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. How does Roy feel about playing for the Knights when he first puts on his baseball cap for them?

2. What does Memo's reaction to Bump's death tell the reader, given her lack of relationship with him?

3. What two things does Roy find out about Red that makes him think the team needs his help?

4. How does Roy hit baseballs in the game?

5. How did Roy obtain his special bat, Wonderboy?

Short Essay Questions

1. What problem does Pop Fisher have with his pitcher, Fowler, and how does that affect the games?

2. Shortly before the pennant game, what does Pop get angry with Roy about and what does he do about it?

3. What does Roy reveal to Harriet and what results from that revelation?

4. What did Roy see immediately after he beat up The Judge and left the tower where he was?

5. When Roy is in Memo's motel room, and she is talking about Gus, what does say about their relationship? Explain what the true nature of that relationship is.

6. 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?

7. What did Pop tell Roy about the pennant game and his dreams?

8. When Roy is teased about his bat being white, he makes the comment that it is the bat's true color. What does the color white indicate, and how does this apply to Roy's bat?

9. What sort of fans follow the Knights?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss how the unfolding of Roy's character throughout the novel is related to the seasonal aspects of the vegetative myths from Arthurian tales.

Essay Topic 2

Malamud tells us that sometimes when Hobbs watched the baseball come to him before hitting it, he thought it looked like all circles, and he didn't like circles. He made the statement that circles just bring you back to the place you started from. Explain that theme from the novel, coming back to where you started. What examples from the novel illustrate that theme?

Essay Topic 3

Much of The Natural is based on mythology, particular Arthurian mythology. Choose a myth you are familiar with and compare it to The Natural. Be sure to address the idea of theme is both the myth and The Natural.

(see the answer keys)

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