Shiloh Essay, Research Paper
Failure in Shiloh
In the story Shiloh Leroy and Norma Jean, two very loving people, just can’t seem to keep their relationship going. Leroy, who has recently given up on truck driving due to an accident, noticed that everything around him is changing, except for himself. This includes Norma Jean; she has picked up several new habits, and he can’t accept these changes. As we live in a world of continuous change, we must adapt if we want to keep up; this is also true in relationships. In order to keep a relationship going you must keep changing and compromising. Unfortunately Leroy and Norma Jean weren’t able to keep up with their own changes in life.
Leroy and Norma Jean couldn’t keep their relationship going for two reasons. First, due to Leroy’s unfortunate accident, he has much more time on his hands and has noticed the many changes that have been going on in his life, and is unwilling to accept them. Now that Leroy has been sitting home and wasting his life away, he has started to take time and ponders his past. He remembers the good times and still wants his life to reflect those same good times. He especially remembers his late son Randy, who died because of premature birth defects. He can’t accept the fact that his life has changed and he must move on. On the contrary, Norma Jean has taken up new hobbies, which include weight lifting, adult education classes, and living life more. Norma Jean has decided to continue on with her life and not reflect on the past. Leroy can’t accept the fact that his wife wants to change and move on with her life and this causes them to drift apart and eventually leads to their separation of souls.
Leroy and Norma Jean also faded apart because they stopped communicating with each other. Without the communication between them they didn’t get to express their feelings, nor did they talk about the recent changes in their life. Leroy and Norma Jean drift apart from each other because Norma Jean has taken the initiative to better herself and look towards the future, while Leroy is still stuck in the past and can’t catch up to her. This relationship failed because of the lack of communication between the two parties, which in turn caused further changes in the relationship and made the two grow further apart.
There are two main factors that could’ve prevented Leroy and Norma Jean’s break up. First, if Leroy would’ve got a job he would’ve had something to occupy his time, and take his mind off of the past. Getting a job not only would keep Leroy up on the changing times; it would also stop him from feeling sorry for himself. While Leroy was sitting at home he kept thinking about Randy. Getting a job would take these thoughts of hopelessness out of his head and give him some self esteem again. With self-esteem Leroy would be able to keep up with the ever-changing times and his ever-changing wife.
Norma Jean started to change by engaging in new activities that kept her self-esteem high. If Leroy had followed in her footsteps he probably would have saved his relationship. He could have taken actions to improve his well being, both physically and mentally. First and foremost, he should have stopped smoking pot. This would not only clear his head, but would also keep him in a favorable mental state. Also, Leroy kept insisting on building a log cabin for Norma Jean, but she wasn’t enthused about it as he was. If Leroy wanted to save his relationship he should have realized that he needed to think about what Norma Jean wanted instead of his own desires, and change his mind in what he was going to do by purchasing something that Norma Jean wanted.
If a relationship wants to continue successfully, change must be allowed to take place. Leroy decided to sit around and mope about his injuries instead of getting out and doing things to take his mind off of the pain and sorrow. Also, Leroy didn’t take any new risks in his life and start a new hobby or try to expand his horizons, if he would have taken any chances and changed in any what, his relationship probably would have lasted. In Leroy and Norma Jean’s case, Leroy didn’t allow change to take place and therefore their relationship failed.