Wise Blood Chapter 10 Summary
by Flannery O’Connor

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Chapter 10 Summary

The next night Motes again parks in front of a theater, climbs on his car, and begins to preach. He asks people to listen to the only real truth: that there is no truth. This is the foundation of the Church Without Christ. Nothing in the sky will reveal anything to them, and the Fall, Judgment, and Redemption are not real. If there were a place where Jesus redeemed them, they could go there, but there is no such place.

When several more people join his audience, Motes tells them their pangs of conscience are nothing but a trick because a man’s conscience is nothing more than his face in the mirror or his shadow behind him. Motes is preaching with such fervor and concentration that he does not notice a high, rat-colored car which has cruised twice around the block and the two men inside are looking for a place to park. Nor does he see Hoover Shoats and a man in a “glare-blue” suit and white hat get out of the vehicle. Soon, though, he sees the man in the white hat climb onto the hood of the car and is so struck by the man’s gaunt figure that he stops preaching.

Shoats walks along the sidewalk with his guitar, telling people he wants to introduce them to the True Prophet because the man’s words can make them as happy as they have made him. Motes does not even notice Shoats, as he stares transfixed by the cadaverous, almost concave man on the hood of the car. Shoats preaches, claiming the “unredeemed are redeeming themselves and the new jesus is at hand!” They need to redeem themselves at the Holy Church of Christ Without Christ, he cries, over and over in the same tone. Shoats is forced to stop hawking his wares when he begins to cough a long, deep rattle which ends in a spurt of phlegm.

A woman standing in front of Motes stares...

(The entire section is 515 words.)