The Life You Save By Flannery O ' Connor Essay

The Life You Save By Flannery O ' Connor Essay

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Flannery O 'Connor wrote The Life You Save May Be Your Own in 1955. She had a terminal illness and focused many of her stories on the truths of reality. Within this story, she describes an innocent girl, Lucynell, and the dishonest people around her. She keeps Lucynell a constant innocence throughout the story as the other characters lose their purity. The main thing separating Lucynell from the other characters is her lack of sensibility and general awareness of reality. Flannery O’Connor reveals innocence is only for the unaware using color imagery, situational irony, and allusion.
Throughout the short story, O’Connor uses color imagery to allude to innocence and corruption.  Lucynell is described as a beautiful woman, multiple times.  She has “long pink-gold hair and eyes as blue as a peacock 's neck" that charm others (O’Connor 1).  These colors, pink and blue, are seen as childish or innocent colors.  She is the only person in the story who is attributed to lighter colors in a positive way.  Lucynell does not know how to speak properly nor does she understand what her mother and Mr. Shiftlet say.  However, she is the only character who stays in the light.  Her mother, smart yet unseemly, is attributed to dark colors near the beginning of the story.  When Mr, Shiftlet arrives, Mrs, Crater is waiting wearing “a man’s gray hat pulled down low over her head” (O’Connor 1). Mrs. Crater is very aware of how pretty her daughter is, but she really wants to get rid of her.  O’Connor emphasizes her malicious intent through the color of her hat.  O’Connor also sheds bad light on Mr. Shiftlet when he arrives at the house.  He dons a black suit and a brown hat when he walks up to the women (O’Connor 1).  Black and brown are both dar...


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.... He leaves behind the chances at a good, innocent life with Lucynell and a farm for his own greed. The sun is gone and so is his innocence. He is no longer seen as an honest character. The allusions made by O 'Connor between the sun and Lucynell substantiates the loss of innocence with the gain of sensibility.
Flannery O 'Connor uses color imagery, situational irony, and allusion to uphold the ideals of obliviousness and innocence. She sorts out how the knowledge of reality takes away one 's innocence and how staying unaware retains that innocence. The incognizant do not make up the evils of the world, as they do not instigate things they do not know of. Lucynell knows of nothing other than how to function, and she stays perfectly innocent throughout the story despite what happens to her. Innocence is taken away by knowledge, but nothing can bring it back.

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