Symbolic Allusions In Bobbie Ann Mason's 'Shiloh'

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Composers of literary works often immerse their readers into a world of fictitious narratives and personalities. Although the majority of authors desire this immersion, communicating their stories is not ordinarily their only objective. Many novelists covet the notion of allowing their readers to discover a deeper meaning within their passages. Most notably, authors achieve this through implementation of literary constructs such as symbolism and allegory. One instance in which the audience is cognizant to such literary constructs is through Bobbie Ann Mason 's short story, "Shiloh". "Shiloh" affords readers a glimpse into her portrayal of symbolic allusions, specifically through her references of the log cabin, the dust ruffle, and the battleground at Shiloh. One of the earliest symbolic references that the audience is knowledgeable of is the log cabin. The log cabin is mentioned quite commonly throughout the duration of the narrative, accentuating its importance. The cabin functions as an assortment of various symbolic interpretations during the course of the short story; the most ubiquitous referring to the state of Leroy and Norma Jean 's marriage. While Leroy believes the cabin to be some type of beacon of hope for his marriage, Norma Jean is skeptical of its existence and views it as unwanted and incongruous. She 's even expeditious in pointing out her aversion towards the subject stating, "They won’t let you build a log cabin in any of the new subdivisions" (Mason
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