How is magical realism used in Shoeless Joe? 

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Magical realism is the use of supernatural elements in an otherwise normal and ordered world. In Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (the novel that was the basis of the film Field of Dreams ), the main character, Ray Kinsella, hears a voice that tells him to build a baseball field....

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Magical realism is the use of supernatural elements in an otherwise normal and ordered world. In Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (the novel that was the basis of the film Field of Dreams), the main character, Ray Kinsella, hears a voice that tells him to build a baseball field. The voice, that of a ballpark announcer, says "If you build it, he will come" (page 3). Ray immediately envisions the field he is instructed to build, including the speakers and lights, in a form of magical realism. As the narrator says, "that is all the instruction I ever received" (page 4). He somehow magically knows how to build the field. His construction of the field is another example of magical realism, as supernatural events can occur without reason or explanation. 

The field becomes the home of ghosts from baseball's past. Ray has always been interested in the stories of his father, a baseball fan who loved "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, a player on the 1919 Chicago White Sox team that allegedly threw the World Series when bribed by gangsters. Shoeless Joe was banned from playing baseball as a result of this scandal. Joe and other baseball players materialize on the field, against the backdrop of normal events at the farm. The combination of supernatural events occurring along with everyday events is the hallmark of magical realism. In Shoeless Joe, these events also serve as wish fulfillment, as tourism at the magical baseball games allows Ray to keep his farm, which has been threatened with foreclosure. 

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