Flannery O’Connor O’Connor was recognized as a satirist of astonishing originality and energy, whose targets were smugness, optimism, and self-righteousness.
Quickwrite Based upon the story’s title, predict what the story will be about.
The Life You Save May Be Your Own (Page 859) 1.What other words does the name Shiftlet remind you of? 2.What is Mr. Shiftlet’s goal? 3.What is Lucynell Crater’s (the old woman) goal? 4.What do you think happened to Lucynell (the daughter) after The Hot Spot? 5.Where does the title of the story come from. 6.Explain the significance of the cloud at the end of the story.
Activity On page 857 you will find the following focus question: As you read this story, think about the hard-working, self- reliant hero who has long been a part of American idealism. Ask yourself: How do the characters in this story distort the idea of the self-reliant, unconquerable hero? What does the American dream mean to them? Hint: You may wish to focus on one character from the story. For example, Mr. Shiftlet at first appears to have good intentions, but then we discover what his version of the American dream is. Also, the Lucynells appear to be living part of the American dream, but Lucynell, the mother, has other dreams. Write a paragraph in which you answer the focus question. Be sure to include specific references to the story.