The Life You Save May Be Your Own Feminist Analysis

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Flannery O'Connor was a devoted Catholic, and , as exhibited in most of her stories, "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" has Christian themes of redemption and grace. Lucynell Craters, the only innocent character in the story, symbolizes purity and is described as "an angel of Gawd." Her character acts stop the shifty, self-serving Mr. Shiftlet and help him reach redemption. In “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” O’Connor uses religious symbolism to emphasize spiritual struggles between good and evil and how humans are only looking for their own advantage. After being offered a place to stay in exchange for fixing a car by Mrs.Crater, Tom Shiftlet meets Lucynell Craters and through his interactions with her, Tom Shiftlet has a chance to achieve…show more content…
After gaining her trust and marrying Lucynell, Tom got what he wanted, the car. To Mr.Shiftlet the car is important because it symbolizes freedom and successes. It also represents the idea that Shiftlet has the possibility to be redeemed or ‘rise from the dead’. O’Connor wrote that when Shiftlet managed to get it started he sat in the driver’s seat and ‘he had an expression of serious modesty on his face as if he had just raised the dead.” After getting the car and going on his honeymoon Tom Shitftlet stopped by The Hot Spot and abandoned Lucynell. Earlier when he got the idea his "smile stretched like a weary snake waking up by a fire." The snake simile suggests the devil and evil acts, as opposed to his chance at salvation. He will choose to listen to this devil as he abandons Lucynell, an angel of Gawd, at The Hot Spot. Throughout the story Tom had showed some good in him but ultimately he was evil. He was only looking to his own advantage and did whatever he felt the need to to get there. We can also see this with Mrs.Crater, who was so obsessed with the idea of marrying her daughter that she wasn't careful with who she picked. The story shows that humans are only looking out for their own
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