Bobbie Ann Mason-Shiloh- Setting Analysis

Topics: Sudden infant death syndrome, Marriage, Gender role Pages: 3 (916 words) Published: February 27, 2013
“Shiloh” was written by Bobbie Ann Mason in 1982. The center of attraction of this narrative is a married couple, Leroy Moffitt and his wife, Norma Jean. During this story the characters are affected by their changing social rural Kentucky environment. In this time period, Kentucky transforms to a more suburb environment from their usual rural surroundings. Apart from their marriage changing with their social environment, so does their role of gender. Leroy and Norma Jean swaps traditional gender roles, which alters their marriage and leads to the breakdown of the Moffitts. The narrative is told from the perspective of Leroy Moffitt, a recent disabled truck driver. Although the injury leads him to sit home all day like a bored housewife, he pursues his hobby that is stereo typically feminine. He constructs craft objects from kits and sews needlepoint pillows, as a pleasurable interest. However, he dreams of building a log cabin for his wife from one of his craft kit models, which symbolically portrays their marriage. The cabin is an unrealistic idea, and the project does not interest Norma Jean. Despite the fact that nothing dissuades him, he won’t let go of the idea of the cabin in the face of strong opposition that he won’t give up on his marriage in the face of clear evidence that his wife already has. Leroy sooner or later realizes that his marriage is as hollow as the boxy interior of their log cabin. Apart from Leroy’s lack of realization that his wife wants to adapt to her surroundings, and progress with her life, he is still stuck in the past and continues to pester his wife of living in an old log cabin. However, as Leroy builds craft kits and smokes marijuana all day, Norma Jean supports her and her husband by working at a Rexall drugstore. She eventually goes from a weightlifting class to a night composition class, reconstructing her mind and body and doing her best to adapt to change. In the meantime, Leroy resisting to do the same, is happy to be...
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