603-103 EPIPHANY AND THE SHORT STORY
29 April 2013
The Frivolous Obsession of the Hobbling Creature in “Shiloh” The short story “Shiloh”, which has a partially omniscient narrator, is written by Bobbie Ann Mason. It is about a failing relationship of a couple who has been together for 15 years. After an accident Leroy Moffit, a truck driver, finally returns home, expecting to spend time with his wife Norma Jean and he is determined to build her a log cabin. However, things go wrong when Leroy realizes that his wife is slowly driving away from him. As the husband and wife switches gender role, Norma Jean becomes the breadwinner in the house; and Leroy unable to understand what Norma Jean wants, still stubbornly tries to build her a to a log cabin until the very end of the relationship when Norma Jean declares she wants to leave him. Leroy suddenly understands that his wife wants to leave him because of this refusal to adapt to modernity- to reality, but he hobbles toward his wife and proves to the readers yet again that he is a broken, hobbling creature who will never understand the inner workings of things. Even if Leroy’s relationship with his wife was not completely fine before the accident, it was not dysfunctional either. It’s the accident that has brings a major change in Leroy’s life and is ultimately the indirect cause which leads to Norma Jean wanting to leave him. Before the accident, when Leroy was the breadwinner of the house, he maintained the structural authority in the house. He had a fine relationship with his wife too. They used to watch TV in bed and play cards. She used to cook all his favorite food. But since the accident things have changed. It starts with Leroy’s physical therapy which “prompted Norma Jean to try building herself”. A casual form of self-improvement initiated, yet a powerful indication of things to come. Norma Jean slowly becomes the “man” in the house in every aspect. In the...