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The Thrill of the Grass

English presentation 4UA
by

Matthew Prouty

on 19 October 2012

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Transcript of The Thrill of the Grass

The Thrill of the Grass By W. P. Kinsella W. P. Kinsella William Patrick Kinsella born 1935 was raised on an isolated farm. He has a formal education in fine arts and is known for his baseball stories, such as The Thrill of the Grass. His creative contributions diminished after suffering an injury to the head. Summary The Thrill of the Grass focuses on an older man who forms a protest against artificial grass. He slowly gathers like minded individuals to join him in his rebellion. He, and his fellow fans, meet at night in secret at the baseball stadium and replace the artificial turf with real living grass. Conflict The conflict is predominantly person vs society. It is said several times during the formation of the rebellion that the artificial turf is "what the [baseball] strike should be about!" The speaker believes that in removing the natural grass from the diamond, so too has the essence of baseball been taken "trucked away, memories and all". He remarks upon seeing the synthetic field "The field sits breathless". It is these emotions that initiates the silent conflict. Mood Kinsella uses diction very effectively to create a mood that makes the reader feel very involved in the events of the story. Upon entering the stadium, it is said "the air smells of abandonment" and after the protest has begun the air is said to be "clear and cotton warm" reflecting the attitude toward the state of the stadium, setting the mood for the reader in line with the speaker. Theme The themes of rebellion and tradition are rampant throughout the story. The speaker and his cohorts who all value the traditions they grew up with, predominantly playing baseball on natural grass, silently move to undermine that which they feel is unjust. When deciding who to first recruit, the speaker describes one man as "a man who attends because of the beauty and mystery of the game" displaying a high regard for those who value the same traditions as he. When the rebellion is in full swing the speaker remarks upon seeing his friends work to their goal that "some carry rakes...some hoses, which, when joined together, snake across the infield and outfield, dispensing the blessing of water". Title The title appears in the concluding paragraphs of the story where it is stated "The old timers will raise their heads like ponies...when the thrill of the grass reaches their nostrils." The title then, speaks of those emotions the speaker knows of, the thrill, that Sunday afternoon baseball brings to children as it did to him as a child. But also, the thrill of standing up for what you believe, the thrill of holding something close to your heart and defending it. The thrill of uniting under a common cause to keep a passion alive. Social Issues We live in a free country, where protesting is supposedly not only allowed, but on principle encouraged. Our society was founded on the premise that all people should be able to fight for what they think is right. It is the foundation of democracy and the overseer of diversity. This story and the actions of its characters in combating the social issue (at least in their eyes) of the death of the spirit of baseball, reminds us all that our ideas are not meaningless if they contradict the status quo. GAME!
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