June meeting

Iris Lemon (Glenn Close) in "The Natural"
Iris Lemon (Glenn Close) in “The Natural”.

In today’s session, we read part VII (7). After meeting Irish, swimming with her and making love, Roy seems to change course and is seriously chasing after Memo again. What?!? This guy is crazy! Can’t he see which woman is better for him? Even he admits to himself that Memo is not the domestic housewife/mother type, yet still he lusts after her. What an idiot!

He carries a letter from Iris around with him, but he doesn’t read it! Instead, he eats and eats and eats and finally gets sick. Ha! Serves him right! He cannot control his appetites, either for food or for sex, or for fame and glory on the baseball diamond.

By the way, I found the photo above on a blog which discusses the movie “The Natural”: the blogger says the father-son relationship is one of the biggest themes in “The Natural” (the movie, not the novel). I wonder what you think? You can read it here: http://checkthis.com/mwwz


Our next session will be July 11th when we will read part VIII.

There will be no session in August, and in September we will finish reading “The Natural” – yay!!  (At last.)



8 thoughts on “June meeting”

  1. I agree with “mother’s nature” that his tendency toward women derives from his experiences with his mother. He called her mother “whore” (and Memo as well at almost end of the novel), and he seems to have lacked maternal love and attention.

    As to his father, my memory is mixed up with the film where Roy and his father enjoyed catch balls as if exchanging hearts. (I really like catch balls between father and son.) His father might have passed away when he was young but his memories remain fresh and sound and there are Sam and Red like a substitute father as well. On hearing the news of his son, father’s love and responsibility filled his heart spontaneously. Is it something lurking in man’s heart and triggered to overflow by the news that he is going to be a father, if only the man had sweet experience with his father no matter how short or small? Yes, I think father-son relationship is one of the subjects of this novel. Thank you for introducing an interesting opinion.

  2. Yes, Roy’s love for Memo and Iris is not for their spirit but only desire. I think that is one of the reason Memo and Iris rejected his love at first. Though there are another underplot.

  3. “This guy is crazy! Roy admits to himself that Memo is not so better for the domestic housewife/ mother type as Iris. Yet still he chases after her. What an idiot! ” I think this thinking way is common sense. But for someone “Love is beyond reason. 恋は盲目 in Japanese.” This idea is not strange either. While somebody (or many ) tend to consider love calculatingly, this may not be true love. What true love is, is described in this novel, so it is attractive for readers, I think.
    In the movie of “The Natural”, Roy had initially chosen not to be with Iris. Eventually he managed to forget and give up his affection for Memo, because the news of Iris’ pregnancy makes him feel the “father and son” bond. In this sense, Father-Son relationship may be one of the biggest themes in the movie. In the cases of Roy’s father and Iris’ pregnancy, relations are flesh and blood. On the other hand, Sam Simpson, Red and the sick child rely on their heart which makes them feel the father-son bond.
    Even people who are not related by blood can find and form a mutual bond, I think, so heart is very important. I can make sense approximately pf what the author intends.

    1. I agree. English also has the expression “love is blind” (perhaps we stole it from Japanese?). But I wonder, are Roy’s feelings for Memo really love? One of his many failings is, he cannot tell the difference between love and lust (like any teenager, but he is over 30!!). Another failing is, he does not realize that Iris, even though he met and talked with her just once, is challenging him to grow and think about what he is doing. Memo never did that.

  4. I thought that Roy was basking in the love of his father or of substitutes for his father. On the other hand, when Memo served food for him, he remembered his grand mother instead of his mother, and he could not be sure if his mother loved him.( p.160)
    I wonder if this fact and his feelings about his mother influenced his tendency to love who do not seem to love him, like Harriet and Memo.

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