The Natural – The Book (Part 1)

I just finished reading the book, The Natural, upon which was based the movie, The Natural.  Both the movie and the book are important in their own right.  The comparison between the two is startling, providing a contrast of the two avenues that are open to us as we go through life.

The setting and plot of the book are very similar to the movie.  The list of characters is also very similar.  In fact, all of the main characters play similar roles in both the book and the movie except the main character, Roy Hobbs.

The book begins much like the movie with Roy being educated by his father in the game of baseball.  He is presented to a talent scout who is genuinely impressed with Roy’s abilities and travels with him to Chicago for a tryout with the Cubs.  Prior to his arrival, and to further enhance his self-esteem, Roy is offered the opportunity to strike out a Babe Ruthian player.  He does strike him out.  A femme fatale impressed with Roy, lures him to her room and shoots him with a silver bullet and then commits suicide.  Roy survives the shooting but spends the next several years lost, going from job to job, looking for his future.

Roy finally decides that he must reenter baseball and is hired by a struggling major league team.  He is a natural at the game, hitting just about every pitch out of the ballpark.  Roy, with his natural abilities and training, has the wisdom the see his future and the courage to act on this by joining the team.

The following artwork depicts this decision by Roy to accept the call and begin a new future, with a unknown future.

The Morning Bell by Homer

The Morning Bell by Winslow Homer (1871)

More to come in the next post.

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