The Natural by Bernard Malamud - A Masterpiece of Baseball Fiction - Download EPUB Version Here
Malamud The Natural Epub Download: A Guide for Baseball Fans
If you are a fan of baseball, you have probably heard of The Natural, a novel by Bernard Malamud that was published in 1952. It is widely regarded as one of the best novels ever written about the sport, and it has inspired generations of readers and writers. But what is The Natural about, and why is it so special? In this article, we will give you a comprehensive guide to The Natural, including its plot, characters, themes, symbolism, reception, adaptation, and legacy. We will also tell you how to download an epub version of The Natural for free, so you can enjoy this classic on your e-reader or device.
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The Plot of The Natural: A Summary
The Natural tells the story of Roy Hobbs, a talented baseball player who has a tragic and mysterious past. Roy was a teenage prodigy who was on his way to join the Chicago Cubs when he was shot by a mysterious woman named Harriet Bird. The bullet damaged his abdomen and ended his career before it even started. Roy disappeared from the public eye for 16 years, until he resurfaced as a 35-year-old rookie for the New York Knights, a struggling team in the National League.
Roy quickly proves himself to be a phenomenal hitter and pitcher, and he leads the Knights to a miraculous comeback in the pennant race. Along the way, he encounters various obstacles and temptations, such as his corrupt manager Pop Fisher, his greedy co-owner Judge Banner, his ruthless rival Bump Baily, his seductive mistress Memo Paris, and his mysterious benefactor Gus Sands. Roy also meets Iris Lemon, a loyal fan who reveals that she is pregnant with his child.
Roy faces a crucial decision in the final game of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He can either accept a bribe from Judge Banner and Gus Sands to throw the game and secure his financial future, or he can play his best and win the pennant for Pop Fisher and Iris Lemon. Roy chooses to play honestly, but he fails miserably. He strikes out at the final pitch, causing the Knights to lose the game and the pennant. He also suffers a severe injury that ends his career for good. Roy leaves the stadium in disgrace and despair, wondering what went wrong with his life.
The Characters of The Natural: A Brief Analysis
The Natural features a rich cast of characters who represent different aspects of Roy's personality and destiny. Here are some of the main characters and their roles:
Roy Hobbs: The protagonist and anti-hero of the novel. He is a gifted baseball player who has a tragic flaw: his hubris. He is obsessed with being the best and breaking records, but he also succumbs to greed, lust, and pride. He ignores the advice of his mentors and friends, and he neglects his true love and child. He ultimately fails to achieve his dreams and becomes a fallen hero.
Pop Fisher: The manager and co-owner of the New York Knights. He is a father figure to Roy, and he represents the old-fashioned values of baseball. He is honest, loyal, and fair, but he is also bitter and cynical. He has never won a pennant in his long career, and he is about to lose his share of the team to Judge Banner. He hopes that Roy can help him win the pennant and save his legacy.
Judge Banner: The other co-owner of the New York Knights. He is a villainous figure who represents the corruption and greed of baseball. He is dishonest, ruthless, and manipulative. He wants to sabotage the Knights and sell them to another city. He also wants to exploit Roy's talent and popularity for his own profit. He offers Roy a bribe to throw the final game, and he threatens to expose his past if he refuses.
Bump Baily: The star outfielder of the New York Knights. He is a rival and foil to Roy. He is arrogant, selfish, and reckless. He is jealous of Roy's talent and popularity, and he tries to sabotage him. He dies in a freak accident when he crashes into the outfield wall while chasing a fly ball.
Memo Paris: The niece of Pop Fisher and the girlfriend of Bump Baily. She is a femme fatale who represents the temptation and danger of baseball. She is beautiful, seductive, and cunning. She lures Roy into a relationship after Bump's death, but she is actually working for Judge Banner and Gus Sands. She encourages Roy to be greedy, lazy, and dishonest. She also poisons him with a tainted drink before the final game.
Gus Sands: A mysterious gambler and bookmaker who represents the underworld of baseball. He is wealthy, powerful, and sinister. He has a glass eye that can see the future. He bets against the Knights and tries to influence the outcome of the games. He is also in league with Judge Banner and Memo Paris. He offers Roy a bribe to throw the final game, and he threatens to harm Iris Lemon if he refuses.
Harriet Bird: A mysterious woman who represents the fate and mystery of baseball. She is beautiful, mysterious, and deadly. She shoots Roy in the abdomen when he was 19 years old, ending his career before it started. She also shoots other famous athletes who have a flaw in their character. She commits suicide after shooting Roy.
Iris Lemon: A loyal fan who represents the love and hope of baseball. She is plain, kind, and wise. She cheers for Roy from the stands, and she inspires him to play better. She reveals that she is pregnant with his child, and she asks him to marry her. She also tells him that he is the best player she has ever seen, and that he should play for himself and not for others.
The Themes of The Natural: A Discussion
The Natural explores various themes that relate to baseball and life in general. Here are some of the major themes and their meanings:
The American Dream: The novel examines the idea of the American dream, which is the belief that anyone can achieve success and happiness through hard work and talent. Roy pursues his dream of becoming a baseball legend, but he also faces many obstacles and challenges along the way. He learns that the American dream is not as simple or as easy as it seems, and that it can also be corrupted by greed, lust, and pride.
The Hero's Journey: The novel follows the structure of the hero's journey, which is a common pattern in myths and stories. The hero's journey consists of three stages: departure, initiation, and return. In departure, the hero leaves his ordinary world and embarks on an adventure. In initiation, the hero faces various trials and tests that challenge his skills and character. In return, the hero completes his quest and returns to his ordinary world with a reward or a lesson learned.
The Fall from Grace: The novel depicts the fall from grace of Roy Hobbs, who starts as a promising hero but ends as a disgraced anti-hero. Roy falls from grace because of his tragic flaw: his hubris or excessive pride. He overestimates his abilities and underestimates his enemies. He ignores the warnings of his mentors and friends, and he succumbs to the temptations of his enemies. He ultimately fails to achieve his goals and loses everything he cares about.
The Nature vs Nurture Debate: The novel raises the question of whether talent or environment determines one's success or failure in life. Roy has a natural gift for baseball, but he also has a troubled past that haunts him throughout his career. He wonders if he was born to be a hero or a failure, or if he can choose his own destiny.
The Role of Fate: The novel explores the role of fate in one 71b2f0854b