How does the theme of wisdom apply to The Natural?
Roy Hobbs is one of literature's greatest anti-heroes and, as such, unwise. Blessed with great natural ability, Roy squanders two careers and his role as a father as he falls prey to women, greed, and food. Malamud says there are no more heroes left in the modern world, that they are undermined not only by themselves, but by bloodsuckers--journalists (Max Mercy), bookies (Gus Sands), owners (Judge Banner), and--above all--women (Harriet Bird, Memo Paris).
Roy's first career as a natural ends when he fails to give Harriet Bird "wise" answers to her philosophical questions. She asks him the meaning of life, and his response is:
Sometimes when I walk down the street I bet people will say there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in the game.
Her reply is:
Is that all? Isn't there something over and above earthly things—some more glorious meaning to one's life and activities?
Roy is clearly an ego-centric physical force who pays no...
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