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Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Real End to The Natural

Just finished The Natural again. And there was that ending again. The Bernard Malamud ending that is not like Hollywood. The exact opposite in fact. Roy Hobbs takes the payoff and misses the final pitch and strikes out. He does tell the judge and Memo and the bookie to go where the sun doesn't shine but he is a broken man in the end with no future...just another drifter in Depression era America.

And the book is different in that it is really a treatment of baseball during The Great Depression. The Natural with Robert Redford is a much more upbeat tale of a pitcher who gets knocked off by a woman who shoots him early in his career. Years later he comes up but he is much older with only a few good seasons in him.

But the real difference lies in the ending. In the novel the natural does not pull it out. He simply cant get his mojo back and when he strikes out he is accused of being in on the fix and there are people who want to ban him from baseball. But Roy Hobbs has banned himself as he becomes just another person in Depression era America.

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The Pitcher

Books by William Hazelgrove