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To Save Your Own Life Essay

1422 words - 6 pages

Saving a life is a big deal. In many stories the tales of life saving events contain a hero and a damsel in distress. O’Conner’s story is very different from this original view of saving a life. In O’Conner’s story a man walks up to an old farm house and starts to talk to the old lady who owns it. She says that she can give him work and food, but no money. He eventually agrees and begins working for her while living in her old run down car. He vows that he is going to fix it up and make it run. As he stays there the old lady begins to talk to him about her daughter. He daughter is about sixteen and cannot talk and is always doing strange things. The old lady wants Mr. Shiftlet to marry her ...view middle of the document...

Crater’s life is fulfilled on O’Conner’s story. While at first she seems to not even have a thought of her daughter marrying anyone, Mrs. Crater quickly begins to bring it up at every opportunity. ““One that can’t talk,” she continued, “can’t sass you back or use foul language. That’s the kind for you to have. Right there.” And she pointed to Lucynell sitting crosslegged in her chair, holding both feet in her hands.” While it takes many insistent conversations like this one, Mr. Shiftlet finally agrees to marry Lucynell. The moment that Lucynell leaves is bittersweet for Mrs. Crater because she has never been away from her daughter before and doesn’t want her to leave, but she also wants her to go and start her new life as a married woman. This is where Mrs. Crater leaves the story and is not brought up again. She is fulfilled because she has finally found someone for her daughter to marry and is content with her life’s work. In a way she saves her own life by making sure that her daughter has someone to provide for her, this takes a lot of pressure off of Mrs. Crater, which in turn releases her from worries and her life is saved in a sense. While her entire fate is not totally clear when she exits the story, the reader can be for sure that she is fulfilled through providing a husband for her daughter.
In O’Conner’s story Lucynell is left at the restaurant with the man who thinks that she looks like an angel from God and because she is so dependent on others when she wakes up she will end up with him. Lucynell can only say a few words and in many ways is still a child. Mr. Shiftlet abandoning her may have ended up to be a good thing in the end though. He may have paved the way for her to save her own life. “The boy bent over again and very carefully touched his finger to a strand of the golden hair and Shiftlet left.” The boy is enthralled with the physical appearance of Lucynell and this is the last thought that the reader is left with of Lucynell in the story. This means that it is very likely that the young man who works at the restaurant will want to help Lucynell out when she wakes up. Once he realizes that she is like a child he will help her and because she is so dependent on other people she will never leave his company. This saves Lucynell’s life by giving her someone to depend on other than her mother. If her mother had died on the farm then Lucynell would have been left all alone and probably would have died soon after because she had no way to take care of herself. By abandoning her Mr....

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