In what season does the book take place?

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Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is as much a meditation on judging what is right and what is wrong and what is good and what is bad as it is about a boy and an abused dog. The entire work speaks to this dichotomy, and more importantly, it speaks to the idea of consequences rather than polar notions of morality. With this in mind, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is effective in even using the setting as a tool to show the duality of right and wrong.

Towards the end of the novel, Marty is forced to return Shiloh to his abusive owner, Judd. While Marty is in the wilderness moving towards Judd’s trailer, he sees Judd shoot a deer out of season. Hunting seasons are in the fall. The specific dates are usually based on whether someone is to be using a bow or a rifle, and it varies depending on the state. However, each state generally has its hunting season from the end of October or early November into mid-December. From this, we can gather that Shiloh takes place somewhere in the spring or early summer. Naylor is using the setting and this scene specifically to again contrast what is good and what is bad and what is right and what is wrong. Judd killing a doe out of season is wrong, and more than this, it is a literary device to show the character’s lack of empathy and basic goodness towards animals and people.

In short, Shiloh takes place in the spring or early summer, when the weather is good.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

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