The Lies We Told

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Nikki Solberg Hr. 2 "The Life You Save May be Your Own" essay 9-11-01 The Lies We Told "Nowadays, people will do anything anyways" despite the moral consequences (590). Mr. Shiftlet egotistically states that he is a man with "moral intelligence" (591). Yet, his actions do not match his words, he is a moral relativist who has a twisted view of the moral order of the universe. His ultimate demise could be either an act of nature or an act of God.

Mr. Shiftlet's wild ride to Mobile could be considered a bizarre coincidence. Air and water vapor do not hold grudges against bad people. Weather itself is mostly just a matter of pressure differences in the air. It is perfectly normal for a tornado to "slowly descend" and to produce "a guffawing peal of thunder"¦ and fantastic raindrops" (595). Perhaps the sinful Mr. Shiftlet was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time "“ a case of pure bad luck, nothing more.

Although nature could have been solely responsible for Mr. Shiftlet's ultimate demise, I believe that his death was no accident. Weather, arguably, is a temperamental force, just as is God himself. The moral order of the universe had been breached many times by the sinful Mr. Shiftlet. He even admits, "it's the law that don't satisfy [him]" (593). He had no qualms about stealing an old woman's money, car, or leaving her daughter to a horrible fate. For every cause there is an effect. Mr. Shiftlet's past has finally caught up to him on the highway to Mobile. All of the suffering and pain that he has caused people has ultimately come full circle "“ he now knows what it is like to be one of "the monks of old [who] slept in their coffins" (591). His last prayer is met when the tornadoes "break forth and wash the slime from this earth" (595).

Perhaps an act of nature and an act of God are one and the same. They both destroyed a man whose evil preceded and followed him like two dark turnips on the horizon. Can such a man truly out run the storm of his own immoral design? Not the storm of an all-encompassing entity "“ the bearer of justice always carries out His verdict"¦to the very end.