The Effects of Harriet Bird, Memo Paris, and Iris Lemon in the Natural by Bernard Malamud.

1766 Words Jan 20th, 2009 8 Pages
In The Natural by Bernard Malamud, the main character, Roy Hobbs joins the New York Knights with an uncontrollable desire to be the best, at first in baseball, but later on in other aspects of his life. Roy is unable to control his appetites, one of them being for women. Roy is considerably influenced not by stereotypical fatherly figures, but rather women, namely Harriet Bird, Memo Paris, and Iris Lemon. While Harriet and Memo are not positive influences, and only wishes ill of Roy, Iris certainly is a positive influence, and cares about Roy, liking him from the start. Harriet and Memo does not care about Roy, the two women only leads him on to further their own goals. On the other hand, Iris does care about Roy, she is concerned about …show more content…
(71, Malamud) Roy falls in love with Memo because she once belonged to Bump, whom Roy knew from the start that he would never like and constantly competed with in baseball because both men had the same goal. (54, Malamud) Furthermore, Roy wants Memo because he is unable to control his appetite for women. To Roy she is the ultimate accomplishment, or the epitome of perfection. Roy pursues Memo even though she gives him obvious hints that she isn't interested in him, informing him she is strictly a dead man's girl. Memo is not at all the nurturing life force that Roy, as a symbolic vegetative god, should be with. Not only is her breast is sick, but her claim to be strictly a dead man's woman, symbolically refers dead men or those with no life in them. (84, Malamud) The thing Memo offers Roy is the option is to sell his promising future to the Judge. Only then, when Roy has sacrificed his talent and ability for money, he can be with Memo. Memos only virtue is her attractiveness, she is gloomy, given to melodrama, and many corrupt men surrounds her. She takes away life, even as she attracts Roy; she drains away Roy's energy while giving him none in return. Her uncle, Pop Fisher, warns Roy to stay away from Memo, telling Roy, she is always dissatisfied and will snarl you up in her trouble in a way that will weaken your strength if you dont watch out. (Malamud, 120) On Roys first and only date with Memo, they drive out of the
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