The Natural

Bernard Malamud was brought up in the mid 1900s, a time period when baseball played a huge role in the lives of many Americans. Americans loved baseball because it gave them a chance to stop working and simply relax while they cheered on their favorite team. It was a time when people played baseball solely for the love of the game and the thrill of hearing the fans cheer for them. Today, however, baseball is much more corrupt, and many athletes are only in it due to their own greed and selfishness. This strong desire for money stems from some important players in the past, such as Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, who were outstanding athletes and grew very overconfident in their abilities. They became so confident that they began to demand more money than the other players. Roy Hobbs, the protagonist in The Natural by Bernard Malamud, is a fictional ballplayer based on these legends. His ability to play the game is nearly super human in that he is able to lead a team to victory almost single handedly. However, Roy is only in the game to make a name for himself and to break records. He would rather build a reputation as the greatest player in the game than win games for his team. In the introduction to the novel, written by Kevin Baker, he is described as: “Greedy, ruthless, and preoccupied with making the money he believes his talent entitles him to make” (Baker, xii). Roy Hobbs is a prime example of a man whose pride and self confidence eventually lead to his downfall.

Roy Hobbs is a very self confident baseball player who is so sure of his abilities that he almost gives up a chance of playing in the majors. His confidence is evident throughout the novel at various times and in various situations. For example, when Po...

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...eed any help from anyone, and he quickly rises to superstardom in the eyes of many baseball fans.

Roy Hobbs was an extremely greedy and conceited man. However, when closely examined, he had a caring, kindhearted side as well. In the story, Roy does everything in his power to save a young boy who is dying in the hospital. His efforts are displayed when Malamud says: “He had been thinking of him on and off and was anxious to do something for him” (Malamud, 136). Roy does not want him to die, so he tries his hardest and eventually hits a home run for the boy. Nonetheless, Roy’s greed takes over in the end, and he is forced to live with the consequences. At the end, when a young boy asks him if he had really thrown the game, he is only able to weep in response. Thus, his downfall was brought about by his major flaws: greed, selfishness, and overconfidence.

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