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Loving the Untamed Artist

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lizzard
Words 1974
Pages 8
Crimson Shadow
Laura Jones
English 102-92
12 June 2010
Loving the Untamed Artist
Norman Maclean was a well-established English professor at the University of Chicago for many years before writing an account of his life in the western Rocky Mountains during the early 1900’s titled A River Runs Through It. Maclean focuses much of this account on the experiences of his brother, Paul, and himself. These experiences further centralize around the brothers’ primitive pastime, fly fishing. The plot twists through childhood memories and growing pains to unveil his life’s disappointments, risks, and losses. A few habitual values surface from within these pages. Through the relationship of two brothers, Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It depicts the values of unconditional love, self-control, and appreciation for art.
Expressed with acute emotional detail, A River Runs Through It combines positive and negative experiences to give a clear meaning to unconditional love. Maclean does not waste many pages before giving himself a conscientious loving-brother image. The first negative circumstance which would hinder Norman’s perception of his younger brother, Paul, occurs early in the story. Norman reacts to this situation by “[standing] still until [he can] again see the woman in bib overalls marveling at his shadow casting” (Maclean 37). He thinks back to a positive memory of his brother before approaching his holding cell to take him home. Norman reinforces his character with honesty when his brother-in-law, Neal, drinks so much on their fishing trip that he passes out, naked, in the sun and became horribly sunburned. Instead of dropping Neal off at a bar and hiding the truth from his in-laws, Norman walks him up to his in-laws’ doorstep and holds back any wise remarks that would have seemed like excuses. Honesty is significantly attributed to unconditional love, and...

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