The Natural
by Bernard Malamud

Reader-Response Questions
by Ron Weightman

Contact Mr. Defer for the answers.




1. If dropped, what would cause a deep hole?

2. Causing him to refer to Roy as a maestro, the porter, Eddie, had seen what?

3. Where is Roy Hobbs going?

4. Why did Eddie throw the dice over the depot roof?

5. TF Roy inadvertently gave the waiter his autograph, spilled some water, and gave the white rose back to the lady in black.

6. TF Sam dreamt about twelve terrific players who fled when they saw him.

7. What happened to the football boy and the Olympic runner?

8. Why did the whammer want Max to get rid of Sam?

9. Why did Roy leave the club car and sit in the sleeper?

10. The pretty girl in yellow owed Roy how many kisses?

11. TF "Bazooka" refers to Roy's "pitching arm."

12. Who said, "'It's your funeral'"?

13. TF The Whammer was vulnerable to inside pitches.

14. TF Harriet was enthralled by the prospect of a contest of skill.

15. TF The Whammer, after taking the first strike, was no longer conscious of Miss Bird.

16. After strike two, the Whammer accused Roy of throwing what kind of pitch?

17. TF The Whammer took his defeat without retort.

18. Roy's third pitch did what to Sam?

19. Who was eyeing Hobbs as the buxom carnival girl gave Roy his puckered prize?

20. TF Roy's father had completely abandoned his son to the clutches of multiple orphanages.

21. TF Harriet's literary allusions made Roy wish he had a book to read.

22. TF Roy's pronouncement included offensive and defensive boasts.

23. Feeling deflated about disappointing Harriet mentally, Roy challenged Bird physically to nest with him in the bedroom.

24. TF In the darkness of the tunnel, Roy scored a homerun with Harriet, bringing her to a screaming climax.

25. Who hinted he could do great things for Roy?

26. In Sam's dream, what structure was missing, which would have kept him from the foaming rivers or the restless sea?

27. What really killed Sam?

A) Harriet's poison.
B) Liver failure from being an alcoholic.
C) Roy's fastball at the carnival contest.
D) Complications from where the washboard banged him.
E) The sportswriter's knife.

28. After promising Sam that he would go to the Stevens Hotel and see Clarence Mulligan, Roy experienced self-doubt in the cab.

29. TF Roy Hobbs lost his nervousness once he felt the cool Chicago lake breeze.

30. TF Harriet Bird was also staying on the seventeenth floor of the Stevens Hotel.

31. The evil Harriet, destroying Roy's glory before it rose by shooting Hobbs in the gut, muted what two sounds?

32. Pop summed up his years in baseball with what simile?

33. What was Roy's response to Pop Fisher's "Salvation-Army-band" question?

34. Why did the manager, Pop Fisher, say Roy belonged "in an old man's home"?

35. To whom was Pop referring when he said, "Just like that godawful deadbeat. He'd skin his dead father if he could get into the grave"?

36. Who helped calm Pop down so that Roy could get a chance to suit up?

37. TF Dizzy tried to fit Roy without taking his measurements.

38. How did Hobbs feel when he finally sat down in a big league locker room?

39. TF Bump's grapefruit gag failed to work on Pop because Fisher sidestepped the fruit and avoided the splash..

40. TF As Pop was demeaning the ballplayers with animal metaphors, Max was secretly taking notes on the other side of the door.

41. Why did Pop allude to lightning with regard to Bump Baily?

42. TF Mr. Hobbs took the manager's accusations personally, though he hadn't whatsoever been responsible for the Knights' downfall.

43. Pop Fisher helped Roy in all ways, except:

A) Cut him a check for $25.00.
B) Took him to the Midtown hotel.
C) Advised him to comply with Bump's favors.
D) Suggested when to quit the game.
E) Asked Red to show him around.

44. TF Bump wanted the Red-headed girl to shoot Roy with a silver bullet so Hobbs wouldn't play on the team.

45. What would break the jinx for Pop and satiate him?

A) Having Bump reform.
B) Barring sportswriters from the game.
C) Seeing Roy steal home at his age.
D) Winning the pennant and the world series.
E) Recruiting more white guys on the Knights' roster.

46. TF Roy exuded a certain confidence in response to Red's concern that he protect his old age.

47. Once Roy got into [Bump's] bed, about which did he not think in his effort to attain sleep?

A) His childhood girlfriend.
B) The naked redhead.
C) The actress from the movie.
D) Crazy Harriet.

48. Who was about to attack Wonderboy with a hacksaw?

49. TF When Pop wanted to know what the trouble was about between Bump and Roy, the latter enumerated the exact details of the practical joke.

50. TF Facing Fowler in the batting cage, Roy smashed three consecutive pitches, a fastball, a curve, and a knuckle ball, over the right, center, and left field walls, respectively.

51. Roy wasn't playing in the games for all of the following reasons, except:

A) The shyster had told Pop that Roy was a bad seed.
B) Pop was being stubborn.
C) Roy had defied Pop.
D) Roy disapproved of Doc Knobb's psychology sessions.

52. TF When left unhypnotized, the Knights played worse than when Doc Knobb was there to pacify them.

53. TF Memo wanted to see Roy after every game.

54. TF Doc Knobb used Pop Fisher as a scapegoat.

55. TF Fisher benched Baily because Bump had cursed the old man publicly.

56. Roy's hit had the following effects, except:

A) The game was being played under protest.
B) Roy got an RBI.
C) Roy would now be a starter.
D) Roy's release was being withdrawn.

57. TF Bump was on the critical list because he did not heed Flores's warning about the wall.

58. TF Once Red Blow disspelled Max Mercy's theory about Wonderboy, the sportswriter dropped his suspicion about the bat.

59. TF The crowd's response to Roy's left-field play in his major league debut satisfied him 100%.

60. TF Catching the canary, according to league statisticions, counted as one of Roy's defensive chances, that is, as another opportunity for an out.

61. What was the thorn in Memo's grief?

62. To what does "flaming above and dark below" refer?

63. TF Roy's cards and candies moved Memo to terminate her mourning and begin wearing white. 

64. Who was the "ghost by another name"?

A) Memo Paris
B) Harriet Bird
C) Hobb's unconscious self
D) Bump Baily

65. Once the Knights attained possession of sixth place, why was Pop Fisher melancholy?

66. As with the new breed of Knights' fans, Pop got into the spirit of winning and showed what?

67. What did Max send to a thousand country papers in the West in order to obtain more facts about Roy?

68. How much more than Roy was Bump making?

69. Who once prevented Judge Banner from selling Bump Baily?

70. After listening to the Judge's arguments against paying Hobbs more money, Roy compromised his price to what three descending fees?

71. TF Adding insult to injury, the Judge tried to bill Roy for damaged property.

72. TF While Roy gave Max nothing of his past to print, Hobbs did denounce his boss (the Judge) and agree to go have dinner with Max.

73. Who else was sitting at Gus Sands's table, motivating Roy to hustle over?

74. TF Due to Max Mercy's big mouth, Memo became aware of Roy's unsuccessful encounter with the Judge.

75. TF Gus placed bets on more things than Roy had hitherto been aware.

76. Who won the hundred on the Pink-Lady bet?

77. After losing two more bets to Gus and embarrassing himself in front of Memo, what finale did Roy do to restore his ego, redeem his stature, and resume his ploy for Memo?

78. In what place were the Knights when 'Roy Hobbs Day' was held?

79. TF In his Mercedes-Benz with Miss Paris, Roy's heart felt heavy because he had doubts about where he stood with her affections. 

80. All of the following are true about Memo's and Roy's Long Island drive, except:

A) Roy evaded his mysterious past again.
B) Roy hit a kid in the fog.
C) Roy was compared to Bump.
D) Roy got angry when Memo said, "'Don't touch it.'"
E) Roy proclaimed champhood for his future.

81. How much did Pop fine Roy for his evening escapade?

82. TF In his lobby way conversation with Roy, Pop was candid about Memo's unluckiness, dissatisfaction, and harmfulness.

83. TF Max finally got his snap shot of Roy's black eye.

84. Why did Hobbs ask Memo if she'd seen the doctor yet?

85. Whom did Roy first approach for advice about his slump?

86. What was flaring up on the manager's hands?

87. To help Roy defeat his slump, Pop suggested all of the following, except:

A) Consult Lola.
B) Try another stick.
C) Bat cold.
D) Hit off different pitchers.
E) Bunt.

88. TF Lola advised that Roy eat less meat.

89. Now that the Knights were on the skid, all of the following occurred, except:

A) Roy was booed and benched.
B) Roy was immune to taunting becsuae of his rabbit ears.
C) Bonehead plays were rampant.
D) The team sunk into the second division.
E) Everybody on the team owned a rabbit's foot.

90. TF Bump's spirit returned to exact revenge and haunt Roy until Hobbs longed for the silver bullet.

91. Why did Barney's face break out in a sickish sweat?

92. Why did Ed Simmons get the nod?

93. While Roy was at the plate, all of he following occurred, except:

A) Roy's loyalty to the hunk of wood changed the score.
B) Tooney pulled a quick pitch.
C) Roy caught the white rose after rounding third.
D) Roy came through in the clutch.
E) The lady in red rose for a second time after the second strike on Roy.

94. TF Roy was able to call Iris because she had given him her phone number.

95. How did Iris respond when Roy described how she broke his jinx?

96. Which topic was not mentioned while Roy and Iris were at the deserted beach?

A) Getting an earlier start in the game.
B) Suffering.
C) Breaking records.
D) Dames who boost your confidence.
E) Influencing young boys.

97. TF Iris intuitively understood why Roy descended to the bottom of the murky lake.

98. Roy uttered, "Holy Jesus," because Iris told him:

A) He was a natural.
B) She is a grandmother.
C) We can't go all the way.
D) "You are really the first."

99. TF Roy couldn't phathom the thought of pursuing Iris and being a grandfather.

100. TF Memo was desperate for Roy and used sex to make him forget about Iris.

101. TF Seeing how dearly the fans loved Roy, he melted and reciprocated their warmth by hitting more home runs for the multitude.

102. Instead of kicking the blabbermouth in the teeth for printing the clown picture, Roy posed as a German ____ , gave Max terrible service, and smacked his ____ with a heavy hand, causing everybody to ____ with laughter.

103. After the craps game was over, Gus's first check to Roy was for how much?

The second check was for how much?

104. Who snapped the Knights' streak at seventeen?

105. How did the Knights take the last game of a four game series with the Pirates?

106. Roy got fourteen straight hits against whom?

107. TF Memo's note in Roy's mailbox encouraged him to read Iris's letter, have a cold drink, and come over to enjoy her lips.

108. TF Once Roy laid Memo down on the couch, she told him it rolls out into a bed.

109. Memo advised Roy not to "get anxious about the party" because ____ wasn't being served.

A) beer
B) hard liquor
C) wine
D) Evian

110. When did the party get livelier?

111. TF Before Roy ate his third plate of food, he told Memo that he was tired of eating.

112. Who told Roy to assert his leadership and tell the players to go home?

113. What was Roy's fifth plate of food for the evening?

114. Who has a good grip on Roy and is sucking him under?

115. Where was Roy when the Knights lost their last three games?

116. What two conditions might cause Roy's sudden death?

117. TF After sneaking out of the hospital, Roy secretly had a successful batting practice with Happy and Dizzy.

118. Roy visited Sam's spirit, who advised Hobbs, "Don't do it." What did Sam mean?

119. While recuperating, Roy thought of all of the following, except:

A) Where Iris's letter was.
B) That bastard shrimp - Pop.
C) Memo.
D) Sickening jobs.
E) Endorsements.

120. TF Memo poo-pooed Roy's restaurant idea.

121. TF When Roy guessed that he was being set up for a bribe to throw the game, Memo tried to deny knowing about it. 

122. So that the Judge wouldn't see Roy in a weakened state, what did Roy do?

123. TF The Judge never offered Roy more than double the prevailing rate for a bribe.

124. How would the Knights be made the laughingstock of organized baseball?

125. The Judge's stories about a boy, a physician and his patient, and his (Judge Banner's) own dog illustrated all of the following conditions, except:

A) An evil ending resulting from an evil decision.
B) A beautiful ending resulting from an evil deed. (physician)
C) A good ending resulting from a good act. (dog)
D) An evil ending resulting from a good decision. (boy)

126. The total cash value agreed upon by Roy and Judge Banner for the fix and for next year's contract was worth how much?

127. TF "An icicle of fright punctured his spine" once again as Roy read Iris's letter.

128. Why couldn't Roy's accusers accept ptomaine as an excuse for his colossal bellyache?

129. Pop, in his pregame dialogue with Roy, mentioned all of the following, except:

A) That blasted Memo.
B) Taking the pennant.
C) Personal blame for the Knights' dilemma.
D) Mulligan's similarity to Roy.

130. What unfriendly sounds preceded the "ovation of cheering"?

131. Why did Roy have sweat on his brow?

132. TF The return of cheers pleased Roy because it pepped him up.

133. What was the dream of the "dyed redhead with a mean mouth and dirty eyes" trying to tell Roy?

134. TF After strike two, Roy recollected "the time his old lady drowned the black tom cat in the tub."

135. TF After ball two, Roy imagined Iris on the beach as a beautiful mermaid.

136. TF After striking out the first time, Roy received a quick phone call in the dugout from the Judge, informing Roy that Memo was altogether pleased that he (Hobbs) was upholding his end of the bargain.

137. TF After Roy's walk, the Judge went to the window in the tower again.

138. What kind of note did Roy contemplate sending the Judge?

139. Before the ball knocked Iris down, it had deflected off of whose head?

140. Calm and lovely was the ____ side of Iris's face.

141. What oddity did Roy feel when he scanned the shape of Iris's body?

142. What did Iris have in her womb?

143. TF After ball three and after Flores took second, Roy prayed to be walked so as to further disguise the on-going fix.

144. TF Amazingly, thunder had shattered Roy's bat, forcing him to use a Louisville Slugger.

145. When Roy went to the mound to speak with Fowler, he advised the pitcher to:

A) try something funny.
B) throw inside to the next batter.
C) throw the ball good.
D) ignore the Judge.

146. Toward the end of the game, which did not occur?

A) Pop was losing hope.
B) Flores made a religious promise.
C) Fowler's pitching got sloppier.
D) Flores smacked a double.

147. What would cure what ailed Roy?

148. What would truly redeem Hobbs?

149. Vogelman saw Roy as what jungle animal?

150. For Youngberry, baseball was a means to what end?

151. What was the final score of the playoff game for the pennant and for the right to play in the World Series?

A) Pirates 1 Knights 0
B) Pirates 1 Knights 2
C) Pirates 2 Knights 0
D) Pirates 2 Knights 1

152. TF Roy buried Wonderboy in left field such that it would look like a whole bat.

153. TF Feeling guilty, Roy stuffed the bribe money into Pop's coat pocket while he was showering.

154. Where did the bookie's glass eye wind up?

155. TF After grazing Roy's shoulder, Memo blew her brains out.

156. If it is proven that Hobbs took a bribe to aid in the Knights' downfall, what will happen to Roy?

A) The key to the city will be confiscated from Roy's trophy case.
B) Iris will never speak to Roy again.
C) Roy will be banned from the sport.
D) An asterisk will be placed next to Roy's records.
E) Next year Max Mercy will be on the Judge's payroll.


Copyright © 1996

Mr. Ronald Weightman

All Rights Reserved

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