Life

You Save May Be Yours By O`Conner
In rural America there are many lame people that are of no use to this society.

The reason these people live in such slums is simply because they are worthless,
just like the bums on the streets of the big cities, these people have no
ambition. They sit around all day and rock back and back and forth in their
rocking chairs made by the only person in their gene pool that has any common
knowledge of outside world. Such people are the rejects of the social world.

These rejects are the main characters of Flannery O' Conner's "The Life You

Save May Be Yours." In this short story, O' Conner uses a lot of irony to
show the ignorance of these rural people. The irony used in this short story
conveys the pure innocence of the backcountry people in that they have no clue
how stupid that their actions may look to others. They do what they feel will be
right, which make sense to them. But when others find that there are such words,
like "inbreeding", for the silliness that they call life they feel
sorrow. But in this short story the character from the outside world, Mr.

Shiftlet, is also an outcast in society and does not feel any remorse for the
other characters. He plays along in their plans to be the same as years before
and not to advance in technology and moral. The irony of this story develops in
that Mr. Shiftlet agrees with the actions and offers of the other characters,
the old woman and Lucynell. At first Mr. Shiftlet doesn't seem to entertained by
the offer of staying with and working for the old woman but he agrees to it
after little thought. Also, when the old woman offers her daughter up to
marriage with Mr. Shiftlet he doesn't consider the thought of love but instead
the offer of money that comes along. When he takes her as his wife he soon after
leaves her for the car that they are riding in. Then after leaving her and not
looking back he picks up a hitchhiker and admits the remorse he feels for
leaving his mother and making the mistake of taking on a life of wandering.

Flannery has a way of making his audience uneasy at certain points during his
story. He makes them think for the characters and feel very unsafe with the
characters' actions. He makes the audience uneasy with the tragic reality of
rural America. These people will be poor and not care for the rest of their
lowly lives. They will continue to be ignorant of the world as others know it
and not care to learn about the way they could be living. The government will be
their provider until they grow old and die.