Authentic Swing Analysis

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Often, the most daunting and difficult task for man is the overcoming and conquering of one’s own mind and internal demons. In Steven Pressfield’s, The Legend of Bagger Vance this war in one’s own mind is exemplified in the character, Rannulph Junah. Throughout the novel, and two days of tournament golf, Junah, under the guidance of his sage caddy and mentor, Bagger Vance, was able to make peace with his demons, and reemerge as one of the South’s best golfers. The definition of transcendentalism is, “...a philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical.” This philosophy is consistent with the search for the ‘Authentic Swing’ or ‘Self’ that Bagger leads Junah on.
The idea of the ‘Authentic Swing’ is first introduced the night before the opening day of the big golf match between golf legends Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, and Savannah’s own, Rannulph Junah. When walking the course with newspaper reporter, O.B. Keeler and Hardy, Bagger Vance says, “The path of study and dissection leads only to paralysis, until the player likewise surrenders and allows his overloaded brain
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Golfers such as Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones were gods among other golfers because they fought the battles in their minds and found their ‘Authentic Swings’. Junah, at one time, was like those two, but tormented by the horrors of a real-life war, World War I, lost his ‘Authentic Swing,’ and ‘Authentic Self’ to alcoholism and self-removal from society. Until he was able to overcome these mental obstacles, his ‘Authentic Swing’ and Self were incapable of being rediscovered. Junah used the fundamental principle of transcendentalism in finding his Authentic Swing; he allowed the swing to happen, by clearing his mind and trusting his natural impulses to guide him to an ‘Authentic

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