The Battle Of Shilh Sparknotes

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“Shiloh” is a short story written about Leroy Moffitt and his wife Norma Jean, a middle class married couple living in rural Kentucky who has been spending more time together yet they don’t really know much about each other. It is evident that the two of them have never developed a strong and close relationship, and now they are forced to deal with the situation they are placed in now. Leroy was a truck driver who injured his leg and slowly builds himself back up with physical therapy. Norma Jean takes a much more physical and positive approach to life with body-building, attending a community college, and more. Mason included the “Battle of Shiloh” to incorporate the setting into the short story and to portray how Leroy and Norma’s marriage is defined as a complex relationship. The Battle of Shiloh was an early battle in the American Civil War, fought in southwestern Tennessee. This crucial battle was quiet a costly battle and it is stated that both sides suffered from a large number of fatalities. The battle site remains a cemetery for the losses of life and the meaningless sense of loss that took place. The battles grounds symbolize the relationship between Leroy and Norma. Mason has the setting of the short story to be the battleground where many have lost their lives which connects to the approaching death of their marriage. The biggest use of irony presented within the short story is when the two are sitting among the thousands of dead soldiers and at this time Norma Jean informs Leroy that she no longer wants to be his wife. It is a mere coincidence that Bobbie Mason incorporated this specific battleground to be the setting as it represents how the war ended in a failure as will the marriage. In consideration to both case... ... middle of paper ... ...part’ is common among most. However, the reader realizes early on that Leroy and Norma Jean aren’t in love, yet they just make conversation with one another. The pale sky above the Shiloh battlefield where the couple is having a picnic foreshadows the bleakness of what Norma Jean is about tell Leroy. The biggest moment where Leroy has realized that he is no longer what his wife wants, completes the idea that he cannot stop her from leaving him. With all of this being said, it is important to realize why Mason has symbolically imbedded the conflicting past history of the gruesome battleground to the unknown years spend on the relationship that disconnected Leroy and Norma Jean. The strong fundamentals of what is required to have a healthy and strong relationship such as communication and performing accurate gender roles is illustrated throughout this short story.

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