Wise Blood

Wise Blood Metaphors and Similes

"Every fourth Saturday he had driven into Eastrod as if he were just in time to save them all from Hell." (15)

One of the most important rhetorical techniques of a preacher is to make his listeners feel that the religious issue is immediate and of the greatest urgency. When he begins preaching himself, Hazel will adopt this technique from his grandfather, yet in a different sense: to save people from the idea of being saved from Hell.

"The black sky was underpinned with long silver streaks that looked like scaffolding and depth on depth behind it were thousands of stars that all seemed to be moving very slowly as if they were about some vast construction work that involved the whole order of the universe and would take all time to complete." (33)

This elaborate and breathtaking description of what Hazel sees in the sky is an indication of his unique religious intuition, which allows him to see a certain order and dynamic going on in the sights that confront other people too; importantly, it is not as though he sees anything behind the sky, but he simply is looking at it and sees, whereas "No one was paying attention to the sky."

"He got up and began to walk down the street as if he were led by a silent melody or one of those whistles that only dogs hear. " (139)

Hazel's preaching reaches under the usual sounds and noises of the street and reaches Enoch almost like a personal command. The simile of a dog whistle also suggests that Enoch is a like an animal, or more specifically, Hazel's dog.

"Mrs. Watts' grin was as curved and sharp as the blade of a sickle. " (57)

In the novel, the men are unaccustomed to the city (Hazel and Enoch) whereas the women have adapted to it (Mrs. Watts and Sabbath); therefore, the women are able to act much more assertively and even aggressively. We might compare this description of Leora Watts' face with those of Hazel's face, which is usually passive and fragile-looking.

"His heart was moving so fast it was like one of those motorcycles at fairs that the fellow drives around the walls of a pit." (79)

The sort of excitement that Enoch feels at seeing Hazel in the park is described in such carnivalesque, since for Enoch his religious intensity is transmitted through such a parodical and comical way.