Flannery O'Connor Elements Essay

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  • Topic: Cloud, Sun, Rain
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  • Published : January 27, 2013
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Flannery O’ Connor Essay

Imagine that the sun high in a clear, blue sky in the middle of July. The air has a slight breeze to it and the birds are softly chirping in the background. Your mood at the moment is calm, almost peaceful. All of a sudden, you get a text that your grandmother just died. The sky begins to form big, black clouds and the wind starts to pick up its speed. As tears start to roll down your eyes the rain is falling from the sky! Your mood is equivalent to the weather. In Flannery O' Connor's work, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, Shiftlet’s mood, the antagonist, is the same as the weather. In the beginning of the climax, Shiftlet's mood is happy, so the sky is clear and the sun is bright. As the story progresses, Shiftlet's mood changes from happy to anxious, causing the sky to start to form clouds of despair. At the end of the book, Shiftlet feels guilty and sad; the weather then goes from cloudy to a huge storm. How does Flannery O' Connor develop the weather around Shiftlet's mood because of his actions?

Mr. Shiftlet is a man who likes to keep his eyes on the prize no matter what the cost. Mr. Shiftlet's prize: the car. Lucynell, the mother, agrees to give him the car if he marries her daughter, Lucynell. Mr. Shiftlet agrees, and the next day they get married. The climax begins here when they set off for their weekend honeymoon. The story says that "the early afternoon [is] clear and [open] and surrounded by pale blue sky" (pg. 154). Mr. Shiftlet's mood at this time is happy because he still might have time to redeem himself of his foolish acts. However, he does not redeem himself, but keeps on going with his plan, like the weather will keep going with its plans.

As Mr. Shiftlet goes on with his dark deed, the weather itself gets dark. When Mr. Shiftlet is at the restaurant, a cloud of despair washes over him as he realizes what he is about to do. Not only is there a personal cloud of despair over Mr. Shiftlet, there is an actual...
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