Miss Lonelyhearts undergoes a symbolic ascent to the role of Christ by the end of the novel, although this ascent fails in many ways. Having been feverish and sick for some time now, he virtually dies and is resurrected in "Miss Lonelyhearts Attends a Party." The process takes three days, just as Christ was dead for three days before his resurrection fulfilled the messianic prophecy. Yet, as with all of Miss Lonelyhearts's attempts to be like Christ, the resurrection is a failure. He numbs himself from emotion and physical pain as his body grows more like a hardened, impassive "rock"—West's use of the stone as a symbol of human violence and defensiveness comes full circle.

At the party, Shrike mocks Miss Lonelyhearts more than ever as he pronounces him their spiritual leader. The party also has the feel of the Last Supper, with Shrike as Judas and the partygoers as the disciples—although Miss Lonelyhearts escapes Shrike's clutches. The "Party Dress" episode, as a self- admitted parody of boy-girl cinematic relationships, is filled with trite dialogue and behavior that deviates from the novel's dark tones and stories of abusive marriages. Miss Lonelyhearts's gallant offer of marriage to the pregnant Betty even echoes the story of Doyle and his wife. While Miss Lonelyhearts's actions make him seem rehabilitated, his "rock" remains unfeeling and he has not fully committed to love.

Yet Miss Lonelyhearts is now primed for the true crucifixion. His religious experience finally joins him with God and makes him faithful, ready to embrace love in life as well as in ideals. But Doyle, the ultimate grotesque, is unwilling to accept this gift in return. Miss Lonelyhearts dies for Doyle's lack of faith in him, just as Jesus died for man's sins. While the novel's ending is tragic and stark, the final image of Miss Lonelyhearts rolling with Doyle's body is almost hopeful. He may be dead, but Miss Lonelyhearts has fully embraced another grotesque. Both symbolically castrated men are, in some sense, whole again.