- Audience-Alienating Premise: Both the book and film.
- Esoteric Happy Ending: Few endings could be bleaker, as the world accounts it. From O'Connor's viewpoint, though, it's unclear whether even Hazel's most dogged efforts were enough to escape from that "ragged figure" that haunts him. The book suggests that not only didn't he escape that figure's grace in the end, his death may have made him a weird conduit of grace for others, including the landlady.
- Nightmare Fuel: Hazel burning his eyes out with lime.
YMMV / Wise Blood