The Film Eight Men Out By John Sayles

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From the first inning to the last, the fans of the Chicago White Sox knew there was something particularly wrong with their winning team. The popular baseball team, who had been on a winning streak, was losing almost every single game of the World Series. It later came to light that seven players of the team were deliberately losing the game in order to receive money from two gamblers. The film Eight Men Out, directed by John Sayles, highlights the famous baseball scandal of 1919. But what is even more intriguing than the scandal itself is the way each player handles the proposal which was presented to them. Their actions each embody the concepts brought out by the eminent philosophers, Plato, Emerson, and Thoreau.
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“The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death” (Plato’s Apology). Towards the end of the film, the players of the White Sox are convicted of purposely losing the World Series. Instead of admitting it, it seemed as though they ran away from it. Going along with that, Buck Weaver, one of the tragic figures of the film, knew the consequences and danger of cheating the system, but he didn’t tell the authorities right away. His hesitant actions caused him to be banned from the Major League, along with the other seven players. By avoiding the wrath of his players and avoiding the responsibility for accepting the deal, Weaver ended up doing harm to himself. Although he never actually threw a game, he still sat back, watching seven of his teammates throw away a game that held a lot of significance to him.
Similarly, concepts brought forward by Ralph Waldo Emerson reflect upon the behaviors of the athletes. Stated in his work Self-Reliance, “Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.” (Emerson’s Self-Reliance).

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