Wise Blood: Important quotes with page
1. “Going to Taulkinham. Don’t know nobody there, but I’m going to do some things” (Chapter 1, p. 6), Hazel Motes utters this statement to Mrs. Hitchcock on the train ride to Taulkinham. It signals that even this early on in the narrative Motes has some intention of spreading his ideas.
2. “I reckon you think you been redeemed” (Chapter 1, pp. 8). Hazel Motes repeats this phrase twice to a shocked Mrs. Hitchcock on the train ride to Taulkinham. This phrase signals Motes’ anti-Christian sentiments, and it’s the first instance of several in which Motes challenges the beliefs of those around him.
3. “Where’d you hear about her? She don’t usually have no preachers for company” (Chapter 2, pp. 27). A Taulkinham taxi driver says this to Hazel Motes on the drive to Mrs. Watts’ house. Motes is wearing his grandfather’s preacher hat and the taxi driver mistakes him for a preacher. Motes adamantly denies it; this is the first instance of several where characters mistake Motes for a preacher.
4. “That’s okay, son. Momma don’t mind if you ain’t a preacher” (Chapter 2, pp. 32). Mrs. Watts says this in response to Motes’ unprovoked and adamant assertion that he is not a preacher.Mrs. Watts is a prostitute and could not care less who Motes is, but this is yet another example of Motes trying to define his identity to those around him.
5. “You go in for a lot of Jesus business? ” (Chapter 3, pp. 40). Enoch Emery says this to Hazel Motes just after he meets him and while Motes is pursuing Asa Hawks and his daughter down the street. Enoch is immediately intrigued by Motes and follows him. This question illustrates Enoch’s struggle to decipher the mysterious Motes.
6. “I can smell the sin on your breath” (Chapter 3, pp.45). Asa Hawks says this to Hazel Motes after Motes has finally caught up to him. Hawks’ statement catches Motes off guard, as he wasn’t expecting such a response. Motes is mystified by Hawks and continues to be throughout the novel.
7. “There’s no person a whoremonger, who wasn’t something worse first. That’s not the sin, nor blasphemy. The sin became before them” (Chapter 4, pp. 72). Hazel Motes tells this to an unidentified driver who approaches him while he is parked in the middle of the road.This statement belies Motes’ belief that people may become degenerate, but they were probably Christians first, which in Motes’ eyes is far worse.
8. “I don’t have to run from anything because I don’t believe in anything” (Chapter 4, pp. 72). Again, Motes utters this to the unidentified driver who approaches him when he is parked in the middle of the road. It serves as yet another reminder that Motes constantly tries to assert his nihilism to those around him in a quasi- confrontational way.
9. “That blind man, that blind man named Hawks—did his child tell you where they lived? ” (Chapter 5, pp.81). Hazel Motes asks Enoch this after hunting the young man down at his hiding spot. Motes has become obsessed with confronting Hawks again, and he is desperate to get his address from Enoch. However, Enoch leads Motes on an unrelated journey and never reveals Hawks’ location.
10. “This thing I got to show you … Drive straight on ahead and I’ll tell you where to stop” (Chapter 5, pp. 82). Enoch has become obsessed with revealing his “mystery” to Hazel Motes, and thus he strings Motes along until they arrive at the Taulkinham museum. The “mystery” is an ancient and mummified corpse.Motes has no idea why Enoch is showing it to him, and he storms off in a fit of rage.
11. “Where has the blood you think you been redeemed by touched you? ” (Chapter 6, pp. 100). Hazel Motes asks this question multiple times, addressing it to people who are out walking the streets of Taulkinham at night. This signals the beginning of his preaching his notion of a Church Without Christ.
12. “I preach the Church Without Christ. I’m member and preacher to that church where the blind don’t see and the lame don’t walk and what’s dead stays that way” (Chapter 6, pp.100). This is the message of Hazel Motes’ church, and he preaches it to passersby on Taulkinham’s streets. It illustrates his view that the physical world, the world that people walk on and glimpse upon, is tainted by the false blood of Christ, and his new church will strive to distance itself from such a world.
13. “Did you mean ‘good to look at’ in that note, or only good? ” (Chapter 7, pp. 115). Sabbath Hawks asks Motes this question in regards to the note that Motes handed her previously.Sabbath is infatuated with Motes and wants to know if he is genuinely interested in her; she fails to realize that Motes is only trying to seduce her to get back at her father.
14. “How did he come to believe? What changed him into a preacher for Jesus? ” (Chapter 7, pp. 117). Hazel Motes interrogates Sabbath Hawks about her father’s faith and spirituality. It becomes increasingly apparent that he is obsessed with the man. Though he may not consciously accept it, Motes is fascinated by the idea of Hawks’ redemption.
15. “Something’s gonna happen to me today” (Chapter 8, pp.136). Enoch Emery mutters this mysterious statement to the employee of a Walgreen’s. He is convinced that something critically important will happen to him that day, though he does not have the slightest idea what it will be.
16. “There’s no peace for the redeemed … and I preach peace, I preach the Church Without Christ, the church peaceful and satisfied! ” (Chapter 8, pp. 139). Hazel Motes yells this out to passersby on the Taulkinham streets. Enoch is watching him and decides to steal the ancient corpse from the town’s museum for Motes to use as his “new jesus. ”
17.“I’m leaving out of here in a couple of days … you better make it work if you want to eat after I’m gone” (Chapter 9, pp. 145). Asa Hawks says this to his daughter Sabbath in regard to her infatuation with Hazel Motes. Asa doesn’t care about his daughter and signals his intentions to leave town and leave her behind. He warns her that she better get on Motes’ good side, as she’ll have no one else to take care of her if she doesn’t.
18. “I love ever’one of you people and I want you to listen to him and me and join our church, the Holy Church of Christ Without Christ, the church with the new jesus” (Chapter 9, pp.151). The opportunistic Onnie Jay hijacks Hazel Motes’ preaching session and gathers a large crowd around, beseeching them to follow Motes’ words. However, Onnie is only trying to get money, and Motes later confronts him and tells him that he’s a farce.
19. “I’m going to run you out of business. I can get my own new jesus and I can get Prophets for peanuts, you hear? ” (Chapter 9, pp. 158). Onnie declares his intentions to set up a rival church in order to compete with Motes’ Church Without Christ. Onnie promptly goes out and hires a man to serve as his prophet during his own preaching sessions.
20.“I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else’s, but behind all of them, there’s only one truth and that is that there is no truth” (Chapter 10, pp. 164). Hazel Motes begins one of his routine preaching sessions with this statement, which typifies his mindset at this point in the narrative. Motes has stumbled into complete spiritual nihilism; he believes in and preaches a world where there are no fundamental truths except the ones you like best.
21. “Take off your hat, king of the beasts” (Chapter 10, pp. 169). Sabbath Hawks says this to Hazel Motes as they are lying in bed together at the end of chapter 10.It signals the point in which someone finally recognizes the depth of Motes’ nihilism: he has shed his humanity entirely and become “king of the beasts. ”
22. “I don’t want nothing but the truth…and what you see is the truth and I’ve seen it! (Chapter 11, pp. 187). Hazel Motes screams this at Sabbath Hawks after he has smashed the corpse that Enoch has stolen for him. This statement signifies the height of Motes’ nihilism, in that at this point in the narrative he is completely convinced that he knows the true “truth”, which to him is that there is none.
23. “Could I borrow some part of your paper you ain’t studying? ” (Chapter 12, pp. 195). Enoch Emery asks this of a random gentlemen sitting next to him in the Paris Diner. After receiving a page, Enoch reads in it an advertisement for the “Gonga” gorilla show. It is as this moment that Enoch is inspired to steal a gorilla suit and transform himself into an “animal. ”
24. “Where was you going? Was you going anywheres? ” (Chapter 13, pp. 211). A policeman addresses this question to Hazel Motes after he has pushed Motes’ car over a cliff.He offers Motes a ride, but Motes doesn’t respond. The officer finally ask if Motes was even going anywhere, and Motes replies “No. ” This seems to disturb the officer, and he immediately leaves.
25. “We don’t want to have no trouble with him. You take his feet” (Chapter 14, pp. 234). One of the two police officers who find Hazel Motes dying in a ditch says this after he hits Motes on the head with his baton. They didn’t realize how weak Motes really was and he dies in the back of the police car on the ride back to Mrs. Flood’s house.