Whose Deformity is the Most Serious
Flannery O' Connor's noted religious work Wise Blood is the tale of the perplexing and
trying theological journey of one of its principal characters, Hazel Motes, and the constant
struggles of another chief personality, Enoch Emery, to gain acceptance into the local social
structure. The theme of physical and mental disfigurements in its main characters is utilized to
create an interesting plot. Despite the fact that Hazel's malformations are far more serious than
Enoch's, both characters posses significant deformities in their outer appearance and emotional
stability. Enoch's disfigurements are critical due to their unorthodox and child-like nature, but
Hazel's are greater in number and more relative to his existence.
Enoch Emery's emotional severe mental disfigurements lead to his rather odd physical
deformities. Enoch is driven by two distinct elements: his instincts and his desire to be accepted
into civilization. These two factors attribute most to his defects.
His intuition causes him to
believe that his blood is wise and can lead his life. By bestowing his trust in his blood, he often
takes things too literally. For instance, Hazel Motes preaches that his religion desperately needs
a new Jesus, and Enoch, perceiving this Jesus to be an actual being, follows his instincts and
brings Hazel a three-foot shrunken man whom he honestly believes to be the savior. Before
actually donating the messiah to Hazel, Enoch's blood directs him to clean his room in order to
house Jesus. This particular misconception may cause many readers to regard Enoch as rather
insane, but his actions but his most prominent deformity is his admiration for and eventual
metamorphoses into a gorilla. Consequently, his attraction to the gorilla stems directly from his
aspiration to be received in a welcoming manner by society. He sees an...