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 is the Judge's plans for the Knights?

2. What happens to Roy because of Doc Knobb's help?

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

4. How does Harriet respond when Roy says he wants to be the best baseball player ever?

5. Why does "The Whammer" reject Roy?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Iris tell Roy when he says his life has been a series of disappointments?

2. Why does Roy have doubts about playing with the Knights when he has longed for fifteen years to play with them? What about his dream changes when he meets the team?

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

4. How does Roy respond when the fans begin supporting him during the Knights' wins, after having rejected him all through his slump? How does his reaction change?

5. What did the new young pitcher for the Pirates have in common with Roy, and how was his dream different?

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

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

8. Why is the train significant in Chapter One of the novel? What does it represent about Roy's life?

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Natural is divided into two parts, Pre-Game and Batter Up! Discuss why Malamud divided the story this way. What has occurred in the fifteen years between the two parts? Use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Malamud wrote, "Sometimes as he watched the ball soar, it seemed to him all circles, and he was mystified at his devotion to hacking at it, for he had never really liked the sight of a circle. They got you nowhere but back to the place where you were to begin with." Discuss ways in which Roy travels in a circle, going nowhere but coming back to where he started from. Give examples from the book.

Essay Topic 3

Age is a recurring theme in The Natural. Discuss how age enters into both the story and into the probable author's purpose. Use examples from the novel to prove your point. Include how Roy is alike/different at age fifteen and thirty-four.

(see the answer keys)

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