"A battle Lost" A short essay focusing on the themes of relationships in the short story "Shilo"

Essay by steampunkvalkyrieCollege, UndergraduateA-, December 2012

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"A battle lost"

A short essay focusing on the theme of Relationships in Shiloh

In the work "Shiloh" by Bobbie Sue Mason, one quickly discovers a main theme. This theme in centers on the gradual disintegration of the two main characters, Norma Jean and Leroy Moffitt's marriage Norma Jean and Leroy are an older married couple that are experiencing new roadblocks in their relationship. Leroy, a long distance trucker who has spent most of the last 15 years on the road has come home to stay after a highway accident that wrecked his tractor-trailer rig. Norma Jean, his wife, is used to being home without Leroy and does not know how to handle him being around so often. Her mother Mabel has decided to take Leroy's place in a way, by hanging around the house more than he ever had. She helps Norma Jean, but she also is a burden.

It is up to the reader to decide whether Norma Jean and Leroy stay together, or end up getting a divorce at the end of the story. Most, however feel that they did indeed separate. Laurie Champion, an author featured in Midwest Quarterly writes: "Regarding "Shiloh," critics argue that because of her newfound independence Norma Jean will divorce Leroy. Dee Bakker notes that Norma Jean improves her mind and body, "her means of gaining power-in-the-world, and in the end she decides to dissolve her marriage in order to further explore and expand her power". G. O. Morphew says, "By himself,Leroy is no match for Norma Jean, and like the Union army of the original battle of Shiloh, she is the aggressor, the invader, and she wins her own battle when she announces she is leaving Leroy". Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet note that "death and desolation...