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S Hiloh Bobbie Ann Mason Battle Essay

2326 words - 9 pages

The Civil War was a harsh time in American history. Shiloh was the battleground for a major battle during the Civil War. Shiloh was a decisive, bloody battle, in which the Union army won. During the battle of Shiloh, Rebel forces attacked the federal government, and almost defeated them. But there was a turning point and the federal forces rallied and eventually drove off the Rebel forces. The Rebel forces, also known as the South, needed a win to save the Mississippi valley, but could not. The Rebel forces can be seen as a symbol of the character Norma Jean in the short story "Shiloh," by Bobbie Ann Mason. Her husband, Leroy, can be seen as a symbol for the federal government. Throughout the work "Shiloh," the theme of change is ubiquitous. Change is evident after Leroy's truck accident, which caused Norma Jean to become less dependent on her husband. If the foundation of a marriage is not strong, then there will be problems in the future of the marriage. This can be seen as being equivalent to if a country's foundation is not strong, then the possibility of civil war may occur. As the truck driving accident changed the foundation of their family, the Civil War changed the foundation of America.As the story of "Shiloh" begins, one can see change already occurring. Leroy, a truck driver has injured his leg and can no longer work. Generally, the man of the relationship, which was Leroy, provides for the foundation of the family. But as we canGolikov 2see, Norma Jean plays that role because of Leroy's inability to function. " 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." From the opening lines, Norma Jean changed from acting as a woman to acting as a man. "I'd give anything if I could just get these muscles to where they're real hard," says Norma Jean. Feel this arm. It's not as hard as the other one." Pectorals are the muscle underlying the breasts. A woman's pectorals are not supposed to be hard, but Norma Jean is making them that way, which portrays that she is, over time, becoming the man in the family, which supports the evident theme of change. On the other hand, Leroy is becoming more of a woman in the relationship. " In the meantime, he makes things from craft kits. He started by building a miniature log cabin from Popsicle sticks. Then he tried string art, a macrame owl kit, a snap-together B-17 Flying Fortress, and a lamp made out of a model truck." Leroy changed into a mental state that he could not work anymore, which therefore meant he is not a man anymore. The above quote shows stuff that a woman would do in her spare time, while the man would be working. " At first the kits were diversions, something to kill time, but now he is thinking about building a full-scale log house from a kit." Leroy wanted to prove that he could still do "manly" things, such as building a log house. The miniature...

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