There are three main characters in the story. Lucynell Crater is a thirty-year old large woman with long pink-gold hair, blue eyes, mute, and mentally challenged. Lucynell had a mind of a smaller child and was mentally challenged and innocent because she didn’t understand anything that was going on around her; she was married to Tom Shiflet and wasn’t aware. Mrs. Crater was a woman about the size of a cedar post with no teeth. She was manipulative because she offered Tom Shiflet a place to stay, food, and her mentally challenged daughter for marriage so he can work on things on her farm. Tom T. Shiflet had long black slick hair that hung from a part in a middle to beyond the tips of his ears. His face descended for half its length and ended with his features balanced over his jaw. He had a short arm and a long but didn’t let that stop him. Tom was corrupt because he lied from the beginning about his true character. He married Lucynell Crater, a mentally challenged girl just to get what he wanted. He also was corrupt because he left Lucynell all along knowing she didn’t understand anything. The first meeting Tom made a comment and said “I’d give a fortune to live where I could see me a sun do that every evening.” he then took gum out of his pocket and offered the daughter and old woman a piece and that’s when he notice the old woman didn’t have no teeth. Mr. Shiflet glanced over everything in the yard and then asked “you ladies drive?” Mrs. Crater told him the car didn’t run in fifteen years since her husband died. Tom made a comment and said “nowadays, people will do anything.” he later said “people don’t care how they lie.” The old woman asked “what you carry in that tin box, Mr. Shiflet?” he told her tools and that’s when she started her manipulation. “Well, if you come out here to work, I’ll be able to feed you and give you a place to sleep but I can’t play,” she said. He told the old woman then that all most people were interested in was money. Tom asked Mrs. Crater a lot of questions that she didn’t answer. She only sat rocking and wondered if a one-armed man could put a new roof on her garden house. Later, Mr. Shiflet asked about Mrs. Crater daughter, Mrs. Crater told him she’s the sweetest girl in the world and that she wouldn’t give her up for nothing. “No,” he said kindly, “don’t ever let any man take her away from you.” “Mr. Shiflet eye in the darkness was focused on the automobile bumper that glittered in the distance. He then said “there ain’t a broken thing on this plantation that I couldn’t fix for you, one-arm jackleg or not; I’m a man.” The old woman was not impressed with the phrase. “I told you that you could hang around and work for food,” she said, “if you don’t mind sleeping in that car yonder.” The next morning he began on the roof. Tom Shiflet repaired the car and he had an expression of serious modesty on his face as if he had just raised the dead. It relates back to Christ just like he was raised from the dead from a short amount of time. Tom had driven about a hundred miles when he decided that Lucynell was hungry again. At the next small town, they stopped at a crating called the Hot Spot and took her in and ordered her a plate of ham and grits. The ride made her sleepy and as soon as she got up on the stool, she went to sleep on the counter. Before the boy could dish up the food, Lucynell was snoring gently. Mr. Shiflet told the boy to give Lucynell the food when she wakes up and then he left her all alone with the boy. Shiflet abandoned Lucynell knowing she was mentally challenged and didn’t understand anything. After Tom left the diner, he saw a boy dressed in overalls standing on the side of the road. “Son,” Mr. Shiflet said, “I see you want a ride.” The boy didn’t say nothing he just got into the car. Tom started talking about his mother, “I got the best old mother in the world so I reckon you only got the second best.” Mr. Shiflet kept talking to the boy about his mother until the boy angrily said, “you go to the devil!” “My old woman is a flea bag and yours is a stinking pole cat!” There are a few symbols used in “The Life You Save May be Your Own,” that relates back to Christ. Tom is a carpenter in the story just like Jesus was in the bible. The crooked cross, road sign, turnip cloud, and “angel of gawd,” symbolism illustrates the spiritual struggle between good and bad. Mr. Shiflet, starts on a journey of spiritual means by dealing with both damnation and salvation. Tom is given many opportunities to turn around and proceed on the path of salvation, but he kept driving to his destination.