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Fun Fun Fun...Til Her Daddy Took the T-bird Away

""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.

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Comments

Wow. Tiffany you made quite a few good interpretations about Mr. Shiflet. He was a drifter and always on the move; all he really wanted from the old woman and her daughter was their old car. A car that could take him away. Great observations Tiffany! P.S.: I would give you a cookie if I could, but I can't. :(

I hadn't thought of Mr. Shiftlet as bing a figment of her imagination but now I see how you got that. I also agree that O'Connor uses the soul in this story beacuse the soul lives on after death, whichis what the Catholic Church teaches. Good Job!

Tiffany, this is a great connection! I really enjoyed reading this. I never really thought of Mr. Shiftlet as a ghost.

Your reference to spirits made me think of an old ghost story about "The Hitchhiker". In short, a man is driving on an awful, stormy night and sees a poor young woman waiting along side of the road. Feeling bad, he picks her up and asks her where she's going. About halfway through the ride, she disappears. Ooh, spooky. But anyway, your blog entry gave me a whole new perspective to the story. The ending is now much more interesting to me because Shiftlet picks up a hitchhiking little boy who then also disappears out of the car (physically, but still). It just seemed like it was an allusion (yay for vocabulary words) to that story. Great analysis, Tiffany.

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