The Natural Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Max Mercy do when he sees Roy and Memo return to the motel?

2. What warning does Red give Roy that he ignores?

3. What two things does Roy crave that drives his every action?

4. What physical trait does Gus have that makes him unique?

5. When Memo fails to accept Roy as her new boyfriend, what does he decide will win her over?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the irony that Malamud uses in naming the characters Goodwill Banner and Max Mercy.

2. Fatal or life-changing accidents seem prevalent in this story. Discuss at least two of them.

3. What does Memo talk about on her ride in the country with Roy?

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

5. When Roy goes to see a fortune teller when he is in his big slump, she tells him he will meet a beautiful brunette. What is Roy's reaction?

6. What purpose does Malamud have for repeatedly using dreams in his story? Why is he employing this technique, and what point of view is it?

7. What happens when Roy goes to visit Memo in her hotel room and finds Gus there?

8. When she visits Roy in Boston, what excuse does Memo give for rejecting Roy during his earlier slump?

9. Malamud makes a point of mentioning that the Judge has a stuffed shark in his office. Explain the significance of the shark as related to the Judge's personality and how well it fits.

10. What is significant about the white rose that Harriet carries?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Dreams appear throughout The Natural. Choose a couple of scenes including dreams and discuss how the dream scene relates to the overall narrative and its themes.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Malamud paints the ballplayers as "larger than life" in the novel. Discuss passages in the book where the reader can see ballplayers rendered in a majestic, larger-than-life, or deity-like manner.

(see the answer keys)

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