The Life You Save May Be Your Own

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February 20th 2012 Character Morality Throughout life people face the decision between choosing right and wrong. Growing up, people are exposed to the consequences of bad and the rewards of good, altering the overall decision between the two. But what if someone didn’t have morals to base their decisions off of? In “The life You Save May Be Your Own” Flannery O’Connor explores the morals of each character throughout the story and exposes their weaknesses. Margaret Atwood also discusses in “Our First Stories” the early-learned morals children develop through growing up listening to stories or events told from adults and their surroundings. With an old woman desperate to find someone to take care of her complicated daughter, Mr. Shiftlet happened to walk on the right farm at the right time. Now, with the responsibility of looking after the old woman’s daughter, Mr. Shiftlet’s put to the test to be a hero and taking on the task or villain and walking away. Through greed and fear Mr. Shiftlet’s displayed as a morally weak character. In life, people continue to work towards one goal, and that goal’s money. People are raised with the expectation that money will solve all problems. Some are hungrier for the goal than others, causing those to be labeled as greedy. But exactly how far will someone go for money? O’Connor shows the temptation and opportunity Mr. Shiftlet takes advantage of when offered free hospitality. The old woman making the deal begs for Mr. shiftlet to marry her mentally challenged daughter and to look after her due to her time on earth running shorter each day. Before accepting the bargain Mr. shiftlet and the woman go back and forth on expenses. When offering fifteen dollars to pay for their honeymoon, Mr. Shiftlet wants more. He states, “That wouldn’t pay for more than the gas and the hotel” (228). The old woman proceeded to raise the offer to

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