In Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor, how are entrapment and redemption major themes in the book? 

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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In the story, Hazel Motes sought redemption but not through Christ. However, through development of his ideology, he concluded that it was sin that gave rise to the need for redemption. Through his summons he asserted that if sin is denied then redemption is pointless. According to him, sin was a form of entrapment leading to the growing need to seek redemption among Christians who believed in Jesus. Throughout the story, Hazel attempted to convince the people he met and preached to that Jesus did not exist.

“There are all kinds of truth ... but behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth.”

In another instance that confirmed the themes of entrapment and redemption, Hazel attempts to seduce Sabbath in a clear case of entrapment in order to impose his ideology about ‘true redemption’ on Hawks, Sabbath’s father and a preacher who believed in Jesus. However, both Hawks and Sabbath plotted a similar situation against Hazel in order to convince him of their beliefs. Sabbath seduced Hazel while Hawks did not fully disclose the information regarding his ‘fake blindness’.

Hazel’s death at the end of the story signified his redemption from entrapment in the form of self inflicted blindness and physical pain.


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