An Analysis Of A River Runs Through It By Norman Maclean

Why should something that could have taught someone so many things be taken away and returned when it’s too late. Children seem to be the most affected by this. Norman Maclean’s film ” A River Runs Through It”, which is based on this statement, illustrates it well. When comparing Pauls, my, and the lives of others, one can see many similarities. The similarities reveal that a strong leader is necessary to make life work. However, when the leader leaves, it can be difficult, and parents may not help. I am sure that I will have to face similar issues as Paul and his siblings.

In all sibling relationships, the older brother or sister is a mentor and role model to the younger one. This is the case in Norman Maclean’s movie “A River Runs Through It”. Paul would be waiting for Norman after school almost every day. Paul needed Norman’s help to guide him down the meadow to the river so that they were in the correct spot. Norman would fish lures from the trees and correct Paul without making him feel like he had done something wrong. Norman knew Paul was a self-taught fisherman, even though Norman took him fishing for many years. Norman says that his brother is an artist. In my many years of knowing him, I’ve learned more than anyone from him. He would take me to baseball games just so I wouldn’t complain. He rarely showed any signs of disagreement, even though I knew that he didn’t want me along. I was prepared for my sports career by playing with older age groups. By example, he has shown me how to solve the smallest problems. His biggest lesson was to be ready to help when times are tough. He always encouraged me to take part in football drills, knowing that it would be beneficial for me. Even though not everyone is blessed with an older brother or sister, many people agree that having one can be a great guide in life.

Before they can reach a deadlock, it seems siblings have to let things go. This could lead to consequences. Norman and Paul have started to become closer right before Norman leaves to go to college. Paul gets into trouble drinking and gambling after Norman leaves him to go to college. This could be a result of his friend leaving him to go off to college or it could be a period of grief. Norman was able to see Paul’s change almost immediately when he returned. Norman found Paul intoxicated when he entered his office. Norman didn’t realize this until he was called to Paul’s jail for his drinking. Norman said, “Maybe I only know that Paul was a good fisherman.” He probably says this after Paul’s death because he wants to get closer to his brother. My brother, like Norman, has helped me make many important decisions. As Paul, I know I might have some trouble once he’s gone. Right now, we’re getting closer than ever. We got to know eachother better by sharing a car, and traveling almost everywhere together. He is the only person who can make me get up an hour before class to do weight training so I can improve. My brother can now give me good advice on life and sports, but when he goes it will become difficult to speak to my parents. It is difficult to live a normal life when your only sibling has moved away.

Siblings will always have their parents, but they won’t always do so in the same manner. Norman and Paul were raised in a strict religious environment. When their parents yell if they ruin someone’s boat or use it, this shows how strict and disciplined the family is. It is evident that the boys have discipline because they tell their dad “Ill pay it back father, I had it in mind.” They are taught discipline since a young child. Paul also moved away once Norman did. Paul could have gotten help sooner if Norman was around. Paul was not comfortable talking to his parents because they would not understand his problems. My parents are the same as Norman and Paul. They have always been very supportive of me in my sports and academic pursuits. I was also introduced to religion by them at a young age. All of these areas will likely continue to influence my life. My parents will not be able to provide me with the same advice or information as my brother. In some cases, it can be difficult to approach them with concerns. My brother has been through it, so it is easier to discuss it with him. You will always have your parents judging whether you are dealing with a good or bad issue.

Paul’s story can be related in a variety of ways. I also don’t like to compare his life to mine. My brother has been a great teacher, but he is leaving. So, I must incorporate everything he taught. This includes how life can change when a leadership leaves. Things may also become difficult. It is not always easy to adapt when life changes.


  • joaquincain

    Joaquin Cain is a 39 year old school teacher and blogger from the United States. He has a passion for education and is always looking for new and innovative ways to help his students learn. He is also a big believer in the power of technology and its ability to help improve education.