Roy Hobbs Quotes in The Natural
As [Roy Hobbs] was looking, there flowed along this bone-white farmhouse with sagging skeletal porch, alone in untold miles of moonlight, and before it this white-faced, long-boned boy whipped with train-whistle yowl a glowing ball to someone hidden under a dark oak, who shot it back without thought, and the kid once more wound and returned. Roy shut his eyes to the sight because if it wasn’t real it was a way he sometimes had of observing himself.
As the train skirted close in, the trees leveled out and he could see within the woodland the only place he had been truly intimate with in his wanderings, a green world shot through with weird light and strange bird cries, muffled in silence that made the privacy so complete his inmost self had no shame of anything he thought there, and it eased the body-shaking beat of his ambitions.
[B1]Harriet brightened, saying sympathetically, “What will you hope to accomplish, Roy?”
He had already told her but after a minute remarked, “Sometimes when I walk down the street I bet people will say there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in the game.”
She gazed at him with touched and troubled eyes. “Is that all?” […] “Isn’t there something over and above earthly things—some more glorious meaning to one’s life and activities?”
She pulled the trigger (thrum of bull fiddle). The bullet cut a silver line across the water. He sought with his bare hands to catch it, but it eluded him and, to his horror, bounced into his gut. A twisted dagger of smoke drifted up from the gun barrel. Fallen on one knee he groped for the bullet, sickened as it moved, and fell over as the forest flew upward, and she, making muted noises of triumph and despair, danced on her toes around the stricken hero.
For his bulk [Roy Hobbs] looked lithe, and he appeared calmer than he felt, for although he was sitting here on this step he was still in motion. He was traveling (on the train that never stopped). His self, his mind, raced on and he felt he hadn’t stopped going wherever he was going because he hadn’t yet arrived.
Roy found himself looking around every so often to make sure he was here. He was, all right, yet in all his imagining of how it would be when he finally hit the majors, he had not expected to feel so down in the dumps. It was different than he had thought it would be. So different he almost felt like walking out, jumping back on a train, and going wherever people went when they were running out on something. Maybe for a long rest in one of those towns he had lived in as a kid. Like the place where he had that shaggy mutt that used to scamper through the woods.
[A] door seemed to open in the mind and this naked redheaded lovely slid out of a momentary flash of light, and the room was dark again […] when she got into bed with him he almost cried out in pain as her icy hands and feet, in immediate embrace, slashed his hot body […] he found what he wanted and had it.
Staring at the light gleaming on Pop’s bald bean, Roy felt himself going off … way way down, drifting through the tides into golden water as he searched for this lady fish, or mermaid, or whatever you called her […] Sailing lower into the pale green sea, he sought everywhere for the reddish glint of her scales, until the water became dense and dark green and then everything gradually got so black he lost all sight of where he was.
Even the weather was better, more temperate after the insulting early heat, with just enough rain to keep the grass a bright green and yet not pile up future double headers. Pop soon got into the spirit of winning, lowered the boom on his dismal thoughts, and showed he had a lighter side […] His hands healed and so did his heart.
“Pardon the absence of light,” the Judge said, almost making [Hobbs] jump. “As a youngster I was frightened of the dark—used to wake up sobbing in it, as if it were water and I were drowning—but you will observe that I have disciplined myself so thoroughly against that fear, that I much prefer a dark to a lit room […] There is in the darkness a unity, if you will, that cannot be achieved in any other environment, a blending of self with what the self perceives, an exquisite mystical experience.”
He felt contentment in moving. It rested him by cutting down the inside motion—that which got him nowhere, which was where he was and [Memo] was not, or where his ambitions were and he was chasing after. Sometimes he wished he had no ambitions—often wondered where they had come from in his life, because he remembered how satisfied he had been as a youngster, and that with the little he had—a dog, a stick, an aloneness he loved.
He felt he had been running for ages, then this blurred black forest slid past him, and as he slowed down, each black tree followed a white, and then all the trees were lit in somber light till the moon burst forth through the leaves and the woods glowed. Out of it appeared this boy and his dog, and Roy in his heart whispered him a confidential message: watch out when you cross the road, kid.
[Hobbs] woke in the locker room, stretched out on a bench […] He sat there paralyzed though his innards were in flight […] He longed for a friend, a father, a home to return to—saw himself packing his duds in a suitcase, buying a ticket, and running for a train. Beyond the first station he’d fling Wonderboy out the window.
Half [Iris’s] life ago, just out of childhood it seemed […] she had one night alone in the movies met a man twice her age, with whom she had gone walking in the park. Sensing at once what he so unyieldingly desired, she felt instead of fright, amazement at her willingness to respond […] She had all she could do to tear herself away from him, and rushed through the branches, scratching her face and arms in the bargain. But he would not let her go, leading her always into dark places.
It later struck him that the picture he had drawn of Memo sitting domestically home wasn’t exactly the girl she was. The kind he had in mind, though it bothered him to admit it, was more like Iris seemed to be, only she didn’t suit him. Yet he could not help but wonder what was in her letter.
[A]s the Judge had talked [Roy Hobbs] recalled an experience he had had when he was a kid. He and his dog were following an old skid road into the heart of a spooky forest when the hound suddenly let out a yelp, ran on ahead, and got lost. It was late in the afternoon and he couldn’t stand the thought of leaving the dog there alone all night, so he went into the wood after it. At first he could see daylight between the trees—to this minute he remembered how still the trunks were, as the tree tops circled around in the breeze […] but just at about the time the darkness got so thick he was conscious of having to shove against it as he hallooed for the dog, he got this scared and lonely feeling that he was impossibly lost.
When [Roy Hobbs] hit the street he was exhausted. He had not shaved, and a black beard gripped his face […] He stared into faces of people he passed along the street but nobody recognized him.
“He coulda been a king,” a woman remarked to a man.
At the corner near some stores he watched the comings and goings of the night traffic. He felt the insides of him beginning to take off (chug chug choo choo…). Pretty soon they were in fast flight.