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In America baseball is one of the most loved games in the entire country commanding a huge fan base all over the country. The game has also had significant cultural and social on the lives of Americans. Such an important game is therefore expected to draw the attention of artists and authors who may want to analyze various aspects of the base and emphasize on how the aspects impact the general population. One such brilliant work of writing can be seen in the book “Shoeless Joe” by Kinsella. The book is about a young farmer living in the state of Iowa and has much love for the Baseball. Suddenly one day when the farmer is seated at his veranda he hears the voice of the ballpark announcer telling him that: “if you build it he will come.” According to the farmer Ray, the ‘he’ refers Shoeless Joe a baseball player who became infamous after he was involved in a bribery scandal in the 1919 World Series. Ray in response decides to build a field in anticipation that one day Shoeless Joe will come to play in the field. The objective of the book was to outline the bond that is formed between players and fans and it this bond that provides the foundation where the love of the game surpasses just watching two teams playing and enjoying the adrenaline upsurge but involves loyalty that exists between the players and the fans and between the fans and the game and the players and the game.
The author in writing the book uses phrases that direct the reader towards the achievement of this objective and the themes found in the book. One particular phrase is:
“The play reaffirms what I already know--that baseball is the most perfect of games, solid, true, pure, and precious as diamonds. If only life were so simple. I have often thought, If only there was a framework to life, rules to live by. But suddenly I see, like a silver flash of lightning on the horizon, a meaning I have never grasped before...Within the baselines anything can happen. Tides can reverse; oceans can open. That’s why they say, “The game is never over until the last man is out.” Colors can change, lives can alter, anything is possible in this gentle, flawless, loving game.”
In the phrase the persona talks about a confirmation of what he already knows about the game of baseball. By agreeing that the game is a perfect game and comparing it to diamonds which are very precious and pure implies some aspect of fanatical following. Most fans form the tendency of loving the game in an unhealthy way and reaching the point of worshiping the game and the players. A game is supposed to bring to both the players and the fans some aspect of tranquility away from the hassles of the daily life. It is for this reason that most games are played in groups providing a chance for people to enjoy watching and playing together. Games also have rules aimed at bringing harmony and discipline among the players and fans.
However baseball like most loved games in the world has not escaped the evils and greed ailing the contemporary world. Games have been commercialized and corrupted by greed unhealthy following mounting to fanatism. For instance in the book we are told that the baseball career of Shoeless Joe ended when he and other players were involved in a bribery scandal. Ray thought that there was nothing pure as the game and even wished that life would be as simple as the game with a set of rules and a framework to live by. However it turns out that even baseball is full of flaws just like life in general. Moreover Ray feels that there is more to the game than just playing and winning and that anything can happen with the game. In life people constantly make mistakes and expect to be forgiven and being given the chance to rectify the mistakes. Shoeless Joe made a mistake that marked the end of not only his career but the game that he loved most. It is for this reason that Ray decides to build a stadium in his farm if only to make the dreams of Shoeless Joe once again a reality.
The phrase clearly outlined that tides can reverse and that anything can happen. At one time Shoeless Joe was happy playing baseball until he and his team mates were involved in a bribery scandal. The scandal led to their disqualification ending their career. Once more tides turn as Ray decides to build a stadium and allow them to play the game that they love most. Every person who loves a game has some sort of a wish. For instance the eight game players who were banned from the game and who wished for a chance to play the games once more have their dream fulfilled when Ray build the stadium. In chapter 3 Ray together with Salinger receive a message saying “Fulfill the dream” this dream implies that they should help a man called Graham fulfill his dream of playing just one game of baseball. Their encounter with Graham reveals that Graham had only one wish of holding a bat in major league game. As they were on their way back to Iowa so that Salinger can have the chance to see the stadium, they meet a young man called Archie Graham who is looking for a place to play baseball. Perhaps the author intended to bring back the glory that the game once celebrated. One major emphasis is that it is the people who play the game that may tarnish the purity of the game otherwise the game has so much to offer or those who love it. Everything that Ray does, he does it because of his love for the game. The game as outlined in the phrase holds a deeper meaning afar from the fanatical beliefs or the monetary gains that can be used towards development of humanity. The persona describes his experience as a silver flash of lightning that brings out the true sense of the game and it is from this moment that he embarks on a mission of helping people fulfill their dreams.
The persona clearly states that within the baseline the possibilities are unlimited. They are indeed unlimited because players like Shoeless Joe are given another chance to play the game they love so much, Doctor Graham gets the chance to have his dream fulfilled and the young Graham finds a place to play.
The aim of the book is to point out that there is more to baseball that just the actual game itself, the fanatical following or the scandals that sometimes may threaten the essence of the game itself. The game should involve helping others who do not have the chance of fulfilling their dreams to do so like Doctor Graham and the young Graham. The game should also involve giving other the second chance as is the case of Shoeless Joe and the other eight players who had the second chance of playing the game once more. Just like the phrase emphasizes baseball is pure like diamond and the same spirit and simplicity should be a guide towards life.
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