What is Wise Blood About?

Anybody know?

Even after reading this, I still don’t get it. I know Flannery O’Connor is supposed to be one of those authors I am supposed to like, but after reading this book I cannot honestly appreciate the thought of reading another one of her works. Too weird and abstract for my tastes, but then again I am terrible at reading novels.

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8 thoughts on “What is Wise Blood About?

  1. Matt T says:

    I remember reading O’Connor in college and liking her immensely. Wise Blood rings a bell but it was ‘The Violent Bear It Away’ and ‘Everything that Rises Must Converge’ that made me conclude she had something to say about faith and human nature in a unique macabre way..

  2. When I first read O’Connor, I was inclined to agree with you – what did I just read and why did I read it? Was there a point to that whole exercise?

    I think the thing with O’Connor is that she is trying to say something, she just isn’t coming out and telling you what it is.

    In a lot of ways, it’s a real change from the literature I read in highschool and college. Most of that stuff would beat you over the head with its theme such that you had to be a real moron to miss it.

    O’Connor, however, seems to expect you to get introspective and reflective and evaluate your condition against the characters of her book. It’s up to you to figure out the real truth, but don’t fool yourself for a second thinking that she’s being relativistic about it.

  3. “In a lot of ways, it’s a real change from the literature I read in highschool and college. Most of that stuff would beat you over the head with its theme such that you had to be a real moron to miss it.”

    Why is it meritorious to obscure themes? Who cares if a moron is able to discern thematic elements? It takes a real mind to contemplate and appreciate them.

    The worst analysis turns literature into some sort of puzzle, and the worst literature is puzzling. If a discerning reader is confounded by your abstraction, it is because you have composed a confounding abstraction.

  4. I think the best literature asks a universal question and leaves you thinking about it further. Hazel Motes found religion on his own, and that was what he wanted in the first place. The character sought to find Jesus without being forced to swallow the religious perception of others through experiencing his own suffering journey toward a change of heart. O’Connor is a master writer.

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