Shiloh: Changing Lives in Different Directions

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In the story "Shiloh", by Bobbie Ann Mason, characters Leroy and Norma Jean go through changes in their life as each begin to discover what their real identity is, and what it is they actually want out of their marriage. For some people this may take years, and for others they may never realize it, while merely trying to grasp on to the past, or the way they think things should have turned out. In this short story, Mason uses a couple in their thirties to portray people who are experiencing these types of changes, and depict how they deal with the situation. In the end, the couple is faced with dealing with the inevitable fact that they indeed cannot save their marriage; it was a battle they could not win. However, before the story…show more content…
Another fault in Leroy and Norma Jean 's relationship is the way the characters try to live their relationship though the past. Leroy gives the impression that he thinks they should be together because they have shared so much-- especially the loss of their son. When he comes back from traveling on the road, he seems to try and pick up from where they had left off. Unfortunately, Norma Jean had in many ways moved on. For Christmas, Leroy is said to have bought Norma Jean an organ because she played it so well when she was in high school. Leroy gets Norma Jean to play oldies from the sixties, and she ironically states, "I didn 't like these old songs back then, but I have this crazy feeling I missed something" (69). In many ways Norma Jean was right. She missed more than the appreciation of this music, she missed finding the meaning of her life and discovering what she really wanted. Now it was almost like it was too late, like when Leroy concludes that, "He knows he is going to lose her... he is just waiting for time to pass" (74). To Norma Jean and Leroy it appeared that if Norma Jean could still play these songs, then they could still go back and relive those old times when they seemed happy together. When analyzing this short story, it seems as though the author gives slightly more insight into the mind of Leroy. In many cases, Leroy seems to be

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