What is the setting in Shoeless Joe?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most would consider the setting of Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella to be a rural farm in Iowa. It is a stereotypical farm setting with fields and fields of corn, an inviting farmhouse in the mid-western Corn Belt. The protagonist, Ray Kinsella, who lives on the farm, believes that he has heard a voice encouraging him, “If you build it, he will come.” Ray interprets this to mean if he builds a baseball field on his farm that the man his father idolizes, Shoeless Joe Jackson, will come to play baseball. Ray builds the baseball field on his farm, where some of the action takes place. But the setting includes the cross country travels of Ray through Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, and Boston as he sets out to fulfill his dream. It is during this trip that he kidnaps the author J.D. Salinger, who joins Ray in his quest.

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