Essay on Bobbie Ann Mason-Shiloh- Setting Analysis

906 Words Feb 17th, 2013 4 Pages
“Shiloh” was written by Bobbie Ann Mason in 1982. The center of attraction of this narrative is a married couple, Leroy Moffitt and his wife, Norma Jean. During this story the characters are affected by their changing social rural Kentucky environment. In this time period, Kentucky transforms to a more suburb environment from their usual rural surroundings. Apart from their marriage changing with their social environment, so does their role of gender. Leroy and Norma Jean swaps traditional gender roles, which alters their marriage and leads to the breakdown of the Moffitts.
The narrative is told from the perspective of Leroy Moffitt, a recent disabled truck driver. Although the injury leads him to sit home all day like a bored housewife,
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She takes the opportunity of Leroy's rehabilitation from his accident to start bodybuilding. After the bodybuilding class is over, she takes a composition class at night, and starts to cook more exotic food. Apart from Norma Jean’s efforts to self-improvement, Leroy refuses to move on from the past. While their surroundings are modernizing and changing to a more suburb area, Leroy continues to live in the past, such as living in an old log cabin. Leroy also relates the present to the previous, when he relates the doctor’s son to his own lost son. These two characters opposing each other, leads Norma Jean to her final decision of leaving her husband at the end of the story and the various aspects of her character revealing that desire. These aspects of her character were her devotion to progress in life, and her inability to communicate with her husband while he was still stuck in the past.
The setting in the short story “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason works well to accentuate the theme of the story. The theme portrayed by the author is that most people change along with their environment, with the exception of the few who are unwilling to adapt, making it difficult for things such as marriage to work out successfully. As Norma Jean advances herself, their marriage ultimately collapses due to Leroy’s unwillingness to adapt with her and the changing environment. The author’s use of the difficulties of Norma Jean and Leroy’s adaptation to their changing

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