Independent Reading Assesment - Referat
Titel: Author Study
Mary Flannery O’Conner was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925 March 25th. In 1964 august 3rd she passed away because of a disease called Lupus erythematosus which is a rare autoimmune disease which dysregulate the immune system. Her dad got the disease as well and died from it when she was 15. Lupus is unfortunately a hereditary disease in the O’Conner family. When Flannery was five years old she taught a chicken to walk backwards, which impressed a lot of people in that time. In total she wrote two novels 31 short story’s and in a Southern Gothic style. She dealt with the Holocaust in her famous story The Displaced Person and with segregation in Everything that Rises Must Converge. In 1979 the novel Wise Blood got filmed directed by John Huston. The Short Story ‘’The Life You Save May Be Your Own’’ got published in 1955 and is one of her 10 stories in her short story collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find.
Title: Analysis of the Short Story
Exposition: The Story takes place in the 1950’s in a rural country area and is written in 3rd person. The Main Character and Antagonist is Tom T. Shiftlet he is around 28 years old and is missing an arm and has black slick hair. He seems to be a nice person, but he really is a ‘’shifty guy’’. Mr. Shiftlet is corrupt which you can see because he accepted the offer to marry Lucynell’s daughter for money. The Protagonist is the Older Woman and Mother which also named Lucynell, she is toothless who takes care of Lucynell and trying to marry off her mute daughter and secure Shiftlet’s services as a home handyman but in the end of the story Shiftlet outsmarted her because he took and got away with the car and the money for the marry.
The Old woman and Mr. Shiftlet get in a small conflict, she offers him to live with them if he works for them as a home handyman and she really wants to that he and her daughter Lucynell get married but he does not want to. But after she offers him money he accepts the offer. But Mr. Shiftlet also has a conflict with himself, he cannot decide if he wants to be a good guy or a bad guy.
After they got married Mr. Shiftlet goes with the daughter to a restaurant for their honeymoon. But he actually just waits until she passes out to ditch her off to get away.
Mr. Shiftlet picks up the young hitchhiker because he felt guilty and talk with him about his mother and his eyes got clouded over with a mist of tears. But the kid gets scared and jumps out of the car
He lets everything behind and drives to Mobile, Alabama
Moral Corruption: Mr. Shiftlet declined the offer if he wants to marry Mrs. Craters daughter but as soon as money was in included he said yes. Mrs. Crater instead is corrupt in her efforts to want a man around the house using money and a car as a bait to get him marry her daughter
God and Religion:
Both, Mr. Shiftlet and Mrs. Crater surrender Lucynell and sees her as an ‘’angel of Gawd’’
Mr. Sheftlet intention before he met the two women was to get the car and get to Mobile. So, he gets there and acts to be a very nice person to be able to stay there. At the end he played with Lucynells feelings because he agreed the marry although he does not love her because he just wants the money from Mrs. Carter and steals the car and get away to Mobile with it and left Lucynell in the restaurant. He did good things for his own gain and ignored the fact that he sacrifices a women life for it.
In the beginning the story has a peaceful mood but as soon as you figure out what the story is really about the story mediates a depressing and sad mood, Mr. Shiftlet wears a black suit and a brown hat (color which represent death), Lucynell is disabled, Shiftlet leaves her at the restaurant alone, the hitchhiker starts crying and panic because the man talks about his mother.
In the beginning an older woman and her daughter sit calm on their porch then Mr. Shiftlet comes along the road to the farm from the two ladies’. The mother sees Shiftlet as a tramp, he wears a left coat sleeve which is folded up to show that there is only half an arm in it. They talk a bit and Mrs. Carter offers him shelter if he does some work for him because he is a carpenter but warns, ‘’I can’t pay.’’ He answers that he is not even interested in money. She sees that Shiftlet is a good man and asks him if he is married he answered: ‘’Lady, where would you find you an innocent woman today?’’ her tocsins start and Mrs. Carter introduce him to her daughter Lucynell and adds that she can clean, cook, feed the chickens, hoe and wash clothes and offers her daughter’s hand to Shiftlet. But he said that he couldn’t marry now because he has no money for the things that she wants to do. After that he decided to stay at the farm and sleep in a broken car. Mr. Shiftlet repairs a broken fence, ‘the broken car, a hog pen and teaches Lucynell her first word which was Bird. But her mother really wants to that they marry so she offers him money to marry Lucynell he accepts the offer and they marry so they drive into the city to marry each other and go into their honeymoon. They stopped at a restaurant to have dinner and she falls asleep, right after that Shiftlet stands up and goes away. After that he was more depressed than ever before and looks for a hitchhiker. Than Shiftlet sees a road sign which says ‘’Drive carefully. The life you save may be your own.’’. Then he sees a boy and offers him a ride he tries to talk with him and tells a story about his mother but the boy feels kind of uncomfortable shouts ‘’You go to the devil!’’ and opens the door and jumps out. Mr. Shiftlet was absolutely shocked and drives slowly with the door stiff open. He feels very bad and feels the rottenness of the world. He starts praying ‘’Oh Lord! Break forth and wash the slime from this earth!’’
Grosser, Sarah, The Life You Save May Be Your Own. 29 Sept. 2018
Schroeder, Jade, ‘’The Life You Save May Be Your Own’’ By: Flannery O’Connor.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Flannery O’Connor
Asals, Frederick. Flannery O’Connor: The Imagination of Extremity. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1982.
O’Connor, Flannery. "The Life You Save May Be Your Own."
Literature Florida Treasures, 915-923. Glencoe
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