What are two quotes that have to do with the setting of Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As the book starts, the narrator, Ray, is sitting in a field that he describes in the following way: "In reality, all anyone else could see out there in front of me was a tattered lawn of mostly dandelions and quack grass that petered out at the edge of a cornfield perhaps fifty yards from the house" (pages 3-4). The setting of the story is a field of crabgrass near a cornfield in Iowa. It seems like a rather unremarkable place, unlikely to be where "Shoeless" Joe Jackson shows up reincarnated to play baseball. 

Later, Ray describes the field he builds:

"Home plate was made from pieces of cracked two-by-four embedded in the earth. The pitcher's rubber looked like a cradle when I stood on it. The bases were stray blocks of wood, unanchored. There was no backstop or grandstand, only one shaky bleacher beyond the left-field wall" (page 8). 

The description that the author creates of the field shows that it is not only unremarkable, but downright shabby. There is nothing magical about the setting of the story or the field that Ray constructs. The setting helps the reader understand that the magic of the story comes from the appearance of the reincarnated baseball players on a humdrum field in Iowa. 

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