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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Maskn as he idealizes Norma Jean, he idealizes the life-size log cabin that he wants to build for her. This relationship of the individual to the family, moreover, has fairly recently become the primary focus of psychoanalytic shlloh, most notably in the work of Kaja Silverman.

He died of sudden infant death syndrome while asleep at a drive-in theater with his mother and father. Mabel continues to pester Norma Jean and Leroy about going to Shiloh.

Very quickly, Norma Jean and Leroy have a baby, a son, Randy. Old relationships are strained as wives begin to lift weights shi,oh play video games with strange men.

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

It is Leroy who has had his eyes closed, not Norma Jean. Leroy embraces tradition, but Norma Jean rejects it. Rather than create a bond, a renewed intimacy between him and Norma Jean, his presence ironically produces their complete estrangement.

These economic trends correlate with other social trends, like the rising divorce rate, which peaked in at 5. Finally, in the last scene, Norma Jean stands masin her arms, as if she is about to take flight. With all the elements in place—father, mother, child—Mabel can assume her role as the doting grandmother.


This theme dominates the sixteen pieces in Shiloh and Other Stories, her major work of fiction which was nominated for the National Book Award in Mason has continued to produce a steady stream of well-received literature since her first book of fiction.

Leroy knows he is leaving out a lot. He attempts to resurrect his idea of the American Dream by making plans to build a log cabin.

Norma Jean has not used direct confrontation with Leroy; instead, she has sought to create emotional. Actually Ahn has spent many days on the road.

Shiloh and Other Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason | : Books

In this case, Norma Jean is getting ready to assert her independence. First, she tries bodybuilding, then jogging, then night school. He wants to build a log cabin—a traditional dwelling.

She can see that Leroy and Norma Jean are having problems in their marriage and nags them about taking a trip to Shiloh. Are the birds bobbir details selected so that we can experience his loss of words?

Bobbie Ann Mason – Shiloh and Other Stories

Leroy and Norma Jean had little formal education, but Norma Jean comes to realize the value of school and begins taking adult education classes. After Norma Jean complains to Leroy about comments her mother had made about a baby who was killed by a dog, Mason ends with a detail: He opens his eyes. It is unclear whether Leroy will ever return to work as a truck driver. They journey through wide expanses without ever finding a real sense of place. At the very moment that Leroy has stopped moving, Norma Jean has begun to move forward.

Or are we to make an analogy between the characters and the feeding birds? Texh does not answer her.

Faced with the prospect of beginning anew, Norma Jean is not about to repeat her past mistakes. She now wants Leroy and Norma Jean to take a trip to Shiloh in hopes that the visit will help them fix the problems in their marriage. For Mabel, the loss of her positionality within the first two family structures constitutes a form of castration.


Reviewers praised Mason for her sgiloh realism and her ear for the language of the people of western Kentucky. Her sihloh is flawless. Electronic reference Greg W. He will wad the blueprints into tight balls and fling them into the lake. On one visit she becomes enraged when she discovers Norma Jean smoking a cigarette.

They close their wings, then fall, then spread their wings to catch and lift themselves. Although he tries to create Norma Jean by telling her what to think and what to do, she eludes him; although he tries to build a house that will take Norma Jean back to the beginning of their marriage, he ultimately fails.

However, bobie Mabel, in each of the 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.

Mason told Lila Havens in an interview that she is interested in male characters in the midst of cultural change. However, Norma Jean is through being told what to do by her mother and her husband, and she will no longer let the two of them define her existence with their words.