Mary Flannery O'Connor: Wise Blood

(1194 words)

Wise Blood appeared as Flannery O'Connor's first book in 1952, and she would later describe it as “a comic novel about a Christian malgré lui”. Like her second novel, The Violent Bear It Away, it is preoccupied with failed preachers, wrecked automobiles, the denial of vocation and the suffering that accompanies it. The story of Hazel Motes and his failed struggle to escape the shadow of his faith was initially greeted as a satire of religious fanaticism or a psychological inquiry into it. However, critics had to reconsider its religious themes after O'Connor's author's note to the 1962 second edition in which she implicitly proclaimed her own faith, declaring: “That belief in Christ is to some a matter of …

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McGill, Robert. "Wise Blood". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 July 2002
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]