The Natural is filled to the brim with characters and themes that stem from a number of different myths. While the most prominent are Arthurian myths, there are also echoes of Greek tragedy, "vegetative" myths (the cyclical system in which the land renews itself each year with new life, while at the end of the year the old life dies to be replaced with a new one), and even psychological archetypes, such as those catalogued by the psychological theorist Carl Jung.
In all of these systems, the role of Memo Paris is fairly obvious: she is the destructive force, the antithesis to the hero that leads to his downfall. She is not a vegetative goddess, the source of life; that role goes to Iris Lemon, the woman who is such a life force that she is a grandmother at thirty- three. Simply by standing and supporting him, Iris can help Roy break out of his slump. Memo, on the other hand, only saps Roy's energy away. Pop Fisher warns Roy to stay away from Memo, as she "weakens a man." After Roy's first and only date with Memo, he immediately falls into a slump. It is his desire for Memo that causes Roy to become sick, and later, to take a bribe from the Judge to throw the playoff game that decides the pennant. Roy's desire for Memo does not come from love, but merely childish lust; he does not want to take on the responsibility of being with Iris, a grandmother, which would make him a grandfather. Roy therefore pursues Memo, despite all the fact that all signs point to the idea that he will never win her. Memo is not at all the nurturing life force that Roy, as a symbolic vegetative god, should be with: her breast is "sick," and she claims to be "strictly a dead man's woman"—meaning, specifically, the late Bump Baily, but more symbolically men who have no life in them. The only real opportunity Memo offers Roy is the option is to sell his soul to the Judge. Only then, when Roy has sacrificed his talent and ability for money, can he be with Memo, however happy being with her may make him. Memo is the "Bitch-Goddess of the American Dream" in the words of one critic—the trophy wife who must be purchased and mortgaged. She is a vacuum, sucking away Roy's energy while giving him none of her own.