Elements of Nature in the Natural

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Lindsay Murphy Murphy 1 Weinberg Honors English 12-26-11 Elements of Nature in The Natural Since Aesop’s time, natural elements have been used for omens and symbols to tell stories. Natural elements have been used to tell what’s going to happen in life. Running water symbolizes the beginning of something, fire the end. Hills or mountains show that obstacles might be coming, a valley shows a good period is on its way. There are probably thousands of elements of nature that symbolize something or other, but in the book The Natural by Bernard Malmud, the elements of nature that are used: flowing water, thunder and lighting, and trees, prove a theme that is consistent throughout the book: nature is on the side of good people. Flowing water, especially rivers, have always been a symbol of beginnings to the main character, Roy Hobbs. Rivers are often associated with beginnings-beginnings of life, beginnings of a dream, beginnings of a goal (Louis, “Symbols”). Roy has experienced some of these beginnings as well as others. Before Roy joined the baseball team the Knights, he lived right by a river. When Roy talks to Pop, the Knights coach, about his bat, he tells him where he got the wood for it. He talks about “…this tree near the river where I lived” (Malmud, 64). Clearly, Roy was born near this river, as well as getting the bat from the tree near the river, which ended up being a asset in the beginning of Murphy 2 his baseball career. Being born is obviously a beginning, a beginning of life, as is starting the dream job of being a baseball player. So, why shouldn’t Roy think of rivers as a symbol of beginnings, seeing as two of his most important took place by the same

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