The Natural – The Book (Part 3)

Continuing from my last post… Iris tries to help Roy by explaining that she believes that “We have two lives, Roy, the life we learn with and the life we live after that.  Suffering is what brings us toward happiness.”

This is one of the central themes of the book: that life is broken into two segments.  The book’s “life that we learn with,” I consider to be the first three galleries of my book.  These three galleries represent the preparation for the journey and the journey itself towards education, preparation, skills, social awareness, and self-esteem.  This is the period of Roy’s life leading up to his return to baseball.

The book’s “life we live after that,” I consider to be the second three galleries of my book.  These galleries represent the call to adventure, the adventure itself, and the return from the adventure.  This is the period from when Roy joins the team to his ultimate demise (unlike the movie).

While Roy had the virtues of wisdom and courage to recognize his future and act on it (the call to adventure of Gallery Four), he never earned the virtues of temperance and justice to win the trials of his adventure.  Temptations of sex, fame, food, and unearned wealth got the best of him.  And what is really sad is that Iris, representing the final virtue of love of neighbor, was there ready to pull Roy across the threshold back to the everyday world.  Had Roy been able to resist the temptations, he would have found happiness with Iris and brought the boon of a pennant to his team and his fans (which is what happened in the movie).  Unfortunately, Roy struck out at his last at bat, the team lost the pennant, Roy lost Iris.   Roy and was forced to return to Gallery Three to live out the remaining years of a life of inconsequential existence.

Final thoughts in my next post.

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