The plot is pretty straight forward, however, it can be complicated at times; since Ray is the narrator, he tells the story, but he interjects his own memories and thoughts throughout the story. I believe that certain aspects of the plot could be seen as realistic, but overall the genre of the novel is fiction. The book is divided five parts, which makes it more convenient to distinguish the important events of the novel and also the traditional plot elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
The majority of the exposition occurs in Part I: Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa. In the exposition, introductory material is presented which gives us the setting, creates the tone, and presents the characters and other facts necessary to understanding the story. Ray Kinsella is introduced as the narrator; he gives background information three years prior when heard the voice, which inspired him to build a baseball field. He also introduces his family, his love for Iowa and baseball, and also his father. The remainder of the exposition occurs in Part II: They Tore Down the Polo Grounds in 1964. More background information is presented about Annie, Karin, and Shoeless Joe’s instructions on building the rest of the baseball field. Mark is also introduced as well as his desire to purchase Ray’s farm. These elements are all important for the remainder of the story.
The rising action is the events that build from the conflict. The start of the rising action is when Ray hears the second voice, “Ease his pain” (Kinsella, 1982). When he hears this voice Ray envisions he and J.D. Salinger watching a baseball game together at Fenway Park. This inspires Ray to embark on a journey to complete this task. The rising action continues as Ray and J.D. Salinger attend the baseball game and Ray hears the third voice, “Go the distance” (Kinsella, 1982). Salinger hears the voice and sees Moonlight Graham’s
Bibliography: Kinsella, W. (1982). Shoeless Joe . Houghton Mifflin. Oriard, M. (1982). Dreaming of heroes: American sports fiction, 1868-1980. Chicago: Nelson-Hall: University of California Press.