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The Natural And Perceval, The Story Of The Holy Grail

1364 words - 5 pages

The novel The Natural is written by Bernard Malamud. Bernard was a famous author mainly known for writing short stories and novels. He was considered one of the great American Jewish authors of the 20th century. Bernard was born in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants and he had a brother named Eugene. Unfortunately, Malamud entered his adolescence when the Great Depression began. The Natural is one of his more famous books, which was written in 1952. This novel is about a baseball prodigy named Roy Hobbs. He has a bat that he made himself, which he calls Wonderboy. Roy plans to join the major leagues and break all the records. However, his plans are put on hold when a woman he meets shoots. After fifteen years after the tragedy Roy goes back to baseball and is drafted to the New York Knights. Along his journey to becoming a superstar he is distracted from his goal by the women in his life. The Natural is very much similar to the mythological story of Perceval, the Story of the Holy Grail. Roy Hobbs is comparable to Perceval, Pop Fisher to the Fisher King and the pennant to the Holy Grail.
Roy Hobbs and Perceval are similar because they are both the main characters of their own stories. Both their parents had some sort of natural talent. Perceval’s father was a great knight and Roy’s father was a baseball player. They then passed their gifts on to their children, which are Roy and Perceval. “Roy Hobbs is the Perceval figure of the Natural. Hobbs is a “natural” both in his ability to play baseball and in his simple and naïve manner.” (Source 4 Page 1) Perceval and Roy have special talents and are good at what they do. Perceval can fight and he leads his army to victory. “Perceval does battle with 20 of Clamadeu’s knights and wins the day.’ (McGoodwin 2) Roy also helps his team to victories with his excellent batting performance. Another similarity between Roy and Perceval is that they both fall for the same type of women, the type which eventually get them into some kind of trouble. Women play an important role in both Roy and Perceval’s lives. “As a first example, women have a tremendous influence on Roy’s actions and feelings. One of the more influential symbols in the book, women tend to control what Roy does.” ( Source 3 Page 1) Perceval associates himself with Gornemant’s niece and find themselves in bed with each other.
“There he finds a charming maiden Blancheflor whose followers are weakened by hunger and famine. She is Gornemant’s niece. At night she comes innocently into the sleeping Perceval’s bedroom and gets into bed with him, embracing him.” (McGoodwin 2) For Roy, he and Memo both meet in a similar fashion. Roy knows her because she is his teammate’s girlfriend. One night, Memo crawls into bed with Roy just as the same situation with Perceval and Blancheflor. Tensions between Blancheflor and Memo’s lover and Roy and Perceval also begin to build. For example, Roy and Bump start to desperately compete...

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