The use of symbolism in flannery oconnors the life you save may be your own

The color imagery associated with her is designed to emphasize her purity and innocence, as well as to associate her with the divine. Yet it is the humor, ultimately, which first catches the attention of most readers. Crater asks if Shiftlet is married, to which he responds, "Lady, where would you find you an innocent woman today.

The white of her wedding dress is, of course, usually representative of innocence and purity while the "pink-gold hair" may be seen as emblematic of the divine gold residing in the flesh pink. Shiftlet, now triumphant, extracts honeymoon money from her — first, fifteen dollars; then, seventeen-fifty — and the bargain is struck.

Once she is sound asleep on the counter of the diner, Shiftlet gets up out of his seat and begins to leave.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Finally, the sun, given a color only late in the story, is described as a "reddening ball"; red, normally associated with blood, passion, creativity, has also been adopted by the Church as the color for martyred saints. LSU Press,She populated her fiction with febrile preachers, proud country matrons, conniving Bible salesmen, year-old Confederate veterans, and any number of other eccentrics whose physical deformities provide perfect physical correlatives for absence of the humility that presages Christian salvation.

When Hazel Motes the protagonist of Wise Blood discovers Hawks' fraud, the revelation functions as one of the turning points which leads Hazel to reevaluate his life and to turn again to the religion from which he had so desperately attempted to flee. His own faithfulness is symbolized by a phony Bible, hollowed out to hold a whiskey flask.

Hooper and George W. Crater's clothing to be described, O'Connor pays particular attention to the clothing worn by the daughter.

O'Connor's Short Stories

Man, after all, is more than a mere collection of corpuscles, ligaments, and follicles. The white of her wedding dress is, of course, usually representative of innocence and purity while the "pink-gold hair" may be seen as emblematic of the divine gold residing in the flesh pink.

Shiftlet tries to make conversation, telling stories about his sweet mother, who is—as the boy at the diner called Lucynell—"an angel of Gawd. Shiftlet, now triumphant, extracts honeymoon money from her — first, fifteen dollars; then, seventeen-fifty — and the bargain is struck.

That man is my salvation. He then accepts and agrees to marry her. Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away. In regard to Shiftlet, Lucynell becomes the pearl of great price which Christ likens to the kingdom of heaven in Matthew Turpin an awareness of her own sinful pride, an awareness made clearer at the end of the story by a vision in the night sky of the true order of heaven, with her type, Mrs.

At this time Mrs. Crater, she becomes the pearl which Christ describes in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7: Turpin, cleanliness and respectability are the highest priorities, and anyone who violates these standards suffers her harsh judgement. During a conversation which allows each of the major characters to size one another up, Shiftlet, who spies an old automobile which he desires, agrees to stay on the farm in exchange for food and a place to sleep.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own Themes

There were whole companies of white trash clean for the first time. His antagonist in this search is an atheist named Mr.

I also told them that the average Catholic reader was a Militant Moron but they didn't quote that naturally. Nevertheless a close reading of these novels and stories reveals an acute criticism of post-World War II American manners and mores, rampant materialism, pride, vanity, and, the logical consequence of all these human failings, lack of the honest piety that gives a civilization coherence and continuity.

About a hundred miles from the farm, he stops and abandons the sleeping Lucynell at a diner called The Hot Spot, telling the counter attendant that she is only a hitchhiker and that he needs to "make Tuscaloosa," a destination in the center of the state while Mobile is on the coast, at the extreme south edge of the state.

What we are left with, even below the Mason-Dixon line, is a literature grounded in the materialism and morbid self-centeredness that has overwhelmed the remainder of the nation. The letter [Shelby's letter to O'Connor] is addressed to a slightly dim-witted Camp Fire Girl, and I cannot look with composure on getting a lifetime of others like them.

Some critics are entranced by the humor in the story and pay little attention to the color imagery and the underlying religious meaning which the story contains. Grace, as you may recall from our discussion of it in the section on O'Connor's view of her writing, is the supernatural aid given to man which allows him new insight into his relationship with the divine scheme of things.

In “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” for instance, Mr. Shiftlet’s disproportionate arm symbolizes his own spiritual lack, and a similar aridity is illustrated in “Good Country People” in the wooden leg of Hulga, a professor of philosophy and avowed atheist.

In The Life You Save May Be Your Own (), Paul Elie writes of this exchange, “The closing remark is the most famous of all O’Connor’s remarks, an economical swipe at the reductive. Ask Your Own Question Study Guide for Flannery O'Connor’s Stories Flannery O'Connor's Stories study guide contains a biography of Flannery O'Connor, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Summary and Analysis "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Even though the story as it now stands appears to focus on the attempts of two equally unscrupulous characters to gain an advantage over the other, O'Connor, through the use of color imagery and somewhat obvious symbolism.

“The Life You Save May Be Your Own” was part of Flannery O’Connor’s book A Good Man Is Hard to Find (), a collection that demonstrates her skill at using irony, violence, and the. In “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” for instance, Mr. Shiftlet’s disproportionate arm symbolizes his own spiritual lack, and a similar aridity is illustrated in “Good Country People” in the wooden leg of Hulga, a professor of philosophy and avowed atheist.

O'Connor's Short Stories The use of symbolism in flannery oconnors the life you save may be your own
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"The Life You Save May Be Your Own"