The American Dream: A Never Ending Cycle of Failure

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In Bernard Malamud’s, The Natural, the American Dream traps many people in a never ending cycle of failure. This is seen when Roy is shot by Harriet in a hotel room after he tells her he will be the best in the game despite that she points a gun at his head. Secondly, when Roy and Gus are making bets, Roy keeps betting despite losing every time, showing his false sense of hope that traps in a cycle of failure. Finally, Roy’s desire to be with Memo finally corrupts him thus causing him to ruin his dreams to be the best in baseball and when he regains hope that he can win the game, it does not happen. The American Dream causes insatiable hunger and results in a never ending cycle of failure because Roy has a false sense of hope causing him to make the same mistakes multiple times.
Despite Roy’s success in pitching against the highly respected Whammer, his dream to be the best in baseball causes him to get shot. The Whammer is one of the best players in baseball, therefore, young Roy Hobbs looks up to him. The Whammer represents Roy's aspirations to be the best, so when Roy strikes him out, he becomes concieded. After Roy and Harriet get off the train they go up to a hotel room together where she points a pistol at him and says, “‘Roy, will you be the best there ever was in the game?’ ‘That’s right’. She pulled the trigger ( thrum of bull fiddle)” (Malamud, 33-34). Roy’s confidence in his future as a baseball player was partly fueled by his success against Whammer. This success misleads him, causing him to believe that he can complete the American Dream. He may believe this but the dream will never come true because the American Dream is unattainable and this causes him to have a false sense of hope. The false sense of hope makes R...

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...gnified Roy’s false sense of hope that he could still win the game even though there was no chance.
Roy’s false sense of hope caused him to make the same mistake over and over again, thus causing him to be trapped in a never ending cycle of failure. This theme can be seen in three different instances. First off, when Roy is shot by Harriet directly after Roy confessed to her that he would be the best in baseball. Next, Roy demonstrates the never ending cycle of failure when he continues to bet with Gus despite losing. Finally, Roy ruins his chances at being the best in baseball when he throws the game in order to be with Memo. The never ending cycle of failure is driven by an insatiable hunger for success seen in people. Not only does the hunger cause the cycle to continue but it also creates a tunnel vision which prevents people from learning from their mistakes.
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