What clues are provided about Mr. Shiftlet's selfish intentions even though his words and actions simultaneously contradict those clues?

Expert Answers
gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first clue is his name. "Shiftlet" would mean "allowing one to shift" (change, not be reliable), and is close to "shiftless," which implies a kind of low greed.

The old woman's reaction is another clue; she sees him as a tramp.

O'Connor also provides clues in her description of Mr. Shiftlet; he has a "jutting steel‑trap jaw," and a steel trap would betray people, clamp down on things and not let go, holding them tight. Later, his gaze is described as "sharp," which is, among other things, not friendly.

 

Read the study guide:
The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question