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The Natural Case

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"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives." - C.S. Lewis. This quote can relate to many things, love of a sport, love of family, etc. It can relate to many things mentioned in Bernard Malamud's The Natural. The novel The Natural is about an exceptional player named Roy Hobbs and his struggles both on and off the field. Roy commits many of the "Seven Deadly Sins" as the novel develops, of the many; none are more stressed than lust, gluttony, and pride. Throughout the novel all of these unfold quite rapidly for Roy Hobbs and result in his struggles in the game of baseball.

There are many forms and examples of lust within the novel. As the novel starts Roy is fascinated with this woman by the name of Harriet Bird. Roy is so in-tuned with her looks that he doesn't pay attention to her possibly being a threat to him and his career. Even at the age of thirty-four, sixteen years later he hasn't learned to treat women correctly. He only wants Memo for her good looks. She treats him like dirt and is only by Roy's side when he is doing well. What Roy doesn't realize is that Memo is trying, much like Harriet Bird, to destroy Roy's career in baseball, and as the story builds, Memo is getting closer and closer to her goal. Roy goes into a slump, not thinking about baseball but thinking about Memo instead.

Pride plays a big role in this novel. Even as the story starts you could tell that pride played a major role in the story. The "Whammer" Wambold's pride and confidence going into his showdown with Roy was remarkable. As they always say "Pride comes before a fall" and the "Whammer" fell to young confident Roy Hobbs. Even Roy, later in his career starts to fall to his inner pride. Roy explains that he only wants to be the best, only work for his stats not the team's overall effort. He tells how singles and bunting is a waste of a hit; he wants all the numbers in his favor. He never really cares about the team or even the fans because he thinks he is too good for everybody else. Roy falls into a slump, capitalizing the fall of his pride.

When Roy falls to the sin of gluttony he eats and consumes a lot of food. This in the end relates to the result of Roy's physical malady. Roy is subjected to Gus Sand's deviousness when Gus, Memo, and the Judge put spoiled and or poisoned Roy's food at Memo's party. Roy gets food poisoning and is sent to the hospital. Roy committing the deadly sin of gluttony almost results in his absence in the game of baseball. "This might be the end of your career, you probably shouldn't return to baseball." Malamud 193.

Overall, Roy has committed several of the "Seven Deadly Sins" and in the end it nearly leads Roy to cause his team to lose the pennant because he was going to throw the



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