In "Shiloh," why does Leroy want to build a log cabin? How does Norma Jean feel about his plans?

In the short story "Shiloh" by Bobbie Ann Mason, Leroy has several initial reasons for wanting to build a log cabin, including providing his wife with a real home, the cheap construction cost, and his interest in learning to put things together. However, his real reason is that he wants to save his marriage. Norma Jean feels skeptical and doubtful about Leroy's plans. She doesn't want to live in a log cabin and isn't interested in saving the marriage.

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In the short story "Shiloh" by Bobbie Ann Mason, Leroy is a truck driver who got injured in an accident and can't drive anymore. Instead of being out on the road constantly, he is home full time with Norma Jean, his wife. It seems that when he spent long stretches of time on the road, it dissipated the tensions between them, which are mainly due to the tragedy of the death of their son when he was still a baby. Now that Leroy is always at home, they have become uncomfortable with each other.

Early in the story, the author reveals several reasons for Leroy wanting to build a log cabin. He wants to offer Norma Jean a real home, a home of their own instead of a rental house. He figures that a log cabin would be less expensive to build than a more traditional type of home. He is also learning to put things together, so he passes the time by constructing model log cabins from Popsicle sticks and Lincoln Logs. As revealed at the end of the story, however, the real reason he wants to build a log cabin is to save his marriage. He realizes the futility of the idea after Norma Jean says that she wants to leave him.

Norma Jean makes it clear from the beginning what she thinks about his log-cabin plans. She doesn't like them, and she doesn't want to live in a log cabin. She doesn't think that the local subdivisions would even allow log-cabin construction. She is skeptical, derisive, and doubtful. She sees his efforts to learn about log cabins as frivolous and useless as the classes she takes at the local community college. Her rejection of his plans is symbolic of her rejection of Leroy and of her desire to leave him.

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