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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

  • Why is Karin usually the first person to see the baseball games on Ray's field?
  • Is Shoeless Joe just a harmless fantasy, or does it have relevance for day-to-day life? What guidance for how life should be lived does Ray provide?
  • Research the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. What is the evidence for and against the guilt of Shoeless Joe? Were the owners really to blame because they underpaid their players?
  • Should Shoeless Joe be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, even if he was guilty? What might be the arguments for and against this proposition?
  • Kinsella has commented that today's major league baseball players and owners are greedy and have no regard for the baseball fan. He thinks that admission prices are too high and many fans may prefer to watch minor league games in which players still play for the love of the game. Do you agree with Kinsella's opinion? What arguments could be made for or against his views?
  • Watch the movie Field of Dreams, and write an essay explaining how the movie differs from the novel. Do you think the film is an effective adaptation? What does the movie lose or gain by substituting the fictional black writer Terrence Mann for J. D. Salinger?