What are the differences between the baseball movie The Natural and the book The Natural by Bernard Malamud?
What is the difference between myth and tragedy? Between a hero and an antihero? Between everlasting life and public humiliation? The gulfs are enormous. The novel and the film are not siblings or even distant cousins; they're not even the same species.
In Bernard Malamud's The Natural, Roy Hobbs ends in ignominious defeat. He strikes out, throws the series, is left broke, unloved, an outcast. But in Barry Levinson's The Natural Roy Hobbs ends with fireworks and fanfare. He hits a homerun, gets the girl, and is immortalized.
Malamud's novel is dark, a modern tragedy in which antihero Roy Hobbs, a gluttonous womanizer, suffers for his failures. Look at its last pages:
"Going down the tower stairs he fought his overwhelming self-hatred...He thought, I never did learn anything out of my past life, now I have to suffer again."
And later, after Roy is banned from baseball and exposed in the newspapers, like Joe Jackson after the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, Roy is "forever...
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