In "The Natural" by Bernard Malamud, what is a good narrative, theme, and your favorite quote?  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most significant quotes is from Pop to Roy when he is about to bat.  The lucid "Knock the cover off of the ball" is a powerful quote.  It reflects much about life and the game.  At this point in his life, Roy, a product of immense and pure talent wasted and deferred through his own ego, can only approach the game in one way.  Time has passed for him to become "the greatest."  All he can do at this point is play with his heart and not focus on anything else.  The very idea of him going up to bat with the intention to "knock the cover off of the ball" is an idea that helps to bring out the very essence of passion and intensity.  This zeal is all that Roy has left and it should be his guiding principle as he approaches the last stop on his professional career.  Pop is in much in the same condition.  Being forced out by the owner, Judge Banner, and having to endure the pain of losing in such a dramatic manner, all Pop can tell Roy is to approach the game with the passion and intensity that is redemptive in its own right.  The idea of "knock the cover off of the ball" is an approach to swing away and swing for the fences, no matter what the obstacles are and regardless of all else.  It is here where the quote occupies significance as it transcends baseball and becomes a statement of and about life.

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