Bobbie Ann Mason's Shiloh is the definition of a normal short story, with its easy to follow plot as well as clear beginning and end. However, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper, made little to no sense on the first reading. What contributes to making The Yellow Wallpaper so difficult to clearly understand at first is the unorthodox storyline and complex language used by the narrator. Its eccentricity does not take away from The Yellow Wallpaper it gives it added angles to read it from whereas Shiloh does not have that added depth. As an author, it is more interesting to write complex and deranged plot lines over a simple theme than it is to script the same thing over and over again.
The simplicity of Shiloh is clearly evident after reading the very first paragraph of the story. An example from the first page of the text is, "Leroy is a truck driver. He injured his leg in a highway accident four months ago - Nothing spells mundane more than those lines from this text. The name Leroy in addition to his truck driving career equates to normality in the reader's mind. People can identify with such a common name, and his average profession. Leroy has a wife Norma Jean, and a mother-in-law who annoys both of them. Leroy is rehabilitating from the aforementioned injury he obtained while on a long drive in his truck at which time he was under the influence of the drug Speed. People get in automobile accidents, and people often take drugs to make their lives appear better than they really are. Leroy is like a lot like these people, who work less than spectacular jobs, and want to take drugs as a way to lessen the feeling that they are wasting away their lives. Further on, Leroy under-performs in his relationship, and smokes marijuana rather than communicating with Norma Jean on making their marriage work. This is also common, in society which unfortunately making it seem like a somewhat normal activity.