Study Guide

The Natural Chapter 3

By Bernard Malamud

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Chapter 3

  • The next day, Roy finds his locker trashed and Bump about to saw up Wonderboy, his special homemade bat, into pieces.
  • This means war.
  • Roy starts practicing with the team, and when he hits one out of the park Pop asks to examine Wonderboy, wondering if it's regulation.
  • Since Roy's picked up the pace, Bump actually decides to make an effort instead of being lazy, like he usually is. This inspires the team to play better and Pop's thrilled.
  • Before the first game that Roy will play, a short man in a green suit, Doc Knobb, shows up to hypnotize the team, supposedly to help them play better.
  • Roy will have none of that voodoo and walks out, even though Doc threatens to bench him if he won't participate with the team.
  • From the bench, Roy gets to know the team and all their crazy superstitions.
  • He also gets to know the fans, in particular a lovely redheaded woman named Memo (yeah, the naked one from the hotel room). He's crazy about her, but she doesn't give him the time of day because she's Bump's girlfriend.
  • When Doc Knobb offers to hypnotize Pop along with the team, Pop gets offended and fires Knobb.
  • At the next game, Bump plays really badly and Pop decides to put Roy in to bat for him.
  • Pop tells Roy to knock the cover off the ball, and Roy does exactly that, literally. The pitcher's looking at the cover of the ball while the rest of it unwinds slowly as it flies into the outfield.
  • Unfortunately, the game is rained out while the teams are tied.
  • At the next game Bump hustles to catch a ball and runs smack into the outfield wall, breaking his body and winding up in the hospital.
  • Roy takes Bump's place on the field and Red thinks he's a natural. Pop isn't convinced, though, because Roy will swing at anything, even bad pitches.
  • At the end of the game, after Roy breaks records left and right, he sees something flying and catches it. It turns out to be a canary, dead in his mitt.
  • Can you spell "ominous"?

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