The Natural vs. the UnNatural
In the novel and the movie, the Natural, many differences in the plot, the characters, and the theme give both a very different mood and overall meaning. Many small differences add up to give each work a distinctive feel to it and an important moral. Roy's relationship with Iris, the incident when Roy gets poisoned, and the ending all effectively display the differences that have such an important bearing on the outcome and effect of the theme.
Iris is a key character in both the movie and the book, however he role in each is quite different. First of all Iris in the book is visually a complete opposite of Iris in the movie. In the book Iris is described as corpulent, with a head full of red hair, yet in the movie she is a skinny, relatively attractive, blond. Thus, Roy's relationship with Iris in the book and in the movie is quite different. In the book Roy is not very attracted to her and in addition she is a grandmother which does not appeal to Roy at all. This also comments on Roy's personality in the book because he ends up sleeping with her anyway, even though he has no real feelings for her. The following quote illustrates Roy's actual feelings for Iris; " 'Darling,' whispered Iris, 'win for our boy.' He stared at her. 'What boy?' 'I am pregnant.' There were tears in her eyes. Her belly was slender . . . then the impact hit him. 'Holy Jesus.' " This displays how Roy really does not want to be stuck with Iris and a child. However, in the movie Iris is a romantic prospect for Roy throughout the entire story. They grow up together as friends in the film and we know that they are quite in love before Roy leaves on the train to play baseball. This is a contrasting difference from the book where we first see Iris when she is in the stands at one of Roy's games. All of these small differences add up and change Roy and Iris's relationship in the novel and the film. In the film she is romantically linked to Roy which provides him with self-esteem and a reason to become the best he can be. Yet in the book Iris supports him but more like a wise old lady and a lack of proper feelings towards her ultimately contributes to Roy's self-destruction of himself and failure.
Another important difference is the incident with Roy getting poisoned at Memo's party. The book makes this scene out be a type of self-sabotage attempt by Roy from gorging himself with food, but the movie displays this scene in a different light. When Roy is eating more hamburgers after the party, the author even describes them as "dead birds", which does not convey a pleasant image. In the movie Memo obviously poisons Roy as an attempt to keep him from playing any more games. This is important because in makes a clear statement, that it is Roy fighting against all of the corrupt people trying to buy him out. However, the book tries to make the reader perceive Roy as a very flawed person...