Flannery O'Connor Writing Styles in The Life You Save May Be Your Own

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Point of View

O'Connor employs a detached yet observant third-person narrative in "The Life You Save May Be Your Own." Shiftlet is a stranger without a fixed identity who wanders into the Craters's lives. He soon moves in with them and takes an interest first in the Craters's automobile and then in Lucynell, Mrs. Crater's mute daughter. Shiftlet and Lucynell are married, but he abandons her at a roadside diner.

While Shiftlet clearly emerges as the central character, O'Connor offers enough glimpses into both his and Mrs. Crater's psyche to provide insight into their motivations. For example, the reader learns that Shiftlet "always wanted an automobile but he had never been able to afford one before." This passage, late in the story, confirms his desire for the automobile and the importance he places on money and material goods. Furthermore, O'Connor includes careful details in several descriptive passages which establish...

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This section contains 792 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Life You Save May Be Your Own Study Guide
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The Life You Save May Be Your Own from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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