Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason Essay

983 WordsDec 27, 20114 Pages
(Insert Title) In “Shiloh,” by Bobbie Ann Mason, the reader is able to glimpse the beginning of the end of a marriage. Mason allows the audience to see the different strings unravel as the character’s separates from each other, emotionally, mentally and physically. In “Shiloh,” a woman’s husband, Leroy, has been in an accident and is no longer able to continue with his work of truck driving. The woman, Norma Jean, is unable to cope with her husband being home all of the time and begins to find ways to get away from him and her overbearing mother, Mabel. Throughout the story we see Leroy’s struggle to stay with his wife and Norma Jean’s struggle to break away from her husband. As Leroy and Norma’s marriage continues to drift apart, Mabel…show more content…
The more masculine Norma Jean becomes, the more she leaves her husband behind. Norma Jean is independent and unable to cope with her husband’s constant presence. Norma Jean is a good wife when her husband comes home from work, but, now that he is always home she has become a different person. Norma Jean was able to put on an illusion of being a great wife because she only had to do it for a short while. She is very content with being alone and not being bound to her husband, “Norma Jean has never complained about his travelling; she has never made hurt remarks, like calling his truck a ‘widow maker’” (Mason 570). Norma Jean does not complain about her husband being gone because she prefers it over the latter. Norma Jean even rejects her wifely duties, “When [Mabel] visits, she inspects the closets and then the plants, informing Norma Jean when a plant is droopy…She also notices if Norma Jean’s laundry is piling up” (Mason 572). This quote symbolizes Norma Jean’s unwillingness to fall into a permanent role as a wife. She neglects her womanly duties and it is her mother that tells her when it’s time to do things. Now that Leroy is home, Norma Jeans starts extracurricular activities to not be with her husband, “Something is happening. Norma Jean is going to night school…now she is taking an adult-education course in composition at Paducah Community College. She spends her evenings
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