blind man?” (O’Connor, Wise Blood, 51). Hazel uses his vision to support his claim that he is preaching the real truth of the new church without Christ. However, Hazel ignores his own faults when speaking out against the faults of others, including those of Asa Hawks. He condemns the people for believing in something, but he believes that blasphemy is the answer to salvation, which contradicts his teachings. Hazel…

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