Angst - analyzing how baseball healed (emotionally) both Moonlight Graham and Shoeless Joe Jackson in the book "Shoeless Joe" by W. P. Kinsella.

Essay by serpentinaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2003

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All of us have pain in our lives. For some, it is just a missing piece in an otherwise fulfilling life, while for a few it is the pain of a shattered life that left them only a shard of what could have been. Moonlight Graham was just missing a piece of his life. Shoeless Joe Jackson was missing all but a piece of his life, and it was baseball that completed them both.

Moonlight Graham, or better known as Doc Graham, was one of the lucky few who had the chance to fulfill his dream. He came close enough to touch it, but never quite made it enough to grasp it. Moonlight played one inning in the major leagues, yet he never got, "to hold a bat in a major-league... to stare down a pitcher. Stare him down, and then wink just as he goes into the wind-up; make him wonder if you know something he doesn't..."


Shoeless Joe Jackson was able to reach out and wrap his fingers around his dream, yet had it ripped cruelly from his groping hands. His hold wasn't as tight as he had hoped. Shoeless Joe was able to play in the major leagues, he was able to stare down the pitcher, and go up for bat. His dream had come true, until he was banned from baseball for life. While conversing with Ray, he said being banned was, "Like having part of me amputated..." (12) He would have even, "played free and work for food." (13) Banning Joe from playing baseball was like forbidding him to breathe; he could not live with out doing either.

Moonlight could live without baseball. His first love was helping people, but he always wondered if he could have made it as a baseball player.