Study Guide

Casey at the Bat Admiration

By Ernest Lawrence Thayer

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"Casey at the Bat" explores hero worship from the worshippers' and the hero's perspectives. Those Mudville fans idolize Casey. They have built him up in their minds to be a larger than life figure, someone that can virtually guarantee victory. Unfortunately for those fans (and for Casey as well), when you put someone up on a super-high pedestal, and when they inevitably topple off and come back down to earth, it makes the fall all the more heartbreaking.

Questions About Admiration

  1. Why do you think the Mudville fans idolize Casey? Is it more about performance, appearance, or attitude?
  2. Casey seems a little arrogant, right? Do you think he's arrogant because he is idolized, or is he idolized, in part, because of his inflated ego?
  3. Do you think the Mudville fans will ever view Casey as a hero again? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Casey's swagger is a product of the adoration he receives from the Mudville fans. His arrogance led to his strikeout. Therefore, the Mudville fans have only themselves to blame for Casey's ultimate failure. (Ooo—cold burn, Mudville fans.)

"Casey at the Bat" demonstrates just how strong the connection is between the public and their idols. Mudville lives and dies with Casey (in this case, mainly dies).

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