Very quickly he stepped on the gas and with his stump sticking out the window he raced the galloping shower into Mobile. Crater, "the monks of old slept in their coffins," to which she responds, "They wasn't as advanced as we are.
He was more depressed than ever as he drove on by himself.
Once Shiftlet moves into the Crater's farm, he fixes a broken fence and hog pen, teaches Lucynell how to speak her first word "bird"—a recurring symbol in O'Connor's fictionand, most importantly, repairs the automobile.
You can take a lunch. I wouldn't give her up for a casket of jewels. Since this is one of O'Connor's shorter stories, it provides an excellent opportunity to examine in some detail the techniques which she developed in order to provide an anagogical level of meaning to her stories.
These swapping session scenes are also reminiscent of the Armsted-Snopes exchanges in the fiction of William Faulkner.
We note that Shiftlet arrives at the farm wearing a black suit and a brown hat. Plot summary[ edit ] An elderly woman and her daughter sit quietly on their porch at sunset when Shiftlet comes walking up the road to their farm. I'll tell you that before you begin," she said.
Crater then makes known her love for her daughter, Lucynell, adding, "She can sweep the floors, cook, wash, feed the chickens, and hoe. He is depressed, picks up a hitchhiker, who symbolically tells him to "go to the devil" to which Shiftlet drives on and offers a prayer to God.
Through carefully selected details, O'Connor reveals that the girl is deaf and mute, that the old woman views Shiftlet as 'a tramp,' and that Shiftlet himself wears a "left coat sleeve that was folded up to show there was only half an arm in it.
After the wedding Shiftlet and Lucynell go on their honeymoon. Shiftlet presents himself as a caring, Christ-like figure but ends up revealing himself as a flawed man. Leaving a somewhat distressed Mrs.
Thus, the car painted green, emblematic of the regeneration of the soul through good works, is given a yellow stripe indicating that Shiftlet has betrayed his opportunity for grace. The late afternoon had grown hot and sultry and the country had flattened out. You might also note that O'Connor uses the word "casket" rather than "chest" or "box" of jewels, thereby echoing the coffin imagery associated with the car.
Once she is sound asleep on the counter of the diner, Shiftlet gets up out of his seat and begins to leave.
Shiftlet and Lucynell were married in the Ordinary's office while the old woman witnessed. Shiftlet preferred not to be alone. She had eaten the lunch as soon as they were out of the yard and now she was pulling the cherries off the hat one by one and throwing them out the window.
I got," he said, tapping his knuckles on the floor to emphasize the immensity of what he was going to say, "a moral intelligence! She can sweep the floor, cook, wash, feed the chickens, and hoe.
He looked morose and bitter as if he had been insulted while someone held him. Shiftlet said that the trouble with the world was that nobody cared, or stopped and took any trouble. Crater at the farm, the couple begin their honeymoon.
I got," he said, tapping his knuckles on the floor to emphasize the immensity of what he was going to say, "a moral intelligence!
The color imagery used in the story provides considerable insight into O'Connor's intentions.The life you save may be your own," Shifilet, feeling that "a man with a car had a responsibility to others," stops and picks up a young boy who is hitchhiking. Evidently convinced that the boy has run away from home, Shiftlet begins to extol the virtues of his "old mother" whom he supposedly left.
The story The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Flannery O'Connor is not overtly political, but like all of O'Connor's work engages deeply with moral and religious issues. Although O'Connor herself.
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The Life You Save May Be Your Own Flannery O’Connor Like much of Flannery O’Connor’s short ﬁction, ‘‘The Life You Save May Be Your Own’’ is set in the American South and contains characters whose most notable feature seems to be their ordinariness.
"The Life You Save May Be Your Own" is a short story by the American author Flannery O'Connor. It is one of the 10 stories in her short story collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find, published in The Life You Save May Be Your Own By accepting this message, you will be leaving the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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