Study Guide

Shiloh Section 3

By Bobbie Ann Mason

Section 3

  • We learn that before the accident, Norma Jean would whip up all of Leroy's favorite foods and keep him company when he was home, but now he is alone most of the time while she's at work.
  • He goes for long, pointless drives and realizes Norma Jean is probably right that a log house wouldn't fit in with the big, fancy houses in the new subdivisions. (But how long before cabin fever strikes again?)
  • He returns from one of these trips to find Norma Jean making a casserole and crying because Mabel found her smoking.
  • Leroy tries to comfort her and asks her to play a tune on the organ, which he says will help her relax.
  • He lies on the couch, smoking a joint, which induces a disjointed series of marijuana-related thoughts as his wife plays some songs, including "Sunshine Superman."
  • Leroy tries to start a conversation with Norma Jean about their relationship but his train of thought derails, and he ends up telling her again about how he plans to build her a house (here we go again…), and once again Norma Jean dismisses the idea and launches into "Who'll Be the Next in Line?" If Leroy weren't so stoned, he might get the message.
  • He thinks about how he used to pick up hitchhikers in his truck and tell them his life story but realized he was boring them.
  • He wants to get to know Norma Jean all over again as if they'd just met, but Norma Jean is literally saved by the bell; the oven timer goes off and she heads into the kitchen.