The Natural Essay

2485 words - 10 pages

The role of symbolism in Bernard Malamud¡¦s The Natural is important in helping the reader understand the theme and meaning of the novel as well as the time period in which it took place. Malamud¡¦s use of symbolism defines the character of Roy Hobbs and shows how the events occurring around him affected his decisions and, eventually, his career.
Symbolism in The Natural takes the form of characters, such as women who strongly influenced Roy; historical events, such as the infamous 1919 World Series scandal; and even Greek and Roman mythology. All forms of symbolism used by Malamud are woven into the life and career of Roy Hobbs.
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. The first woman Roy falls for is Harriet Bird whom he meets on a train on his way to Chicago to try out for the Chicago Cubs. Roy is extremely attracted to her, but a major league ballplayer on the train named Whammer Wambold has already caught her eye. Roy becomes jealous and begins to do things to try to get her attention. At a stop in the route, the passengers get off for a break and go to a local carnival where Roy and the big leaguer clash in a contest of talent, a David-and-Goliath-type confrontation (Solotaroff 9). Roy strikes out the batter with three blistering pitches, each of which make Harriet pay more and more attention to him. As they arrive in Chicago, Harriet stays at the hotel at which Roy has booked a room. She gives him a call and provocatively invites him to her room. Succumbing to her invitation, and making his way to her room, he enters and sees her wearing nothing but a silk nightgown. After a short conversation, she pulls out a pistol and shoots him in the stomach. His desperate attitude leads him to be seduced by her, ending his bid to make the Chicago Cubs.
The character of Harriet Bird serves as an ancestor-figure to Iris Lemon and Memo Paris (Helterman 25). In a way, Iris and Memo are symbolic descendants of Harriet because they, too, have so much influence on Roy. Memo, however, closely resembles Harriet in personality. Both of the women are very attracted to two separate major league ball players, Memo having a relationship with Roy¡¦s teammmate Bump Bailey, and Harriet being attracted to Whammer Wabold on the train. Both also seem to want to cause Roy harm, doing what they can to stand in the way of his eventual stardom.
The two truly opposite personalities created by Malamud are Memo and Iris (27). Physically, Memo is first shown wearing a black dress and has red hair; Iris is shown wearing a red dress with a white rose attached and has black hair. Mentally, Memo tends to use her memory to live in the past, relating everything to her deceased lover, Bump. On the other hand, Iris uses substance to live, describing her life with actions and words rather than by memories. Malamud creates these two...

Find Another Essay On The Natural

The Natural Law Theory Essay

718 words - 3 pages The natural law theory is a theory that dates back to the time of the Greeks and great thinkers like Plato and Aristotle. Defined as the law which states that human are inborn with certain laws preordained into them which let them determine what is right and what is wrong.(Bainton 174) This theory was them adapted by religious philosophers to fit the Christian religion.(Berkhof 114) This, however was not exactly the same as the original. The

Mimicking the Natural Environment Essay

1003 words - 4 pages Mimicking the Natural Environment In Clifford Geertz’s article, Two Types of Ecosystems, he suggests that the uneven distribution of the Indonesian population is in direct correlation with the different methods of agriculture used by those in the densely populated area and those in the less populated area. Geertz explores the distinct characteristics of two methods of cultivation in Indonesia, swidden and sawah agriculture. Swidden

The Natural Environment

750 words - 3 pages Ecosystem disruption is a rapid change in the species composition of a community that can be traced directly to human activity. In “The Pursuit of Wilderness,” by Paul Brooks, he states, “We shall never understand the natural environment until we see it as being an organism. Land can be healthy or sick, fertile or barren, rich or poor, lovingly nurtured or bled white. Our present attitudes and laws governing the ownership and use of land

The Earth's Natural Disasters

1965 words - 8 pages Eli Roth once stated, “Natural disasters are terrifying – that loss of control, this feeling that something is just going to randomly end your life for absolutely no reason is terrifying. But, what scares me is the human reaction to it and how people behave when the rules of civility and society are obliterated.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement of his. Our world is full of dangerous conditions that can cause serious damage upon

The Earth's Natural Disasters

652 words - 3 pages all important cautions to take when tornadoes strike and if followed appropriately, could save lives. Another destructive natural disaster is an earthquake. An earthquake is an abrupt and forceful shaking of the ground due to a shift amongst the earth’s crust. These can get to be very damaging, as they vibrate the surface that humans live among. Earthquakes form when the earth's tectonic plates, sometimes called an underground rock, break

The Natural Logarithmic Function

1511 words - 6 pages Introduction to logarithmic function calculator: In mathematics, the natural logarithmic function is defined as the function contains three parts, namely the number, the base and logarithm itself, Now the logarithmic calculator is the function of the logarithm function which means we are using to the base of ‘e’ where e is constant, base of ‘e’ value is given by [e = 2.718281828] . The logarithmic

the end of natural

947 words - 4 pages , reuse, and reduce are the most important solutions to solve. Furthermore, donate clothes and old equipment such as TV, table, and chair for charity is an advantageous way to prevent the increasing of trash waste. Changing our habit is the key, rethink before shopping, using. It is clearly that recycling decreases environmental pollution. All in all, it is worth trying to preserve natural habitats because the environment is the most serious thing we

The Role of Natural History

720 words - 3 pages In Cuvier’s introduction he discusses the essence of natural sciences as to “render sensible in all its parts the mutual influence of every being” (Cuvier, 4). Cuvier is able to show that natural history is an indispensible part of natural philosophy and can successfully unveil the laws of nature. In making this assertion Cuvier argues that natural history plays an equal and scientific role in uncovering the system of natural sciences when

The Manipulation of Natural Resources

1097 words - 4 pages There is an ongoing war between first and third-world countries. Countless numbers of resources were taken from the periphery, but these resources were never completely returned. As First World countries prosper, Third World countries are undergoing poverty and environmental degradation. Despite all the destruction, natural resources from the periphery fabricate new technology and advances in core countries (Africa: Resources). For example

The Process of Natural Selection

1546 words - 6 pages Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection explains the general laws by which any given species transforms into other varieties and species. Darwin extends the application of his theory to the entire hierarchy of classification and states that all forms of life have descended from one incredibly remote ancestor. The process of natural selection entails the divergence of character of specific varieties and the subsequent classification

The Future: Incoming Natural Disasters

1493 words - 6 pages Have you ever wondered what the world would be like in the future? Will the world be drenched in blood and war, or will the world be enveloped with peace? I sometimes wonder how the world would end, or if it will ever come to an end. What if suddenly the world was encountered with a series of natural disasters? Diseases would not only be contained in one region but spread all over the world. People have to endure droughts that does not

Similar Essays

The Natural Essay

2485 words - 10 pages The role of symbolism in Bernard Malamud¡¦s The Natural is important in helping the reader understand the theme and meaning of the novel as well as the time period in which it took place. Malamud¡¦s use of symbolism defines the character of Roy Hobbs and shows how the events occurring around him affected his decisions and, eventually, his career. Symbolism in The Natural takes the form of characters, such as women who strongly influenced Roy

The Natural Essay

662 words - 3 pages We have been created with a need for heroes. We yearn for them because we are born with the want and desire to believe in someone, to have faith in someone, to trust in someone, and to look up and strive to be like someone. This “someone” is how Roy Hobbs is portrayed in the movie version of The Natural. Roy in the movie version is utterly heroic. He struggles, after an almost fatal injury in his youth, to try to become the best that the game

The Natural Essay

852 words - 4 pages corruption with the Judge. This book is also really hard to get into, because if you are like me, baseball talk doesn't excite you very much. It also has a lot of the parts of the book that become very confusing. The writing of The Natural is more depressing, so that also makes it harder to read. The story doesn't add much suspense to it either. Although it did have the start of a good lesson, it is ruined when Roy falls into corruption. Most of

The Natural Lottery Argument Essay

1152 words - 5 pages The Natural Lottery Argument John Rawls, American moral and political philosopher, whose major work, A Theory of Justice, states that society will favour individuals whose natural abilities and talents allow them to succeed over those who fail. In his opinion this is just provided they use these abilities and talents to help others. I shall argue that one does not deserve to benefit from the use of their natural talents and abilities, but from