Wise Blood

Wise Blood Character List

Hazel "Haze" Motes

A 22 year-old originally from Eastrod, Tennessee, who travels to Taulkinham after returning from World War II in order to start a new life. Haunted by memories of his preacher grandfather and the terrifying image of Jesus his grandfather instilled in him, he begins to preach his own "Church Without Christ", professing there is no sin and no redemption, and that Jesus is a liar. Hazel is a young man experiencing a religious crisis. He seeks out what would normally be called sin in an effort to prove that sin is a construct. His crisis culminates in violence - first he kills another man for acting like him and preaching his gospel for money, then Hazel blinds himself and seeks out physical punishment for his spiritual wrongs.

Mrs. Wally Bee Hitchcock

Mrs. Wally Bee Hitchcok sits across from Hazel on the train to Taulkinham, pestering him with talk of her family and home.

The train porter

Hazel sees a black porter on the train to Taulkinham and thinks that he is also from Eastrod. However, the man himself denies this.

Mrs. Leora Watts

A fat prostitute with whom Hazel sleeps for a few nights after he sees her name and addressed scrawled in a bathroom stall.

Enoch Emery

An 18 year-old boy who has been in Taulkinham for two months and works at the city park. Rather deranged, he often follows the commands of his "wise blood" rather than thinking things through. Enoch is isolated in the big city, and seeks out connection and acceptance through increasingly erratic and bizarre methods.

Asa Hawks

A preacher who once attempted to blind himself with lime as a show of faith, he now pretends to be blind in order to preach and beg for money with his daughter.

Sabbath Lily Hawks

The 15 year-old daughter of Asa Hawks, a very daring and sexually forthright girl. She takes an interest in Hazel Motes and his anti-gospel.


The mannish young woman who works at the Frosty Bottle, a hot dog stand. Enoch flirts with her every day despite her expressed annoyance towards him.

Onnie Jay Holy (Hoover Shoats)

A charismatic man who plays the guitar and tries to make money by preaching. Onnie Jay is an alias of conman Hoover Shoats, who tries to team up with Hazel but then tries to run the latter "out of business" after being rebuffed.

Solace Layfield

A sickly man recruited by Hoover Shoats to act as an imposter of Hazel. Hazel runs him over with his broken-down car.

Mrs. Flood

Hazel's clear-sighted landlady, a woman who only becomes a presence in the final chapter of the novel, when she struggles to understand the self-blinded Hazel.