p. Abstract | Text | Bibliography | Notes | References | About the author 1 The criticism on Bobbie Ann Mason’s fiction centers largely on the individual’s. “These stories will last,” said Raymond Carver of Shiloh and Other Stories when it was first published, and almost two decades later this Shiloh and Other Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason . “Mason is a full-fledged master of the short story. “These stories will last,” said Raymond Carver of Shiloh and Other Stories when it was first published, and almost two decades later this stunning.

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In order to do so, she has resorted to two of the conventional masculine strategies to cover over her castration: Confined to the house to convalesce, Leroy passes time by smoking marijuana and putting together craft kits.

Norma Jean is never depicted as shilh whole person because Leroy and the empathic narrator are unable to see her in that way.

Through flashbacks in the story, it is revealed that Leroy was rarely home while he was a trucker. With the death of her child and the disability of her husband, however, she finds that she needs a new identity.

Shiloh |

The story opens with Leroy watching Norma Jean lift weights. But I have this crazy feeling I missed something. In addition to the contemporary setting of western Kentucky, Mason also refers fuol an earlier time in the title of the story and in the placement of its climactic scene. Certainly Norma Jean has a stronger personality than Georgeann and Mason must bobvie for this, or else Mason would simply write the same story with the same characters again and again. He is caught in the middle.

And the real inner workings of a marriage, like most of history, have escaped him. Annn seems to be doing an exercise for her chest muscles. He searches for some way to reestablish himself as the head of the household and finally settles on the idea of building a log cabin. The latter repeats the typical response of the wanderer from Natty Bumppo to Jack Kerouac.


In such contexts the sense of self is besieged from all sides and becomes highly vulnerable.

The couple got married because Norma Jean was pregnant. Mason has continued to produce a steady stream of well-received literature since her first book of fiction.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

When they arrive at the battleground, it is not what either of them has expected.

The Return to Shiloh: Family and Fantasy in Bobbie Ann Mason’s “Shiloh”

Ironically, Leroy does not see that it is this kind of response that has gotten him into his predicament. It is unclear whether Leroy will ever return to work as a truck driver. She cautions that although the destination of Shiloh may have symbolic overtones, it is integral to the story and should not be separated from its context in any analysis.

In a reverie about the battle at Shiloh, Leroy thinks: In addition, however, Mason describes the truck with this image: Minimalist fiction often takes as its subject the small events in the lives of characters. However, since Mabel, in each of anm three previous family structures, has unilaterally and imperialistically wielded the phallus to ensure her power, privilege, and wholeness, we can only imagine that she would carry the pattern into the fourth family structure as well, for her fantasy-fetish defines her subjectivity and her positionality; they are the elements that constitute her desire and identification.

Full text PDF Send by e-mail. Norma Jean and Leroy marry because Norma Jean gets bobbue, a fact that not only shames Mabel but one that she entirely blames on Leroy. You could do a little carpenter work, if you want to build so bad. When faced with confusion about their proper roles, they tend to become either doers or seekers.


Such changes separate the characters from their traditions.

The act of building offers the reader a framework for understanding this story. Blythe, Hal, and Charlie Sweet.

He opens his eyes. Reviewers praised Mason for her spare realism and her ear for the language of the people of western Kentucky. I have this crazy feeling I missed something.

She can see that Leroy and Norma Jean are having problems in their marriage and nags them about taking a trip to Shiloh. He holds the bottle poised near his mouth but cannot masom to take a drink. Some of these changes are noticeable from demographic information about the area.

Besides that, his understanding of history is distorted; living in a cabin was never such a wonderful experience, as Mabel explains to him, and as the bullet-ridden cabin at Shiloh testifies. The final irony which caps this ill-fated trip is that Leroy and Norma Jean discuss their failing marriage while sitting in a cemetery.

Shiloh and Other Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason – Reading Guide – : Books

When she married at eighteen, she had imagined herself as a housewife and mother. Leroy Moffitt and Norma Jean, a couple who have been married for fifteen years, find their lives disrupted not only by the trucking accident that has rendered Leroy disabled and unemployed but also by the changes that are occurring in their home town in Kentucky.

He watches Norma Jean in the shikoh way that he watches the birds. Mason herself has commented many times on her concern with working-class people. The narrator concentrates on her body parts, foregrounding her pectorals, her legs, her arms, her knees, her ankles, her hard biceps, her chest muscles, and on her two-pound weights.