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Use of Symbolism in The Life You Save May Be Your OwnThe symbolism that Flannery OConnor uses in The Life You Save May Be Your Own illustrates the spiritual struggles between good and evil that we as humans face The main character Mr Shiftlet embarks on a journey of spiritual means by walking on both the paths of salvation and damnation Mr Shiftlet is given countless opportunities to turn himself around and to proceed in the right direction on the path of salvation As in the story these moments that give us a chance for salvation encompass our own lives Unfortunately Mr Shiftlet does not stay on the right path for very long He finds himself time and time again heading towards his own damnation There are symbols throughout The Life You Save May Be Your Own that lead one to believe that Mr Shiftlet is ill fated Mr Shiftlets acquired characteristics exemplify this His left coat sleeve was folded up to show there was only half an arm in it 910 Mr Shiftlets arm or rather stump is a physical deformity that represents a manifestation of his soul Mr Shiftlet proves to be flawed by making poor choices and only wanting to achieve his own satisfaction He Mr Shiftlet swung both his whole and his short arm up slowly so that they indicated an expanse of sky and his figure formed a crooked cross 910 This crooked cross is a perversion of religion that is a clue to the future damnation that Mr Shiftlet will soon face Mrs Crater directly advises Mr Shiftlet that there aint any place in the world for a poor disabled friendless drifting man 915 This symbolizes the fate of Mr Shiftlet and he does realize the truth behind the cruel words The ugly words settled in Mr Shiftlets head like a group of buzzards in the top of a tree 916 Those buzzards are ready to attack their
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