Dysfunctional Relationships Between Sonny's Blues and Shiloh

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Jeremy Raymond
Professor Gazzara
ENG 102-109
April 6th, 2013
It Takes Two To Tango
What makes a relationship dysfunctional? Is it the changes one sees in another whether they be physical, emotional, or financial? Is it a change in their own personality that is now changing their views on their family member or significant other? Tina B. Tessina defines a dysfunctional relationship as this:

Dysfunctional Relationships are relationships that do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication among them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare or fortify them for life in the larger world. (Tessina 1)

In "Sonny's Blues" and "Shiloh", we see two different types of dysfunctional relationships. In "Shiloh" we see a marriage relationship between Norma Jean and Leroy Moffit. In "Sonny's Blues", we see a brotherhood relationship between Sonny and his brother. These relationships are considered dysfunctional based on the actions and lack of actions based on those involved.

In Mason's "Shiloh", the relationship between Leroy and Norma Jean was off to a good start. They have been married sixteen years and had a kid named Randy. Randy passed away from sudden infant death syndrome at a very young age. We can infer through the text that both Norma Jean and Leroy were left traumatized by this. The death of a child can leave a person traumatized and shook-up for the rest of their lives.

The couple's relationship takes a turn south due to numerous reasons. One reason being Norma Jeans newfound lifestyle. Ever since Leroy suffered his accident, She has morphed into the manly figure of the household. She's starting to lift weights to strengthen herself up. Leroy is now observing changes in Norma Jean he has never seen before. In addition to lifting weights at home, she is now attending a body building class which puzzles Leroy. Through Leroy's eyes, she is already a changed woman. Besides for...
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