The Natural Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What headlines in the newspaper catches Sam's attention?

2. How is failure treated in The Natural?

3. How many years had pass before Roy Hobbs comes to play baseball again?

4. Who does Doc Knobb accuse of causing the team to lose?

5. What does Roy think of Doc Knobb's help?

Short Essay Questions

1. Harriet is more of a philosophical thinker than Roy. How did her views of baseball differ from Roy's view?

2. At the beginning of the pennant game, Pop came to Roy to talk about his being benched. What did he tell Roy?

3. What does Roy do in the night after they lose the pennant game?

4. What does The Judge write in his letter to Roy with the $35 thousand?

5. What two things really bother Roy when the doctor tells him he can't play baseball any more?

6. When a man comes to Roy and asks him to hit a home run for his sick child, what is Roy's reaction and what does he tell the man?

7. Why does Roy understand Pop's feelings so well about losing the game for his team? Compare his and Pop's experiences with failure.

8. Discuss the dreams of Roy and the failures he has experienced up to this point.

9. When Roy ended up in the hospital from overeating, what did the doctor tell him about his career in baseball?

10. What reason did Iris give for standing up in the stands and cheering for Roy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss The Natural as a novel of magical realism. Magical realism is when a realistic novel contains issues that are stranger than life, unreal, or appearing magical. What purpose do instances of magical realism appear to serve in this novel? Give examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Roy agrees to the Judge's crooked proposition to "sell out." What are his motives? Who, or what, is Hobbs selling out for? What are his reasons for selling out? Give examples from the book to defend your views.

Essay Topic 3

There is a tremendous amount of symbolism in Malamud's novel. Discuss two forms of symbolism and show how they develop the theme over the course of the novel. Answer the question of why Malamud might have chosen that symbol over other possible ones and whether he was effective in developing the theme. Give examples from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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