• Discursive (adj): moving from one subject to
another without order; rambling.
• Jejune (adj): dull or lackluster; lacking
substance; tedious.
The Life You Save May Be Your
Flannery O’ Connor
Take 2 minutes and write thoughts that
come to mind when you hear the title.
Southern Gothic Literature
• Definition: focusing on character, social, and
moral shortcomings in the American south.
• Often disturbing but realistic.
• Grotesque characters and situations.
• What modern books/movies are influenced by
O’Connar Background
Father died from lupus.
Flannery is diagnosed with lupus 9 years later.
Knowledge brings her to writing.
Raised Catholic and is living in Protestant
• How might these events affect her writing?
Weather: Indicates character’s moods
Grace: Receive grace from God.
Disgust with the World: Engulfs characters.
Deformities and Disabilities: Protagonist
• Based on what you know about Southern
Gothic Literature and the Themes of Flannery
O’Connor’s write a quick summary over what
you think the story will be about.
Time to Read!
• In notes write down unfamiliar vocabulary
After Reading
1. Fill in worksheet.
2. Exit Ticket Questions:
• What Southern Gothic characteristics do you find
in "The Life You Save May Be Your Own?"
• What symbolism do you find in the story?
• What is the universal theme for the story?
• What remaining questions do you have on the
general characteristics of American Southern
• Write a one page essay to explain what happens after Lucynell
wakes up at The Hot Spot.
• Does Lucynell reunite with her mother? How?
• Is the counter boy involved?
• What about the authorities
*** incorporate an example of situational or dramatic irony in your
• Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows something the
characters do not. Because of this understanding, the words of the
characters take on a different meaning. This can create intense
suspense or humor.
• Situational irony is a situation in which actions have an effect that is
opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary
to what was expected.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own