Shiloh Bobbie Ann Mason Analysis

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“Shiloh is a Civil War Battleground where more than twenty-three thousand troops from the North and South fought in April 1862 and most of them died” (Kelly, 364). “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason was used as a reference place for the couples Leroy and Norma Jean to re-ignite their marriage, but their problems were deeper than visiting a historic site. Out of touch with each other because of misfortunes, they find ways to tolerate each other to keep their marriage going. In “Shiloh” Mason depicts how lack of communication in a marriage and not grieving for mishappenings could lead to distress, regret and unhappiness in most marriages, as it shows in Norma Jean’s and Leroy‘s marriage. Leroy was recently injured while driving his truck, after being…show more content…
Upon Leroy return’s Norma Jean started working on her pectorals muscles by doing some body building training to keep her occupied and out of Leroy’s way. Mason begins the novel by sharing Norma Jean’s process in body building training where she worked on her pectorals and lifted weights. In the mist of that Mason was portraying Norma Jean’s process of turning into a strong woman, she even reminded Leroy of Wonder Woman because of her statue. Norma Jean is building up her strength to approach her changes while Leroy is injured and can’t be the man he supposed. Leroy rather collects from unemployment than to find a job to support his family. Leroy and Norman Jean’s relationship is moving backwards and their switching roles. Leroy’s and Norma Jean marriage was now being compared to the new subdivision, “This postwar method of constructing towns was "an experiment, begun to create a community" and it serves as an important background metaphor for the Moffit marriage which, like a subdivision in rural Kentucky, is backwards or inverted (Gans…show more content…
He came to understand that bringing Norma Jean to Shiloh would not help their marriage and building the log house was a bad idea. As he got up to call Norma Jean, she turns towards Leroy and waves her arms almost like she was doing an exercise to work on her pectorals. “As Leroy looks to the sky, he sees that its pale, almost like the dust ruffle Mabel made for him” (Mason). When in a time of mishappenings it best to address those grieves and to have closure with oneself and others if they’re involved in order to move on. In “Shiloh” Leroy and Norma Jean never received that closure after their son died, which cause their marriage to crumble the way it did. Mason uses specific song lyrics to show Norma Jean’s desire to leave Leroy. As the story process the more she’s growing and gaining the strength to do what she wanted to do all along. She’ll play songs with the lyrics saying “I want to go, but I hate to leave you”, at the same time Leroy knows but fears losing his wife. At the end of the story she herself echoed the same lyrics when she was about to leave him “I want to leave you”. In conclusion, “The ending brings together a number of motifs that support the critics' claims as well as Mason's own assertion that Norma Jean's "life is on the way up" (Wilhelm, "Interview"

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