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An Analysis of a River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean

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An Analysis of a River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean essay
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Why does something that has taught someone so much have to leave and come back when it could be too late? This seems like it is the case a lot with children. This statement is shown effectively in the movie ” A River Runs Through It ” by Norman Maclean. Looking at Pauls life, my life, and life in general a person can see similarities. The similarities show that a leader drives life, when that leader leaves things may become tough, and your parents might not be the help that you need. I know that I am going to have to deal with similar problems as Paul and other siblings do.

In every sibling relationship the older sibling plays a teacher and a role model for the younger sibling. This holds true in the movie ” A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean. Awaiting Norman nearly everyday after school was Paul ready to go fishing. Paul needed Norman to lead him through the meadow down to the river to make sure they got in the right spot. Norman would fish lures out of the trees for Paul and correct him without making Paul feel as though he did something wrong. Even after all the years Norman brought Paul fishing he knew Paul taught himself as well. Norman expresses this by saying, ” My brother had become an artist.” In all of my years knowing my brother I have learned more from him that anyone else. He would always drag me along with him to play baseball just so I would stop complaining. Although I knew he didnt want me to come along he hardly ever showed his disagreement. Playing with an older age group prepared me for my future in sports. He has taught me by example how to deal with the little problems in life. The biggest thing he has taught me is to step in when things are getting tough. He would always tell me to go into drills during football practice knowing that I would only benefit from it. Although not everyone has the luxury of having an older sibling, most people would agree that they are a major guideline in ones life.

It seems that right before siblings are coming to a sticking point they have to let go and there may be consequences. Right before Norman is going to leave for college it seems Norman and Paul are actually starting to get to know each other. After Norman leaves Paul, to go off for college, Paul starts getting into trouble with alcohol and with gambling. This is either a consequence or a grieving period of not having his best friend around to keep him busy doing something other than drinking and gambling. When Norman came back he saw almost instantly that Paul had changed. When Norman walked into Pauls office he was drinking alcohol. Norman didnt think this was a problem until the night when he had to go get Paul out of jail because of his alcohol abuse. After the death of Paul Norman states, ” Maybe all I really know about Paul is that he was a fine fisherman.” It seems as though he says this because he wanted to know his brother better and didnt help him find out about his problems and help him with them. In the same way as Norman, my brother has been there to help me make many decisions. I know that once he leaves there is a chance that I will run into some problems as Paul did. Right now we are getting to know each other the best we ever have. Sharing a car and driving almost every where together helped us get to know each other better. Right now he is the only one who will get me up to go weight lifting an hour before school so that I can get better. Right now my brother can give me advice about sports and life but once he leaves wit will be very hard to go to my parents about some of my issues. Life in general becomes less interesting and more difficult when a persons only sibling leaves your proximity.

Parents will always be there but not always in same way that siblings are. Being in such a religious family Norman and Paul were strictly raised. This is shown when their parents yell at them for using someone elses boat and ruining it. The boys show there discipline by telling their dad, ” Ill work it off father, it was my idea.” They were taught at a very young age to be discipline, which was a good thing. Once Norman moved away so did Paul from his parents. If Norman had been around, Paul would have had someone to go to early in his problems. This showed that Paul wasnt comfortable enough to talk to his parents about his serious problems because they wouldnt understand the way that Paul did. The same story of Norman and Paul holds true with my parents. They are very good at supporting me through all of my sporting events and education. They also got me involved in religion at a very young age. These are areas that are most likely going to be part of the rest of my life. It is going to be hard to get the same advice and information that my brother gave me from my parents. For one reason, it is harder to address them about some areas of concern. It is easier to talk to my brother about it because I know that he has experienced it. Parents will always be there judging you whether the issue is a good one of a bad one.

There are many ways that I can relate my life to Pauls. There are also many ways I dont want to relate my life to his. I realize that my brother has taught me a lot, but I also know that he is going to leave. This means I will have to incorporate what he has taught me. Such as how life is driven by a leader, when a leader leaves things may become difficult, and parents arent always the solution to ones problems. Life can change in a hurry and its not always easy.

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An Analysis of a River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean. (2019, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 21, 2021, from
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