Overcoming Tragedies

Topics: Marriage, Short story, Fiction Pages: 3 (1074 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Overcoming Tragedies
We all experience grief in our lives. In the short story "Shiloh", Bobbie Ann Mason’s narrator introduces us to a young couple struggling with their relationship. They start out as a happily married couple who experience many tragedies in their lives which eventually leads to Norma Jean wanting a divorce from her husband, Leroy. This couple reaches a crossroad in their marriage. Norma Jean is a round character, who shows change throughout the narrative. For example she is working out to improve the appearance of her body, going to school to increase her career options, and she wants to leave her husband, Leroy. We see how life changes as time passes (616-25).

For most individuals, working out and improving the look of their body is a good thing; but, in “Shiloh,” this means that Norma Jean is looking for someone other than her husband, Leroy. “Leroy Moffit’s wife, Norma Jean, is working on her pectorals. She lifts three-pound dumbbells to warm up, then progresses to a twenty-pound barbell, standing with her legs apart, she reminds Leroy of Wonder Woman” (616), we learn this furthermore proves that Norma Jean is trying to improve the look of her body to appeal to someone other than her husband Leroy. Moreover, “Leroy is a truck driver. He injured his leg in a highway accident four months ago, and his physical therapy, which involves weights and a pulley, prompted Norma Jean to try building herself up. Now she is attending a body-building class” (616-17). Before the short story opens, Norma Jean played a traditional feminine role, keeping the home fires burning and plying her husband with food and entertainment when he returned from his long trips. When the narrative begins, she is scraping under the burden of her wifely duties. Leroy’s presence weighs on her. After so much time spent away, he seems like a stranger, someone who does not understand her. She has begun to improve her mind and her body, taking weightlifting...
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