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A River Runs Through It

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A River Runs Through It

It is often stated that you should follow your dreams and do whatever makes you happy. The movie A River Runs Through It a perfect representation of this concept. Norman and Paul’s father was a minister and raised them under strong Presbyterian values. The only thing that even came close to the importance of church was fly fishing. In fact, the sport appeared to be like a ritual that almost became part of their religion. Their father would give them strict lessons and showed them the “right and wrong” ways to fly fish. He would even make them practice casting with a metronome. Norman was always tightly on beat with the tempo like his father had taught him but Paul had other plans.

As Norman and Paul grew older and became adults, their lives seemed to move in different directions. Norman went away to college and began working towards becoming a teacher. He did not seem to be sure of himself at first and he felt as though he always needed to impress his father. Paul, on the other hand, was a little more rebellious than his brother. He did not feel the need to impress anyone (especially his father) as long as he was happy. Although he stayed close to home because he did not want to leave his fly fishing, he did what made himself happy and became a journalist for a local newspaper. Paul did not end up leading a good life and he turned to alcohol and gambling. The important message that this movie demonstrates is that you should make yourself happy and follow your heart. Even though Paul’s life came to a tragic end, he was still happy and never stopped doing what he loved.

Paul displayed this trait of independence and self gratification early on in life. Instead of casting to a four note rhythm, he seemed to just move into a world all his own with a natural rhythm of his own. One might say that Paul marched to the beat of his own drum. To Paul, fly fishing was a more than just a hobby; it was a metaphor of his ability to escape from the real world into a happy place of his own. The river symbolized Paul’s sanctuary and paradise.

` One might also conclude that the river symbolizes an entirely separate world that is peacefully contained within our horrible world as we know it. The fish symbolize the citizens of the secluded world as they gracefully go about their lives independently without quarrel.



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