An Analysis Of Bernard Malamud's Allusion To The Bible

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Through The Natural’s allusions to the Bible and Sigmund Freud, Bernard Malamud reveals that humanity is innately imperfect through man’s temptation, inevitability of failure and the decline of success, and ego. Temptation is an unfortunate yet inevitable aspect of human nature, and through Malamud’s allusion to Bible this reality is made clear. In the Natural, Roy Hobbs’ struggle with temptation is prominent, and after constant failure to resist he finally reaches the point of no return. Before the big set of games in which the Knights have the final opportunity to win the pennant, Roy falls for Memo’s temptations: The raft with the singing green eyed siren guarding the forbidden flame gave off into the rotting flood a scuttering one eyed…show more content…
When he finally touches the bottom, his goal, he finds himself grasping liquid mud. The fluidity of the mud symbolizes Roy’s inability to set concrete, reachable goals. His goals are constantly changing, and he is never able to grab on to them, hence the liquidness of the mud. His inability to be proud of his effort to reach the bottom is a result of the extreme expectations that he sets for himself. The ghostly sardines represent the many goals that he has set but been unable to reach, and thus none of these goals give him any pride. These radical goals that Roy sets for himself are completely a result of his prominent ego. Therefore, once again, because Roy, the supposed hero of the story and also a person intended to represent the common man, is limited by his ego it exposes the fact that human nature must then be naturally flawed. In accordance with this truth, Freud describes that “The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer” (Sigmund Freud). This essentially says that Roy’s extreme expectations never change simply because the ego is not easily changeable. Moreover, the ego’s job is to be, “The representative of the outer world to the id,” (Sigmund Freud) and therefore it must satisfy the id‘s desire while also considering reason. The compromise that was made between the id and ego for Roy is essentially his high expectations that seem reasonable in his mind and satisfy the id’s desire. What Roy’s ego doesn’t realize however is that because it has been ignoring the, “provocations of reality,” Roy’s goals aren’t as reasonable as they seem. To give an example of this, when Roy was shot by Harriet his ego never dissipated, he still maintained the same set of expectations as he did before he was shot when he says, “You have to have the right stuff to play good ball and I have it. I bet some day I’ll break

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