Equal Rights for Women in The Natural by Bernard Malamud

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Literatures had always been the reflections of the world’s issues. These literatures showed the problems within society in the period of time. In the book, “The Natural”, by Bernard Malamud had developed how women were seen as an object to men that they did not have the equal rights and social status as men. Also, women in the novel were classified as the trophies to men, whom they were either gold diggers digging for massive fortunes for the future, or accomplishments for men to chase after them. The author had established several female characters to optimize these issues. In the novel, Harriet Bird, Memo Paris, and Iris Lemon were representing different figures of female in that period of time. Both Harriet and Memo were being the negative effects to the main protagonist, Roy Hobbes, while Iris was the positive hope for Roy. The author chose to use these few characters to criticize the stereotypes of women in that period, and how they affected the others around them.

Women were always having negative image in the history, which their reputations were low. Memo Paris and Harriet Bird seemed only attract to those with abilities, which made Roy extremely jealous in the story. When Roy first approached these two female characters in the story, he could not get closer with either of them, because he was just a rookie, and none of them was willing to get along with infamous or poor people. “as if she had recognized him from somewhere, but when she found she hadn’t, to his horror her expression changed instantly to one of boredom”(9). The instant action of Harriet Bird had proved that the suggestion of women only attracted to famous and wealthy people in that time, which caused people like Roy generated fear, and jealousy. People co...

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...of the good life for women from the society. She could not step aside from this belief; therefore, she ran between powerful men to secure her lifestyle, but she destroyed two men in her life. Iris stood for the weak, vulnerable, but hope in the story. She gave Roy a chance to have a stable life, but Roy decided not to take a chance because of the ethical issues that Iris had. Different problems of the females characters in "The Natural" were to up front the characteristic of Roy's childish, immature, and hot-head matter, just like Piggy's vulnerability in the "Lord of the Flies" was the comparison of Ralph's toughness. As well as to highlight how the society viewed female in that time, which females did not have the equal observations and opportunities as men that they had to go through difficult pathway to achieve the same social status as average men in the time.
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