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Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella Section A: The novel, Shoeless Joe, by W. P. Kinsella is set on Ray Kinsella’s farm, in Iowa City, during the 1970’s. During the 1970’s, the ownership of farms was quickly decreasing because larger companies started to buy them off the small owners.
The Kinsella farm had acquired great value and even though Rays brother-in-law Mark pushed him to sell it, he would always turn down the offer or suggestion. Ray had heard a voice say to him “If you build l, he will come. ” He knew that from this repeated phrase he must build it.
It was in fact eventually built, the baseball field later became a huge success. Section B: Ray Kinsella is a small, yet very productive farm located in Iowa.
Ray holds a strong love for four things in his life. Iowa being one of them, yet his wife, Annie, is the greatest along with the love of his daughter Karin. Baseball also holds a large place in his heart. Ray is a man to act upon his instincts along with his dreams. He heard a voice so he did as the voice told him. Even though Ray Kinsella is one to act upon instincts, he does not have his priorities straight and in order.
The Kinsella family was falling drastically behind on their mortgage payments.
However, that did not seem to phase Ray too much. He was more worried about building the baseball field. His entire savings were used up to build the baseball field. That also, did not seem to bother him. Ray was born in the same month of his father. They both shared a strong love for the game of baseball and the players in it. His wife, Annie Kinsella, always supported him and “Never once called him crazy. (Shoeless Joe page 5). ” Annie Kinsella is Rays very supportive wife.
Her hair is the color of ‘cayenne pepper’ and is covered in freckles. She is 24 years old and could easily pass for a 16 year old girl. Annie is one to speak her mind when she fears of Rays ideas. She was orn and raised in the state of Iowa and after her a Ray were married she had talked him into renting the farm after the first year of their marriage. She is an intelligent woman, and definitely makes that known. However, Annie does not know when to limit Ray to what he can do. They do not have much money and she allowed him to take what he needed without really worrying about the mortgage.
Karin is a Jumpy girl. She is the daughter of Ray and Annie Kinsella. She is young, full of life, is very much so a “daddys girl” and also shares a deep love for baseball. Karin loved to climb in Rays lap and watch the baseball game on T. V. He always spoke of this ‘magic’ in Karin. As soon as Karin knew there would be a game on the Kinsella field, she would attend it with a hot dog and soda. Jerry Salinger was a very talented and successful author. However, because of how successful he was, privacy was out of the question. He moved away to get away from the fame and to live in peace the way he first intended.
Salinger wrote the very controversial book Catcher in the Rye, he stopped publishing other books after this one was published. Jerry gave things up too easily. It was probably his biggest downfall. As soon as he became too influential nd famous he gave it up. He gave up writing because it became too much of a nuisance to him. Joseph Jefferson (Shoeless Joe) Jackson was the left fielder for the Black Sox. He was banned trom player MLB atter the Black Sox scandal in 1919. It was said t and seven other teammates threw away the World Series.
It is still one of the most controversial topics in baseball. He is a tall man. He is a very talented baseball player and in April of 1945 Ty Cobb named him the best left fielder of all time. A famous sports Journalist named his glove as “a place where triple go to die” (Shoeless Joe page 6). He is quiet and inspirational. And also takes part in a strong love for baseball. Section C: The plot of the story was a continuous roller coaster. It began describing the childhood of Ray Kinsella with his father who was born in Glen Ullin, North Dakota April 14, 1896.
The story carries on describing some of Rays life before he heard the voice. Then one day while out in his corn field, he heard a voice say to him “If you build it, he will come. ” After Kinsella had heard this voice he was confused. Many things were running through his head like, Where is this coming from, build what, who will come? After discussing this over with Annie he began the onstruction of the baseball diamond. The story becomes a bit more interesting after Ray leaves Iowa to find Jerry Salinger. Ray points out to Jerry that in one of his books, the name Ray Kinsella.
After they had attended baseball games together and got to know each other, they came across Archie (Moonlight) Graham, who played for the New York Giants in 1922, hitch hiking while on their way driving back to Iowa. The climax of the story is when Ray gets to show his prized possession, his ball park, to Jerry and Moonlight. The falling action begins when Mark and Bluestein, Marks colleague, come to the Kinsella farm in the middle of a baseball game. Mark and Bluestein can not see the game happening. Only Ray, Karin and Annie are able to see the games.
They came to the field with papers from the bank informing him that he has three days to catch up on the mortgage payments before they are forced to foreclose the farm. During the heated argument, Karin Kinsella takes a fall and lodges a piece of hotdog into her throat. Moonlight Graham gives up the opportunity to play baseball to save the little girl’s life. Towards the end, Eddie admits to lying about being the oldest Chicago Cub still alive. He then passes away in his sleep. The story comes to a close when Shoeless Joe Jackson asks Jerry Salinger to come play baseball with him.
Even though Ray was not asked to Join him, he does learn a lesson. The lesson is that everything happens for a reason, whether you know it or not, and to never give up on your dreams no matter how bizarre they are. Section D: A theme is a reoccurring event that implies the same thing over and over again. The most prominent theme was baseball. Not Just the game, but the knowledge, the players, the importance, and the atmosphere. The entire novel was based on baseball. However, the book had a more important meaning than baseball and was understood throughout the reading of the book.
It taught you to never be afraid of your dreams, but to pursue them. No matter how small and delicate they may be or gigantic and bizarre they may be, never be afraid of them. It’s your dream for a reason and it will teach you something and shape you as a person. Ray Kinsella loved baseball, Iowa and most importantly, his family. So when this voice told him to build ‘it’, he immediately knew what to do. Things like that do not happen quickly. They take time, love, dedication and persistence. The lesson also teaches the readers o live your life to its fullest with your heart and mind wide open for opportunity.
For instance, Ray Kinsella loved baseball and Iowa, that when ne heard the voice, he thought of it as an opportunity to bring the two together. The concept of faith is also a reoccurring aspect in this story. A prime example would be Annie. She always believed in her husband Ray, no matter how bizarre his ideas and comments were. She never gave up hope. Maybe she was close a few times, but she never doubted him. Even though they had to live through some tough times, she never gave up hope and their dreams because she was afraid. She believed and had faith that everything would work out.
And what do you know, they did! Section E: A conflict is part of a story that has cause and effect. Something with cause something to go wrong and there will be an outcome, known as the ‘effect’. Ray and Annie’s mother had a noticeable conflict, along with Ray and Annie’s brother Mark. They are very clear throughout the story and understandable. One that may not be so known and unnoticeable is the inner conflict of Jerry with himself. It seems that Jerry is upset with himself and unhappy that because he was tired of the fame nd constant attention, he gave up publishing, Just to go into hiding.
He probably regrets that because there could have been so many more opportunities for him. But he passes up the chance for privacy. Another internal conflict exists, and that conflict is between Eddie Scissons and himself. Ever since he decided to tell Ray Kinsella, it was evident that he wanted some sort of attention. When he made the decision to inform Ray of that, he convinced himself of the lie too. Eddie Scissons wanted to be known for that, and he made that happen. Section F: While I was reading the novel, Shoeless Joe, I stumbled across a few ntries that caught me attention.
The first was on pages six and seven. The passage talks about Ray and his father’s love for baseball. Something I share with my dad. He shares his knowledge of baseball with his dad and his dad shares his knowledge back. I can relate to this, so I enjoyed reading something similar to my situation. This passage taught me a generous amount of information. Even though Ray did not have that close of a relationship with his father, it was something they both loved and could talk about together. The second passage I chose was on page 260.
In this part f the book, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch asked Jerry Salinger to go out with them after the game. This was not expected throughout the book. I felt sympathy for Ray because he was not asked, after all that hard work and I was disappointed the book ended where it did because I was curious as to what would happen after the right field gate would be close. Section G: As I was reading I would come across words I didn’t know. Here are some of them: Languidly – drooping or flagging from or as if from exhaustion Tableau – a graphic description or representation Eulogizing – to speak or write in high praise of
Supplanted – to supersede (another) especially by force or treachery Sutures – the act or process of sewing; uniting two parts Laconically – using a few words Anachronisms – something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time Goll- hand, paw, claw Spade- a tool tor digging Section H: I had a personal connection to the novel, well, at least to the beginning of the novel. I also share a love of baseball with my dad. We inform each other of news in the MLB world, go to games all the time together, and Just enjoy baseball itself. I did not find any relation from this book to the world or news today.
Section l: If I had the chance to ask the author some questions, they would be: 1 . Are you big on baseball? 2. What inspired you to write a book like this? 3. Did you have a similar personal experience? 4. Would you ever write a sequel to the book? My overall rating of the novel Shoeless Joe is an eight. The book contained some areas that were slow reading and took some patience to get through. It was a fictional story full of many interesting facts I never knew. I would most definetley recommend this book to someone who has a love for baseball, and sports in general. I think it is an easy read and a very enjoyable book.