Shoeless Joe Analysis

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There are over 270 recognized religions in the world, which give people something greater to believe in than themselves and provide them with life guidance. This direction and guidance for Ray Kinsella in the novel Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, is provided by his belief in the sport of baseball. To begin, Ray uses baseball as a belief in something greater than himself. Along with that, this belief gives him guidance in his life. Lastly, this guidance provided by baseball leads Ray to help others. Thus, a belief in something bigger than yourself gives you guidance in life, which leads to the ability to help others. Ray Kinsella, through the game of baseball, has a belief in something greater than himself. To start, Ray believes baseball is a form of religion for him. He talks about this when he is contemplating whether or not to listen to the voice he heard in his head, “why should I want to follow this command? But I ask, I already know the answer. I count the loves in my life: Annie, Karin, Iowa, Baseball. The great god Baseball”(6). Ray has a deep love for the game of baseball and believes that it is the god of baseball who is telling him to create the field. Along with that, Ray believes that the voice he is hearing is telling him something very important. When Ray first heard the voice he instantly recognizes it as important and knows what his task is going to be. After hearing the voice, he states, “The voice was that of a ball park announcer. As he spoke, I instantly envisioned the finished product I knew I was being asked to conceive”(3). Ray knew it was a very important message he had been given, and from that moment on he listened to everything that was said by the announcer. Finally, Ray believes the people he is seeing and what they are saying is true. When Ray sits in his bleacher and watches the games, he has conversations with the players on the field, and in particular Shoeless Joe Jackson, and later in the town of Chisholm with Doc Graham. Ray

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