Wise Blood Essay Comparing The Truth Of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Interpretation Of Literature Essay

1760 words - 8 pages

Janning 1
What Is Truth
In ​Wise Blood​ by Flannery O’Connor and ​Cat On A Hot Tin Roof​ by Tennessee
Williams, the characters depict their struggles with the concepts of religion and family through
the importance of truth. In ​Wise Blood​, Hazel Motes pushes against the common religion that has
been preached to him throughout his entire life. He claims that not only is there no truth behind
religion, but that there is no truth at all. Hazel describes to random crowds about how the only
thing that is true is what you empirically observe. His idea of truth is uncompromising and
concrete, which directly opposes the view outlined in ​Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.​ This set in stone
ideology of truth has no meaning in this play about a familial struggle of lies, companionship,
and money. The main protagonists, Brick and Maggie, must deal with saving their own
relationship while trying to win over Maggie’s father, Big Daddy, in order to receive a
mentioning in the family will. Throughout the play, we see how the family views the truth as a
tool which can be used subjectively and sparingly. The family often use lies to progress their
narratives and interact with others, but they never truly realize the consequences until it is too
late. Throughout these writings, the protagonists interact with various strangers, and also close
relatives, to discuss the idea of what is truth and how it affects our lives. The reaction of truth
compared between the two writings is different as one novel reflects the truth as the most
valuable idea of all, while the other emphasizes a family’s acceptance with using lies. This major
divergence in ideology explores how whether you view the truth as subjective or definite, it has
an incredible impact on the society we live in, and even more so, on the people around us.
Janning 2
In ​Wise Blood​, the novel uses the main character, Hazel Motes, to preach the idea that
there is only one singular truth, and that truth is that there is in fact no truth. Though this may
seem confusing and contradictory at first glance, it is better explained that, “Nothing outside you
can give you any place” (O’Connor 165). Hazel preaches that you can only believe what you
physically witness firsthand, and that anything else should not be trusted. This empirical
philosophy seemingly has no effect on the masses to which he preaches, despite his interesting
sermons. And even though Hazel is specifically dealing with religion throughout his journey, it
can be seen that his ideals encompass much more than just a spiritual aspect. Hazel promotes that
the only real truth in this world is what you can directly see or experience, and that anything else
should be avoided as it is a lie. He claims that anything but the truth is dangerous and, “if you
don’t hunt it down and kill it, it’ll hunt you down and kill you” (168). This physical description
only emphasizes the real ramifications and consequences that unfold if you don’t follow what is
true in Hazel’s eyes....

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