What is the setting (time and place) of "Shiloh" by Bobbie Ann Mason? How does the point of view affect the story? Does it symbolize, contrast or emphasize some aspect of story, set a tone or mood, or show effects of a historical time period on characters? Include quotes that prove the setting.

The setting of "Shiloh" by Bobbie Ann Mason is Kentucky in the 1970s or 1980s. This is a time during which women were gaining more independence, working outside the home, earning their own money, and making their own decisions. Norma Jean doesn't just want a house anymore. She wants a body and mind to be proud of, and this is something Leroy doesn't really understand. The setting helps us to understand her character much better.

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The geographical setting of "Shiloh" is Kentucky, as we learn that the home of Leroy and Norma Jean Moffitt is located this state; they do travel to Shiloh, Tennessee as well. As for the time period, there is a reference in the text to the "TV set" on top of which Leroy places the miniature log cabin he made from Popsicle sticks.

During the 1950s, televisions became more popular in American homes, so we know for certain that the story cannot take place before this era. Rexall's drugstore chain was also quite popular in the 1970s and 1980s, even expanding at that time, so this provides another clue to the timing. The fact that Norma Jean works at a Rexall might also provide a clue as to the story's timing, because, in the 1950s and 1960s, it was less common for women to work outside the home, and it became more common in the 1970s and 1980s. Perhaps this era also helps to explain why she seems to desire more independence from Leroy; having him home with her all the time begins to wear on her. Women were gaining more independence during the 1970s and 1980s, and Leroy's constant presence does seem to grate on her.

Further, Leroy believes he might have heard that "losing a child destroys the marriage ... on Donahue," referring to a show hosted by Phil Donahue. This show ran from late 1967 until 1996. In addition, Norma Jean plays songs from "The Sixties Songbook" on her organ, and she mentions that she "didn't like these old songs back then."

Given both of these references, it seems likely, again, that the story takes place in the late 1970s or 1980s. A lot of things were changing in this era, especially for women, and Norma Jean's desire to better herself and be more independent by exercising more, taking new classes, and reading educational books, for example, is in line with this. If the story takes place in 1975, for instance, the last time Leroy really knew his wife would have been 1960, and the landscape for women was very different then.

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