Shiloh Essay

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The Second Battle of Shiloh
The switch to college life can definitely change people. In high school, one makes friends that will hopefully last a lifetime. Then comes senior year, and after all the college admissions letters have been received, one must face the realization that his/her best friends will not be by their side 24 hours a day / 7 days a week any longer. Still ecstatic by what this new life, college, holds for them, students enter into their chosen institute of higher learning. Do you remember that first break, or long weekend, that brings everyone back to the place where they grew up? Its a chance to look back and catch up on old times, even though you’ve only been separated for a month
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The use of symbolism and foreshadowing are both used to clue the reader into the eventual fate of the
Moffitt’s marriage:
Sitting in his Paducah, Kentucky home, Leroy stares towards the backyard where his rig is parked. He says it looks “like a gigantic bird that has flown home to roost”
(Mason 46). This quote symbolizes that the leader of the home has returned, but sadly,
Leroy is misinformed. In fact, he is scared of what the future holds. To pass the time he builds models from kits, including log cabins, hardly a productive activity. Sitting on the couch he realizes that “in all the years he as on the road he never took time to examine anything” (Mason 46). He’s speaking about the scenery on the road but I can deduct that in addition to scenery, Leroy neglected to examine his marriage. At this point, Leroy’s marriage is in a irreconcilable state. The only connection Leroy can forge with his wife is when she starts talking about cosmetics (creams, toners, moisturizers). He also thinks about petroleum products - axle grease and diesel fuel. Don’t get me wrong, Leroy feels guilty about his long absences, but now that he’s home, he wishes that his wife would celebrate his permanent homecoming more happily. This foreshadows her relative disappointment with the marriage and its impending end. Leroy even observes that they
“sometimes feel awkward around each other” (Mason 47). This shouldn’t be the case for a married couple of
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