The Natural Essay

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In the following excerpt, Turner points out how Malamud's recurrent theme of the conflict between myths and the outer world appears in The Natural.

The Natural is a curiosity on two counts: first because it is one of the very few "non-Jewish" works of the author; and second because it makes use of a supposedly unadaptable subject for serious fiction—baseball. It is perhaps this latter factor which has contributed most substantially to the novel's wary critical reception. Baseball has resisted the best efforts of American writers to elevate it to a sufficient height to sustain a serious work, though several writers, notably Ring Lardner, Charles Einstein, and Mark Harris, have correctly seen it as a microcosm of American life. The uniqueness of Malamud's treatment derives from the fact that he has been able to invest this boy's game with tragi-comic qualities as opposed, say, to Lardner or...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 2,308 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Natural Study Guide
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The Natural from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.