Enoch’s End.

At the end of chapter eleven, we read that Hazel destroys the “new jesus” that Enoch gives to Sabbath who then gives it to him. This scene can be seen as a parody of the birth of Christ, where Mary is played by Sabbath and Hazel takes on the role of Joseph. Instead of accepting the jesus figure like Joseph accepted Jesus, Haze smashes it against the wall, showing his burning desire to rid Christ from his life. This parody helps to emphasize Haze’s denial of Christ in his life.

Chapter twelve opens with Enoch waiting with great anticipation for his reward that he is suspecting to be delivered to him for his good deed. What Enoch wants is “to become something…He wanted to be THE young man of the future…to see a line of people waiting to shake his hand.” Enoch eventually leaves his house to seek his reward and sees an ad for Gonga in the newspaper. It says that the Gonga gorilla would be “at the Victory on 57th Street.” After reading this, “a look of awakening” takes over Enoch’s face. Enoch decides that this is his reward. From gaining no redemption from Hazel, Enoch seeks it in what he wants most: human connection. The gorilla becomes Enoch’s new mission, so he sets out to retrieve it.

He finds the Gonga gorilla exactly where the newspaper ad said it would be, and for a while, Enoch sits and watches with “envy” as it shakes people’s hands. Then, he suddenly and discreetly enters the back of the Gonga gorilla’s van. The gorilla gets into the van and “cross[es] the city rapidly…going very fast.” From inside, loud “thumping noises” are being made as they drive, but these sounds are inaudible due to the motor and wheels of the vehicle. When the van slows down to go over a crossing, a “figure” (Enoch) hops out and runs off into the woods. Once in the privacy of the woods, Enoch undresses, buries his clothes in the dirt, and puts on the gorilla costume. At the end of chapter twelve, Enoch attempts to shake hands with a couple sitting on a bench near the woods, but they become scared by his appearance and run away.

Since Enoch no longer has faith in Hazel, he acquires a new sense of purpose and fulfillment in his life. His longing for human connection motivates his thoughts and actions as he becomes jealous and attacks the Gonga gorilla. The scene where Enoch murders the gorilla, the “thumping” noises insinuating this, represents the disobedience towards God that many people face. Murder is a sin, and Enoch has now fallen completely from his Christian background. His old self is buried, symbolized by him burying his clothes in the dirt, and he is a new person. This is shown throughout this chapter by Enoch no longer being called a “figure” and no longer by his name.

After chapter twelve, we no longer see Enoch for the rest of the novel. A biblical story in Genesis is often referenced when considering the premise for this. In Genesis 5:24, Enoch in the Bible disappears all of a sudden. “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” It is evident that O’Connor did this intentionally.

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