The Life You Save May Be Your Own Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Life You Save May Be Your Own.
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Search for the Meaning of Life

When Shiftlet approaches the Crater's farm, it is not clear what type of person he is. What is apparent is that he is searching for something. By marrying Lucynell and then abandoning her, he has missed an opportunity to experience redemption (an event symbolized by the "guffawing peal of thunder" and his anguished plea to God at the end of the story). Shiftlet has failed to bring meaning into his transient life. He entered the Craters's lives as a lonely wanderer, and he leaves it the same way.

Given the gradually increasing interest he shows in money and Mrs. Crater's automobile, perhaps Shiftlet believes that such material possessions might bring meaning to his life. By the end of the story, he has obtained these things, as well as a wife who can perform household chores and who, as a mute, "can't sass [him...

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This section contains 950 words
(approx. 3 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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