Second Battle Of Shiloh Essay, Research Paper

John Gilbert

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Paper One

Dr. Mosser

English 1102

6 February 2000

The Second Battle of Shiloh

The switch to college life can decidedly alter people. In high school, one makes

friends that will hopefully last a life-time. Then comes senior twelvemonth, and after all the college

admittances letters have been received, one must confront the realisation that his/her best

friends will non be by their side 24 hours a twenty-four hours / 7 yearss a hebdomad any longer. Still enraptured by

what this new life, college, holds for them, pupils enter into their chosen institute of

higher acquisition. Make you retrieve that first interruption, or long weekend, that brings everyone

back to the topographic point where they grew up? Its a opportunity to look back and catch up on old

times, even though you? ve merely been separated for a month or two. Whether coming

place from UGA, Tech, or even some out-of-state college, that drive place gives one clip

to reflect. Will my friends who I graduated with be the same friends who I know and

love? Like I said, college alters people, and the first clip you see old friends, you might

recognize that your best friends are non who they one time were. Although painful, this is a

procedure that is natural. Friends alteration, and friends move on with their lives, irrespective of

your presence. On a larger graduated table, this is the quandary brought to the readers attending by

Bobbie Ann Mason, writer of? Shiloh? .

In Mason? s? Shiloh? , Leroy and Norma Jean Moffitt are a married twosome life in

Paducah, Kentucky. Leroy has spent the past 15 old ages driving a tractor-trailer across the

state. Four months ago, Leroy was involved in a main road accident that required steel

pins to be placed in his hip. He returned place to rest and rehabilitate his leg. He is

confined to his house, something that he hasn? T seen for an drawn-out period since he? s

been on the route. Like a college pupil, this is Leroy? s long weekend. Leroy comes

place to his married woman, Norma Jean, trusting that she will be the same individual he left many old ages

before. Unfortunately for Leroy, Norma Jean has moved on with her life, much like

friends who move on after high school graduation. Leroy would wish for things to be the

manner they were, but Norma Jean has chosen a different class in her life that doesn? T

involve Leroy. She works at the Rexall Drug Store, loves to play music, and is taking

categories in composing at Paducah Community College. Bobbie Ann Mason uses literary

devices in her narrative to state of the impending divorce of Leroy and Norma Jean. The usage of

symbolism and prefiguration are both used to clew the reader into the eventual destiny of the

Moffitt? s matrimony:

Siting in his Paducah, Kentucky place, Leroy stares towards the backyard where

his rig is parked. He says it looks? like a mammoth bird that has flown place to perch?

( Mason 46 ) . This quotation mark symbolizes that the leader of the place has returned, but unhappily,

Leroy is misinformed. In fact, he is scared of what the hereafter holds. To go through the clip he

physiques theoretical accounts from kits, including log cabins, barely a productive activity. Siting on the

sofa he realizes that? in all the old ages he as on the route he ne’er took clip to analyze

anything? ( Mason 46 ) . He? s talking about the scenery on the route but I can subtract that

in add-on to scenery, Leroy neglected to analyze his matrimony. At this point, Leroy? s

matrimony is in a unreconcilable province. The lone connexion Leroy can hammer with his married woman is

when she starts speaking about cosme

tics ( picks, toners, moisturizers ) . He besides thinks

about crude oil merchandises & # 8211 ; axle lubricating oil and Diesel fuel. Don? T acquire me incorrect, Leroy feels

guilty about his long absences, but now that he? s place, he wishes that his married woman would

observe his lasting homecoming more merrily. This foreshadows her comparative

letdown with the matrimony and its at hand terminal. Leroy even observes that they

? sometimes experience awkward around each other? ( Mason 47 ) . This shouldn? T be the instance for

a married twosome of 16 old ages, once more boding an at hand terminal to the matrimony.

Norma Jean, in the interim, learns to play the organ. At first she learns Christmas

vocals, and so all the vocals in the? Sixtiess Songbook? . The lone thing Leroy does in

fume articulations on the sofa. He wasted one of his yearss purchasing marihuana from a child,

farther displaying is stationary and hapless life. Norma Jean is tired of his lounging

about. One twenty-four hours, after watching Leroy sew a Star Trek pillow screen, she says, ? You

Don? T know what to make with yourself? . This symbolizes Norma Jean? s way in life and

Leroy? s deficiency of motive to make anything productive, like attempt to salvage his matrimony. There

seems to be a function reversal in this matrimony, with Norma Jean busying the masculine

function. Norma Jean has to state Leroy to happen work. She says, ? You have to happen a occupation foremost?

( Mason 49 ) , mentioning to Leroy? s desire to construct her a log cabin. She even names off occupations

for Leroy: ? You could acquire a occupation as a guard at Union Carbide, where they? d Lashkar-e-Taiba you set on

a stool & # 8230 ; You could make a small carpenter work, if you want to construct so bad? ( Mason 49 ) .

Leroy merely says that he can? t do anything where he would hold to stand up all twenty-four hours. In bed

that dark Norma Jean closes her eyes and petitions that the visible radiations be turned out, merely like

she wants the visible radiations turned out in this matrimony. Leroy still has a preoccupation with

edifice Norma Jean a log cabin, yet the impression of having a truckload of serrate,

numbered logs scares him. Once once more this symbolizes his fright of the hereafter, merely the

antonym of Norma Jean. Although Norma Jean is the? male monarch of the palace? , Leroy still

yearns for insisting that he is the adult male of the house. He asks Norma Jean, ? Am I still king

around here? ? ( Mason 53 ) . When Norma Jean flexes her biceps she is demoing Leroy that

she is the leader of the house. Leroy knows that something has to be done to salvage his

matrimony. Mabel, Leroy? s mother-in-law, suggests they take a trip to Shiloh, a Civil War

battlefield. This is ready-made symbolism. A battling twosome takes a trip to a celebrated

battlefield. Looking for a topographic point to picnic, they sit down following to a graveyard for Union

Soldiers, which symbolizes the decease of their life together as hubby and married woman. She tells

Leroy that she is go forthing him and when she walks toward the bluff overlooking the

Tennessee River, Leroy tries to follow. His good leg, nevertheless is asleep, and his bad leg

still hurts him. This symbolizes that he will ne’er catch her. She has her ain life and he is

stuck in the same topographic point.

In decision, I have personally experienced the loss of a friend after we both

embarked on different waies. Although we were the best of friends in high school, when

the clip came on that long weekend to hang out, we didn? t even pick up the phone to see

what the other was making. Although its natural to travel in different waies, it still hurts

to no longer have that friend in your life any longer, merely like it hurts Leroy non to hold

Norma Jean



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