""A body and a spirit. The body, lady, is like a house: it don't go anywhere; but the spirit, lady, is like an automobile: always on the move, always..." (O'Connor 57).
Not only does this quote present foreshadowing, but it also again represents the Catholic teachings that O'Connor uses in the norm. A body is like a house, it doesn't go anywhere. It is also taught that a body is a temple, which Mr. Shiftlet points out. [He is hypocrit and liar--Another story]. the spirit is always on the move, for it is the object that lives on after death. O'Connor's use of the body and soul is literal and yet in a sense, biblical and symbolic. It is symbolic of Mr. Shiftlet's own beliefs as well as representing the truth in the bible. This one quote means so much that I could write an essay on it....[Don't get any ideas, Dr. Jerz]. :)
When Mr. Shiftlet says this, little do we know that he actually is a "spirit," always on the move. This is open to so much interpretation that Mr. Shiftlet could be a spirit, a ghost, a figment of their imagination, an angel, perhaps God himself. Or he could be the devil, for leaving poor, helpless Lucynell in the diner.
Wow, I can't settle on one interpretation, but I believe it is symbolic of the Catholic teachings which is common for O'Connor to display.