Wiseblood by Flannery O’Connor. Overview. Genre: Comedy Irony Hyperbole=>Grotesque Symbol Theme Allusion. Comedy. “All comic novels that are any good must be about matters of life and death” Two visions of integrity: author’s and popular culture’s
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Wiseblood by Flannery O’Connor
Opening into Awe, catharsis
cf. Role of Greek Theater
not something “to be solved”
The Preacher’s hat:grandfather and Haze’s past
“That Jesus Seeing Hat” (60) take of that hat , king of the beasts… and she sent it flying across the room into the dark. 170
Woman in Casket: sin/death (cf women in Faustus--Nan Spit/Helen)
The Essex (Death in Life, Pulpit, “escape”)
“No body with a good car needs to be justified.” 113
This is a good car….I knew when I first saw it that it was the car for me, and since I’ve had it, I’ve had a place to be that I can always get away in.” 115
“I told you this car would get me anywhere I wanted to go” 127
Irony and truth and many wills: escape itself as symbol (false) of freedom
Sabbath Lily Hawks (bird imagery—Haze is describe with a nose like a shrike’s)
Mary Brittle—popular philosophy/advice
“Read some books on Ethical culture.” 119
I’m adjusted okay to the modern world.” 120
Worst thing you could possibly be…think about it
“It was plain that she was so well adjusted that she didn’t have to think any more.” 60
Trip to the whore house, 147…
“You ain’t true.” 155
“No truth behind all truths is what I and this church preach! Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place.
Your conscience is a trick” cf. Kant’s proof
It don’t exist 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.” 166 cf. The True Prophet
“...Snatched the shriveled body and threw it against the wall. The head popped and trash inside sprayed out in a little cloud of dust….”I’ve seen the only truth there is!”
“To some other city, I got a car to get there in, I got….it sounded like a little yell for help at the bottom of the canyon.” 189
What does the new jesus do for Enoch in return for his services…?
“No gorilla in existence, whether in the jungles of Africa or California, or in New York City was happier at that moment than this one, whose god had finally rewarded it.” 198
“You ain’t true …you believe in jesus.”
“Take off that suit”
Cf gorilla suit/Enoch as Intuition/ pushing Haze along
Essex runs over him
“Jesus he’p me.”
“Does one’s integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do?
Cadmus: preserve family name
Faustus won’t repent and chooses to suffer eternal torment because he fears bodily pain
Can contemporary students take seriously the issue of Sacred Versus the Profane?
Or understand that some literature does?
LK: ch 8 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “ ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.
If you yourself would become the parable…
but with him , she could only imagine the outside in, the whole black world in his head and his head bigger than the world, his head big enough to include the sky, planets and whatever was or had been or would be. How would he know if he was going backwards or forwards or if he was going along with it? (Dionysian)
“I’m as good, Mr. Motes,…not believing in Jesus as a many a one that does.”
“You’re better,” he said, “If you believed in Jesus you wouldn’t be so good.”
“He had never paid her a compliment before!”
‘If there’s no bottom to your eyes, they hold more.”
“I want to go on where I’m going.” 230
Elements of Tragedy
The tale to tell
Triumph of the individual will leads to the horror, the horror”
Elements of Comedy
Mrs. Flood response
The start of something
Secular defeat is Spiritual Victory