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please give paper letter grade and summarize mistakes (1 Viewer)


David Kulesh

In the motion picture The Natural, Barry Levinson attempts to convey the mythological struggle of a gifted ballplayer from Bernard Malumud’s brilliant nineteen fifty-one novel. The product of Malumud’s literary genius is captivating, as he navigates the reader through the epic journey of the much maligned baseball phenom, Roy Hobbs. The story, heavily influenced by Arthurian legends, is enriched with profound symbolism and thought provoking ulterior meaning. Can Malamud’s work be successfully translated to cinema?
As before mentioned, the novel is a loose adaptation of Arthurian legends, particularly those of Perceval and the Fisher King. Esentially, the character Roy Hobbs is based on Perceval, who must help heal the wounded Fischer King by obtaining the holy grail, thus bringing prosperity back to the barren waste-land that was his kingdom. In the novel, Hobbs needs to contribute to the knights winning the pennant to heal Pop, whose character is based on King Fischer, and return the knights franchise to respectability, and in the process lift the consuming onus from Pop’s shoulders that was created when he cost the knights a chance at winning the world series many years before. (In the novel pop isn’t really ill, but a definite reference is made to the legend in that Pop had a disgusting hand fungus that abates when Roy is helping the team win, thus moving them closer to the pennant) Roy and Perceval are both distracted from their goals by overbearing self interest, which obscures their genuine priorities.
The fact that Levinson decided to modify virtually every aspect of the novel’s plot is extremely perplexing. From the very beginning of the movie, he is recklessly and needlessly altering the foundation of the story. One significant difference between the novel and the movie is that the movie neglects to adequately portray the commanding influence that women, particularly Memo and Iris, had on Roy. Iris is modeled after the Arthurian vegetative goddess, who is a fertile, energy-giving force. Conversely, Memo is a destructive force, weakening all those who are close to her. It is most effective to demonstrate these effects on Roy, as Malamud chose to do, by haphazardly exposing Roy to both women simultaneously during Roy’s all-important rookie year, clearly exhibiting their impact on Roy’s performance. In opting to take the story down this path, Malamud lets the reader witness first-hand Roy’s greatest weakness, his inability to identify and escape the precarious situations that he frequently finds himself in. One can only idly watch as Roy mindlessly gravitates towards the debilitating forces of Memo, which drain Roy’s strength and ultimately jeopardize his career. Levinson portrayal of this pivotal theme is incomplete. After Iris stands up at the baseball game, providing Roy with confidence, they develop a purely platonic relationship. Iris never intimates that she is sexually interested in Roy, therefore, she does not present herself as an alterative to the malevolent Memo. In the novel, Roy copulates with two women that are both seemingly willing to have a lasting relationship with him. Roy visits bodies of water with both of them. The water Roy visits with Memo is polluted, while when with Iris it is pristine. Iris is the fertile grandmother, Memo has an ailing mammary. If Memo is the antithesis of Iris, why isn’t she portrayed as such? Roy should have been confronted with a clear choice, like in the novel when Roy chooses to continue to pursue Memo when he chooses to ignore Iris’s letter and avoid her. One could easily argue that Roy’s choice between these two women is the turning point in the book. Had Roy chosen to be with Iris, under her positive influence, it can be logically inferred that he would have realized what was really important and never would have thrown the game, hurting his career, the game, the fans, and most importantly, Pop, the king.
A significant inconsistency lies in Roy’s bat, “wonderboy” and the ending of the movie. Wonderboy is obviously based on a knights sword. Wonderboy, among other things, symbolizes Roy’s strength, courage, and natural talent. Roy needs his bat similarly to the way a knight needs his sword, he simply can not function without it. To allow Roy to help his team win the pennant without the help of wonderboy would be to abandon the entire Arthurian structure on which the book was written. Ironically, this is exactly what transpires. Wonderboy is broken on a foul ball in both the movie and the book. In the novel Roy proceeds to strike out. Even though Roy realizes that he made a huge mistake and decides to try to win the game, it is too little too late. He has fallen into the trap set by Gus and Memo and must suffer the consequences of his string of poor decisions. Brilliant Barry Levinson decided, however, that this was not the way he wanted his movie to end. In an extremely trite, melodramatic scene, a corpulent bat-boy decided to give Roy the bat that he helped make. Roy uses the bat to hit a home run and win the pennant, and in the process the movie is reduced to little more than a predictable tribute to America’s favorite pastime. While not a bad movie, Levinson’s creation deviates too much from the fundamental story of the Malamud’s masterpiece to be justifiably called The Natural.


Senior Member
On technical quality alone, I'd say F. You need to take a look at the Chicago Manual of Style, or APA Stylebook, or even the MLA Handook, depending on what you will be doing with this. Turning it in for an assignment or sending it in for publication.

You make several broad, sweeping statements, but offer nothing in support of them . A central thesis statement and some clarification of the points you intend to argue would work wonders.

Without having read the book or seen the movie, I can't give you anything on your interpretation, or even offer you direction on arguable points. Perhaps someone else may.

Check the spelling on the author's name. You have it spelled a couple of different ways. When referring to books, movies, plays, etc., there is a specific way for them to be referenced and formatted within a work. Who is the audience? Who are you writing for? People who have read the book and seen the play, or those who have not? If it's the latter audience, you're going to need a lot more detail to get and hold their attention. Also, toward the ending, don't give away either the book or the movie's ending, otherwise readers/moviegoers who haven't been exposed to either will be unlikely to seek them out. Write to captivate and entice them toward wanting to explore these works.

Just my two cents worth, on sale now.


americanwriter, thank you very much for your reply. You raise some good points. the paper was for my senior hs english class. you are exactly write about the the technical aspects of the paper. I dont really know how you are supposed to write, so i just kinda winged the format.