Lifestyle, Character

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“The Life You Save May Be The Own” can be described as short tale written by the American author Flannery O’Connor. It is certainly one of ten testimonies in her short account collection called A Good Guy Is Hard to look for. In this The southern part of Gothic tale, we are brought to a mom and her daughter because they sit on a porch within an impoverished country town.

A person, Mr. Shiftlet, crosses all their path along with a bit of conversation is offered a location to sleep and food to have in exchange intended for fixing things around the house.

He eventually emerges the little girl’s hand in relationship, and accepts with the reward of getting an automobile. The two get married to and the mother provides funds for them to take a00 weekend vacation. But , in an unexpected time for events, by least 75 miles away from her residence, Mr. Shiftlet leaves the girl sleeping and stranded on the counter of any breakfast restaurant. Feeling extremely guilty, this individual searches for a hitchhiker to post in an effort to proper his incorrect and finds a little boy that acquired just run away from home.

Mr Shiftlet convinces the child to go back home to his mother and the story ends with him driving to Portable. Flannery O’Connor does more than tell a humorous Gothic story with this piece of work, she uses the lives of Lucynell, Lucynell Junior, and Mister Shiftlet to illustrate the human condition and just how we often place our honn�te to the side to get our own selfish gain. Lucynell Crater may be the retarded girl of Mrs. Crater.

This wounderful woman has a childlike mind and is also unable to speak. She is a straightforward spirit and lacks knowledge of her surroundings. She ha[s] extended pink-gold frizzy hair and sight as blue as a peacock’s neck”(O’Connor). Your woman was almost thirty nevertheless could pass for 15 or of sixteen because of her innocence. She is almost totally silent the complete story, however she plays a major part in the incidents that come about throughout the story. Lucynell was a key participant in this tale because she was Mrs. Crater’s just opportunity to get a son-in-law, and Mr. Shiftlets best chance to get a car. The story revolves around Mrs. Crater’s attempts to get Mister. Shiftlet to actually want to marry Lucynell.

Your woman lies about Lucynell’s age group, brags about how she is capable to do cleaning, and even guaruntees he is aware she is faithful. All the while, Lucynell is totally unaware of the things that are taking place about her. Lucynell is used as a symbol with this story, she is a manifestation of the rejected salvation for Mr. Shiftlet. Mr. Shiftlet (Shiftlet suggesting that he can a questionable character or that he may eventually change) is right away recognized as a “tramp” by Mrs. Crater as he walks up the street.

His dialogue leads someone to believe that he is nothing but a con-man. O’Connor makes it apparent in Mr. Shiftlets speech that he is aware exactly what to express in order to get what he wishes. From the period he contacted their patio, he was eying their car. He spoke as if this individual wanted to loaf around because he planned to be able to talk about their perspective of the sunset every morning hours, but it is apparent that he desires the car intended for himself to be free. Ben Shiftlet’s lack of ability to be truthful and honest regarding his intention creates a scenario for him that could have already been avoided.

This individual hangs around the house, fixing things and even educating Lucynell of talking. Because he can be “a poor disabled friendless drifting man”(O’Connor) according to Mrs. Crater, and therefore there is no place in the world for this kind of a man when he, it was thought that he would marry her daughter, satisfying her desolation for a son-in-law, and live out the rest of his life with the Craters. Because he gone along with the presumption, he is in essence, forced to marry Lucynell and this leads to him abandoning her at the customer because he really did not need what he agreed to.

Mrs. Lucynell Crater (the term Crater suggesting an empty space or pit, indicating that the girl with in want/need of something) is a toothless old widow. Her partner died a few years back, leaving her to take care of Lucynell and the plantation by their self for the rest of her life. Prudent that she’d be thus welcoming and trusting of any complete stranger. “O’Connor attaches the Craters’ lack of a man in the home to immobility and deterioration and Shiftlet presents a simple solution to both equally problems”(Arant).

Nevertheless handicapped by the lack of a single arm, Mrs. Crater feels Mr Shiftlet will be a great help around the house and chooses to provide meals and a spot to sleep pertaining to him in return for his services. While the story progresses, Mrs. Crater’s desperation for any son-in-law begins to show more clearly in her conversations with Mr. Shiftlet. She starts to use Lucynell as a negotiating tool because she provides him the automobile in exchange to get marrying her daughter. She loses view of the fact that Lucynell is certainly not competent enough to enter in a marriage mainly because her focus is attaining a son-in-law that could look after the plantation.

This is a really immoral decision because her duty as being a mother is first and most notably to take care of and protect her child. Her decision to marry Lucynell off likewise speaks to the fact that she possibly does not be familiar with sacred nature of matrimony or is not concerned with at all about this. As stated earlier, Mrs. Crater is well aware of Mr. Shiftlets wish to obtain the automobile that had been sitting up for years so the lady uses that to work out a marriage between him and Lucynell. Mister. Shiftlet and Mrs Crater agree that he would get married to her and take her out on a weekend honeymoon.

O’Connor can make it apparent that innocent Lucynell does not know very well what has taken place because she falls asleep on what ought to be the happiest day of her lifestyle. Lucynell was your saving grace for both Mister. Shiftlet and Mrs. Crater, but rather, just as the earth rejects Christ’s salvation, she was declined and those two characters happen to be damned into a life of loneliness and guilt. Lucynell was Mrs. Craters lifestyle before Mr. Shiftlet came along, and the fact that she was crying at the thought of Lucynell being removed for simply two days shows that the girl with definitely going to suffer more if your woman never earnings.

As far as Mister. Shiftlet is involved, Mrs. Crater trusted him with Lucynell, telling him “I would not let no man possess her however you because I seen you would do proper. “(O’Connor) and he tricked her trust. He deserted his salvation, “he is usually on the run from grace, this individual longed for the car in order that he may run faster and farther”(Rogers). This individual realizes that his activities were awful and even after looking to redeem him self by picking up a hitchhiker he yowls out to the Lord, “Break out and wash the slime from this earth! ” as well as the story ends with him attempting to outrun the getting close storm.

A closer look at the characters in this account gives an accurate example of a persons condition. The characters for most Southern Medieval stories are often decrepit, unsavory, poor and mentally sick. The experts use the vulnerable parts of the people in their reports to expose the internal mental condition because human beings. The purpose in doing therefore is to trigger the reader to take a moment and examine their own lives. This makes one stop and think about the way they may have acted in the situations shown in the testimonies and it offers them insight as to what can result from it.

On the surface area, the automobile and wedding in “The Existence You Save May Be Your Own” seem to carry little to no importance. But right from the start, it is crystal clear that Mrs. Crater only wanted to maintain Mr. Shiftlet around intended for the potential companies that he could give. He might have been her live-in carpenter in addition to a husband for her daughter. At this time her daughter becomes an object instead of a person. Even though Mr. Shiftlet pretends to be unconcerned with the money, he winds up asking regarding the car and wants money for the marriage.

Eventually, much like Mrs. Crater, he abandons Lucynell for the belief that an auto would accomplish his requires. Through the strategy of Mister. Shiftlet and Mrs. Crater in relation to their very own desire to gain the things they will thought they will needed to become happy, Flannery O’Connor uncovers a world through which money or material points have become more important than persons or even psychic peace.

Performs Cited

  1. Arant, Alison. “A Moral Intelligence”: Mental Incapacity and Eugenic Resistance in Welty’s “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies” and O’Connor’s “The Your life You Save Might be Your Own. Southern Literary Journal 44. 2 (2012): 69-87. Educational Search Top. Web 5 Feb 2013 Baym, Nina, Mary Loffelholz.
  2. “Flannery O’Connor’s , The life span You Save Could possibly be Your Personal. ” The Norton Anthology of American Literary works. 7th education. Vol. G. New York W. W. Norton, Co. 2007. 2522-2529. Print out.
  3. Rogers, Jonathan. “Flannery O’Connor Summer Studying Club, Week 2: , The Life You Save May Be The Own'”. Jonathan-Rogers. com. 10 June 2012. WordPress. Internet. 4 February 2013.

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