Identify major themes that are present throughout the book.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One theme that is present in Mosher's Waiting for Teddy Williams is the redemptive power of baseball.  E.A.'s life is one filled with emotional difficulty and challenges.  He deals with broken promises from people in his life while the world around him in Kingdom Common is one that fulfills its name.  Baseball is the means by which he can escape from emotional disappointment and banality.  Baseball is the one constant.  It is a cathedral for E.A., a house of worship where all that is pure and transformative is evident.  The love of baseball in both the game and in what it provides to the fan, the sanctuary it offers from a world that fails in so many ways, is a distinctive theme in Waiting for Teddy Williams.  It speaks to the condition in which individuals live with hopes of a World Series title in February when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, through the heat of August and into October.  This redemptive theme encompasses six to seven months of the year.  The remainder of time is spent hoping, waiting for "Teddy Williams" and a title.

It is this  condition of the human predicament that constitutes another of the novel's themes.  The idea of "waiting" is a critical aspect in the novel.  E.A. waits for his call up by the Red Sox, who are, in turn, waiting for a title.  Since the novel predates the Red Sox World Series' victories in 2004 and the two that followed, the condition of "waiting" defined much in way of the human predicament for Red Sox fans and, baseball fans, in general.  "Waiting" for Teddy Williams, "waiting" for the cursed Yankees to fall, "waiting" for the title are all an integral part of what it means to be human.  The novel defines human consciousness as one where "waiting" is a part of being in the world. E.A. waits for his shot, the people of Kingdom Common wait for their title, Red Sox nation waits for success to arrive and the curse of the Bambino to leave.   They wait for their deliverer, the second coming of Ted Williams.   This element of "waiting" defines what it means to be a human being, and another dominant theme of the novel.

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Waiting for Teddy Williams

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