Books and Movies Reviews

The Natural by Bernard Malamud

In his novel, “The Natural”, Bernard Malamud presents a paradox of a character in Roy Hobbs. Roy is a talented athlete who fails to live up to the world's expectations of him despite his good intentions. For all of his physical tools, Roy cannot overcome his personal flaws, which finally bring hims down. It also becomes more apparent that these flaws include a lack of maturity outside of baseball, lack of a work ethic, and poor decision making. Malamud uses his story to represent talented people who waste their talent, and ultimately end up with nothing due to their own immaturity.
When Memos has herfirst "date" with Roy, she asks Roy what is his goal in the life. She asks, "But I don't understand why you should make so much of that. Are your values so-?" (Malamud 150). Roy's answer to this question is the same throughout the book. Whenever he is asked what his goals in life are, Roy's answer is always to either to be the best, or to break as many records as possible. For Roy there is no life outside of baseball. His lack of maturity off the playing field is in stark contrast with his physical maturity on the field. He is oblivious to the fact that Memo has never had any true feelings for him until she tells him. "You filthy scum, I hate your guts and always have since the day you killed Bump."(Malamud 230)
Another woman Roy has trouble with is Iris Lemon. Iris is the only woman in Roy's life who treats Roy with any respect. Her beauty and affection attract Roy, but her maturity finally drives her away. Roy is scared that beginning a relationship with Iris would force him to mature. "He thought, I never did learn anything out of my past life, now I have to suffer again."(Malamud 230) This passage illustrates why Roy can be considered a modern day loser. He never learned from his past mistakes. When he was young he made some mistakes that cost him his shot at gre

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