Everything you need to understand or teach The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Flannery O'Connor.
Part I: Meeting
An old woman and her daughter sit quietly on their porch at sunset when Tom Shiftlet comes walking up the road to their farm. Through carefully selected details, O'Connor reveals that the girl is 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." The two adults exchange curt pleasantries. "I'd give a fortune to live where I could see me a sun do that every evening," Shiftlet states, looking at the sunset, to which the woman coolly answers, "Does it every evening." Shiftlet surveys the run-down farm and inquires about a rusted automobile, which has not worked in years. "Nothing is like it used to be, lady," Shiftlet observes. "The world is almost rotten." Again the woman's response is abrupt: "That's right." Their disturbing conversation continues... View more of the The Life You Save May Be Your Own Summary