Study Guide

The Natural Chapter 7

By Bernard Malamud

Chapter 7

  • Roy tracks down the woman in the stands from a newspaper photo and after some convincing, she agrees to meet him in the park. Her name's Iris Lemon.
  • Iris remembers another time long ago when she met a stranger in the park and allowed him to seduce her.
  • When Roy shows up, they talk in the car and try to get to know each other.
  • Roy drives her to a lake, and asks her why she stood up for him the other night.
  • She says she's not a baseball fan, but that she became interested in Roy when she read about him in the papers. She believes that people need heroes like Roy.
  • According to Roy, Iris standing up was what broke him out of his slump.
  • Roy thinks he hears a train whistle, but Iris says it was just a bird.
  • He's pretty sure that his bad luck has to do with the type of woman he attracts, and begs Iris to never hurt him.
  • Roy wants to know why Iris never got married, but she doesn't answer. He takes off all his clothes and jumps into the lake.
  • Iris follows him, but she won't kiss him when he tries.
  • He dives down to the bottom of the lake, and since he's under for so long Iris gets scared and freaks out. She dives naked into the water to look for him. When he finally comes back up she's so relieved that she kisses him.
  • They build a fire and Iris finally confesses that she was never married but that she has a grown daughter.
  • Roy seems to be able to handle that information, but when she tells him that she's a 33-year-old grandmother (in the middle of having sex—very strategic timing) he does freak out a little bit.
  • She starts to ask Roy a question but doesn't get a chance to finish because he pushes her back down.

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