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Shiloh: A Way Out Essay

1190 words - 5 pages

In Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason, Norma Jean wants to explore life more but because she became an adult at such a young age, Norma Jean feels constricted. All Norma Jean wants is to be is free. After sixteen years, Norma Jean remembers the dreams she once had as a young lady. Even though she does not feel like shes moving forward in some area like her marriage and her relationship with her mother, she plans on finding a way out. Norma Jean looks outward, beyond the confines of her house and marriage.

Norma Jean feels smothered now that Leroy is constantly home due to his leg injury.

Used to being an independent woman, she has to alter her life yet again to fit the accommodations of her ...view middle of the document...

After Randy, their child, died there was a sense of purposelessness that surrounded them. Randy was their only reason of being together, now that he is not around anymore they try to fill the void by playing house. Leroy tries to make it right by telling Norma Jean, “Don’t worry...I’m going to build you this home” (Mason 7). But Norma Jean does not want anything he offers which is why she constantly refuses the home he wants to build for her. When Leroy constantly brings up the idea of the dream house, Norma Jean makes it clear she does not want the house, replying “Like heck you are” to his opposition (Mason 6). Leroy is the only one trying who is trying to start afresh in his marriage. She does not want to start fresh because she knows this marriage is not what she wanted.

Norma Jean does not get the opportunity to grow from any of her relationships because she is constantly being hurt by her mother and husband. Mabel treats Norma Jean as a child because she does not respect Norma Jean. Hurt by the way her mother treats her, Norma Jean expresses to Leroy while crying, “I feel eighteen again. I can’t face that all over again” (Mason 15). Mabel also tries to make Norma Jean feel worse than she already does about the death of child. Mabel brings up a tragic death that happened to someone elses child hinting to Norma Jean, “They thought it was neglect” (Mason 10). Mabel also puts blame on her for the death of her child calling the situation irresponsible.The reason Mabel will not break away because she sees her daughter as child. As a young adult all Norma Jean wanted to do was move away but now that she was thrown into the situation of her having a baby Norma Jean needed her mother's assistance. When Leroy was on the road he never knew what the day to day routine was. Now that he is always home he understands that there is not privacy. Leroy even noticed how much time Mabel spends with her. Because Mabel is constantly over giving her no privacy, an incident happened where Mabel caught Norma Jean smoking. Reliving the past seems like a common theme for her. After her mother caught her smoking that was the turning effect that made her consider leaving Leroy. Norma Jean also feels like she is stuck in the past because...

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