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Shiloh, by Bobbie Ann Mason

             In Shiloh, by Bobbie Ann Mason, we see the beginning of an end to a marriage of Leroy and Norma Jean Moffitt. There are many postmodern aspects throughout this story. Postmodern works favor individualism, alienation and fragmentation. Throughout the story we see Norma Jean growing and becoming an independent woman. At the same time Leroy is becoming alienated and avoids facing the fact that the world around him is changing. The author expresses the theme that you cannot dwell on the past through the use of character development and setting. .
             Through the use of characterization the author creates, reveals and develops each of her characters to display the good and bad sides of holding on to the past. Leroy's character is very traditional, which ultimately leads to him being left behind. The author writes, "He has begun to realize he never took time to examine anything" (873). Things like the town he lived in, his marriage and his wife have all become foreign to him because of his attachment to the past. In an attempt to rekindle their marriage, Leroy follows through on his promise to Norma Jean that one day he would build her a new home. Unfortunately, his choice of a log cabin for their new home is not what Norma Jean wants, pushing them further apart. He is fixated on tradition and trying to rebuild their marriage, which can be a good thing, but is not what Norma Jean wants for her future. .
             Norma Jean is growing and becoming more independent, which explains why she begins to push Leroy away. She begins to realize that she is a confident woman who does not need to depend on anyone. She has begun to rebuild her life and is rejecting society's traditional role for a woman. We see signs of disillusion in the author's character of Norma Jean through her participation in pop and consumer culture. She is bodybuilding, playing music from a sixties songbook and "she reminds Leroy of Wonder Women" (Mason, 872).

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