Norma Jean Mof fit is a simple, southern woman, but she is also a caterpillar who is discovering that there is more to life than crawling around on the ground. She has with-in her, the power to grow wings and fly away; The opportunity to view the world through the eyes of a butterfly. Since Larry’s accident, she has come to realize that she has reached a crossroads in her life. If she goes straight on through, complacency and neglect are the only stops ahead. If she veers to either the left or right, there is mystery, knowledge, and change; The opportunity for a new life. It would appear with-in the story, she has opted for some change, and begins her adventure in experiencing new things such as ‘…
cooking unusual foods – tacos, lasagna, Bombay chicken.’ She begins to work on her body, borrowing the idea from Leroy’s rehabilitation equipment, which would otherwise be collecting dust in a corner of the house somewhere. She begins to take writing classes to improve her mind, which further represents her need for change and something new. She has, in a sense, taken on the masculine role in the household since Leroy has come home. She is the sole provider for the family, working behind the cosmetics counter at Rexalls.
Her body building is indicative of the reversal in her role. When discussing the meaning on their names, Norma Jean tells Leroy that his name means ‘the king’. He asks her if he is still king and she ‘… flexes her biceps and feels them for hardness.’ thus showing him that he is not. Furthermore, she ‘drives the nail home’ by telling him the meaning of her name.
The Illusions of Reality The only thing in my life that I can be positive about is change. Everything changes, from the moment we " re born to the moment we die. Reality has many twist and turns, and our perception of reality is what shapes us to become who we are. Our life is spent on deciphering the difference between reality and not reality. This is hard to define because reality is unique to ...
‘Norma comes from the Normans. They were invaders.’ She has invaded, and taken over, his position as ‘the head of the household’. At the end of the story ‘She turns towards Leroy and waves her arms… she seems to be doing an exercise for her chest muscles.’ I believe that she was showing Leroy that she is strong enough, or has found the strength to leave him and forge a new path in life. Furthermore, I believe that she was implying that she was never going to find the strength to carry the two of them through this relationship when she stated, early in the story, ‘Feel this arm. It’s not as hard as the other one.’ Norma Jean is a woman who had accepted her marriage for what it was, until her husband came home.
It was than that she realized that this wasn’t what she wanted out of her marriage, as well as her life. Leroy is a truck driver who is collecting disability because of an accident that badly twisted his left leg in it’s socket. ‘He has a steel pin in his hip. He will probably not be able to drive his rig again.’ His truck ‘sits in the backyard, like a gigantic bird that has come home to roost.’ are both symbolic of his coming home, lounging around the house, and not quite knowing what to do with himself.
He tries putting together some crafts and models, as well as trying his hand at needlepoint. He doesn’t appear to possess any motivation, nor does he appear to have any direction in his life. Leroy’s life, as it stands, has become very complacent. ‘While on the road, he would pick up hitchhikers and tell them his life story.
In time he had the feeling that he’d been telling the story over and over… .’ Nothing in Leroy’s life has changed so drastically, as to place any variations in his story. Leroy drives around town by himself quite a bit, and he is quite careless in his driving habits. ‘He almost had one or two accidents, but having an accident in a car seems minor to him.’ suggests that he knows that his life has no direction and it seems inconsequential to him. Leroy has this crazy idea about building a log cabin and had even sent away for the blueprints. ‘Ever since they were married, he has promised Norma Jean he would build her a new home one day.’ Leroy believes that building that house would bring them closer together, but it is apparent throughout the story that Norma Jean wants nothing to do with the log cabin.
Harry 1 Alterations: Comparing the Changes Caused by Marriage of the two Bessie Head Short Stories, "Life" and "Snapshots of a Wedding " Marriage is the union of two people, traditionally husband and wife. Traditional also are the roles that women play when confined in a marriage. When a woman has had the opportunity to educate herself pass tradition and has been use to a fast-paced modern ...
Leroy’s life seems to be taking a turn for the worst. He lost his role as the main ‘bread-winner’ in the relationship and it would appear that he is adopting the feminist role without even realizing it. He spends much of his time at home sitting around watching Donahue and making needlepoint pillow cases. Two stereotypes that are indignant to most housewives. I believe that this marriage was doomed from the very beginning. They conceived a child out of wedlock when they were both eighteen years of age, and married, more out of respect for the baby and family, than out of love; I believe that it was their intent to do the right thing.
The state of their marriage further declined when their child, Randy, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) while they were watching a movie at the local drive-in. ‘They never speak about their memories of Randy, which have almost faded… .’ shows that they never talked about the death of their child, thus never coming to terms with this tragic situation. The climax of their failing marriage began when Leroy’s rig jack-knifed while in Missouri. Leroy and Norma Jean were always able to dismiss and ignore the problems in their marriage because they were always apart.
The accident placed them in a situation where they could have dealt with their problems. At the end of the story, after telling Leroy she wants to leave him, he states that they could start over. Her response ‘We have started all over again… and this is how it turned out.’ suggests that they had begun anew, but there is no credible evidence that supports any real effort on Norma Jeans part.
Leroy’s feeble attempts seemed to be clouded with self-doubt, missed opportunities, and marijuana. Leroy has the opportunity to talk to Norma Jean about their relationship, and to find out how she feels about their relationship. He begins to ask her with the question ‘Well what do you think?’ but than at the moment of truth ‘his mind goes blank.’ Then he says ‘I’ll sell my rig and build a house.’ and misses his opportunity and drives her just a little bit farther away. During one of her visits, Norma Jeans mother Mabel, brings up a story about a dog chewing off the legs of a baby and stirs up some feelings about their own lost child.
... of the faults and discrepancies in the relationship actually lie. Another fault in Leroy and Norma Jean's relationship is the way the characters try to ... life as each begin to discover what their real identity is, and what it is they actually want out of their marriage. ...
‘For a long time, they sit by the kitchen window watching the birds at the feeder.’ offers yet another opportunity for them to share their problems, but neither says a word. While listening to Norma Jean hammer out a tune on the organ, Leroy gets the impulse to become reacquainted with his wife, but ‘… when the oven timer goes off and she runs into the kitchen, he forgets why he wants to do this.’ Leroy’s judgments and thoughts are so impaired by the pot he’s been smoking that he can’t think or reason logically. I believe that his habit is largely responsible for his lack of motivation in virtually all aspects of his life. There is no hope in rejuvenating this marriage. Neither individual knows how to communicate with the other, and communication is the basis of any solid relationship or marriage.
Norma Jean is seeking change, by furthering her education, working out, and experiencing new things. On the other hand, Leroy seems to be spinning his wheels, and stagnating. ‘Leroy used to take speed on the road. Now he has to go slowly. He needs to be mellow.’ I believe that he is fine with his life and comfortable with his relationship, just as it is. In short, both individuals lives are going in completely opposite directions.
They are playing a game of tug-o-war and one or the other is going to have to be pulled down and strung along behind the other After a quick and bitter divorce from Leroy, Norma Jean will continue her pursuit for knowledge. She continues to work at Rexalls, but attends classes during the evening. Eventually, she graduates with a degree in Journalism and moves from Kentucky to Atlanta to take a job working for one of the local papers. She now writes editorials and helps others by answering letters in her advice column under the assumed name Norma King.
After a divorce that he openly opposed, Leroy sinks into a deeply depressed state. Drugs and alcohol become a constant in his life, and was to Leroy, the only way he could find to escape the harsh reality of his demise. After several failed jobs and one arrest for public intoxication he attempts to commit suicide by driving his car into a concrete abutment. His unsuccessful attempt places him into a rehabilitation center where he is counseled and eventually cured of his afflictions.
The Rotting Wood Cabin Bobby Ann Mason's "Shiloh" is the story of a man, a woman, and a deteriorating relationship. The metaphor of the cabin symbolizes their decaying marriage and is used effectively throughout the story. Leroy and Norma Jean have much different views of constructing a log cabin. It's a constant fight between the two, and eventually, Norma Jean out muscles the unintelligent ...
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