The Natural 3 Essay, Research Paper
The Natural, a story bases on a man by the name of Roy Hobbs. This story reminds me of a book I once read a little while ago. Roy Hobbs is (to me) a King Arthur. Iris is his Guenevere- in this story and then the rest of the characters are like those from the story.
Roy Hobbs plays the Arthur figure. Roy is a country boy, innocent of the temptations of the urban jungle that is already taking over American life in the period between the world wars. His ability as a baseball player is as innate as his essential goodness. Like a king over a country, he is born with the power to rule over the baseball field. Yet his father warns him, immediately prior to his early death (By, rather than within, a large tree) that he can’t rely solely on his gift alone, or he will fail. Only a couple chapters into the book this seems to have come true, as Harriet Bird, lover of veteran baseball star the Whammer, shoots Roy down with a silver bullet.
The evening before Harriet injures Roy; she asks him, in a restaurant car, whether he has read Homer. The authors are not just drawing on the Matter of Britain for their archetypes. The manager and co-owner of the team Roy eventually rises to prominence with, the New York Knights may be called Pop Fisher. He may warn Roy, momentarily changing role models, that he should not begin a relationship with the most beautiful woman in the baseball world, because she is bad luck. Max Mercy, the sports columnist whom we first meet as guardian to the Whammer, seems to represent the morally equivocal elements of Merlin. Shaping events through his cartoons and his commentary, claiming to be acting for the good of baseball in a way inscrutable to others, but also lining his own pockets.
These Arthurian references stand alongside interpolations from other myths. Roy’s Guenevere-like lover is named Memo Paris, presumably the face that launched a thousand strikes. In the sixteen years between his shooting by Harriet, and his signing by the New York Knights, Roy drifts, we are told, around the country, unable to return to his true love Iris and the son she has borne him, a veritable American Odyssey. The thunderclaps and lightning bolts that accompany Roy’s greatest triumphs, and also split the oak tree, from which his bat Wonderboy is fashioned, suggest that Malamud is also invoking the aid of the Norse gods.
Roy Hobbs, a great person in his own right, was struck down only then rise again. His bat maybe the key to his success or maybe it was his raw talent. Either way Roy became a great baseball player. But the last at bat full count his strikeout cost him. Maybe if he would have listened to his father things would be different but with a glass eye, and a hurt leg, Roy could barley bend his knees. Thus showing how Roy, should have listened to his father.