The Natural and Perceval, The Story of the Holy Grail

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The novel The Natural is written by Bernard Malamud. Bernard was a famous author mainly known for writing short stories and novels. He was considered one of the great American Jewish authors of the 20th century. Bernard was born in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants and he had a brother named Eugene. Unfortunately, Malamud entered his adolescence when the Great Depression began. The Natural is one of his more famous books, which was written in 1952. This novel is about a baseball prodigy named Roy Hobbs. He has a bat that he made himself, which he calls Wonderboy. Roy plans to join the major leagues and break all the records. However, his plans are put on hold when a woman he meets shoots. After fifteen years after the tragedy Roy goes back to baseball and is drafted to the New York Knights. Along his journey to becoming a superstar he is distracted from his goal by the women in his life. The Natural is very much similar to the mythological story of Perceval, the Story of the Holy Grail. Roy Hobbs is comparable to Perceval, Pop Fisher to the Fisher King and the pennant to the Holy Grail.

Roy Hobbs and Perceval are similar because they are both the main characters of their own stories. Both their parents had some sort of natural talent. Perceval’s father was a great knight and Roy’s father was a baseball player. They then passed their gifts on to their children, which are Roy and Perceval. “Roy Hobbs is the Perceval figure of the Natural. Hobbs is a “natural” both in his ability to play baseball and in his simple and naïve manner.” (Source 4 Page 1) Perceval and Roy have special talents and are good at what they do. Perceval can fight and he leads his army to victory. “Perceval does battle with 20 of ...

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... back to life again. Roy’s team was losing countless games in a row and Perceval’s kingdom has been suffering for numerous years. Nevertheless, Roy ends up not obtaining his goal and fails many people while Perceval finds the Holy Grail and is a hero among his kingdom.

In conclusion, there are many characters, items and symbols in The Natural that are similar and related to the ones in Perceval, the story of the Holy Grail. Roy and Perceval are related because of their natural talents in baseball and fighting, the type of parents they come from and the same goals that they share. Pop Fisher and the Fisher King are parallel due to the related kind of illness they both have and the type of situation they are in. The pennant and the Holy Grail are comparable because they are the important treasures and goals that each of the main characters seek and hope to obtain.
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