During the portion of the semester, we have spent time writing a series of papers based on the novel A River Runs Through It. While in class we may not be focusing as much on the novel we have spent the time discussing differences in the novel and the film. “A River Runs Through It”, was a very important story that showed a lot of symbolism and was a great tragedy that is set around the premise of two brothers and their lives from them as kids to them as adults. Most people probably couldn’t have told us that this was a novel and not just a book. And the other part that people don’t know is that this is a true story for the most part. Norman Mclean wrote from the heart and was able to capture the essence of this story. Since it is from his own personal life it can cover the basic knowledge that you can see within this novel. Most people became used to movie and were treated when they got to read the novel. Everyone gets used to writing papers and reading books in school or in other places, but this was a nice change for most people because this was such a good novel to read. When the book gets to the end of the story and is made that this is in fact Normans true story of him throughout his life, it is a pretty good because the reader feels like they were living life with the Mclean family. The story was shot through Norman and you get to see his personal journey in finding his way through life. The reader sees what happened and what helped them through their life.
The life of Brandon Myers. I find myself relating to the ideas within “A River Runs Through it” and “Writing”. There is a central idea in all three examples in this story this is currently being written. That idea is that the way to find our story is that we needed to let the story come to us. For myself I think of a time where I was deciding what to do with my life. Junior year of high school is the time where most kids start to think about what they are going to do. What college they are going to go to. For myself I did not make any of those decisions until much later. Most people at my school were figuring out their life and their path. Myself ran into this whole thing. By the end of junior year, I had 7 schools picked out. I knew I could only end up at one of them but I had no idea how to choose. By the start of senior year, I still had no clue what to do about this whole college thing. The time was ticking and I was starting to worry about my future. I got so stressed out that it was making me sick. I did not know what to do. I thought that this was the easiest part about college. Little did I know that this was one of the difficult parts about college. There are a lot of factors that go into someone deciding where they are going to spend a good portion of their young life. It made me sick that I was going to pick the wrong place and hate it. I never knew that this was going to push me insane. After all the stress and worry I had made my decision on a place to call home for four years. It wasn’t Weber. I had chosen a different place because at the time it felt like the right place. I never let the decision sink in. I never took time to let it come to me.
The story that I picked to compare the novel too was “Writing”, by William Stafford, and looked at how “A River Runs Through it” by Norman Mclean relates to the story. In each of the stories they were each able to understand why they wrote what they wrote. In River, Norman is able to tell his story about him struggling with his path that he was on. He was also able to show us his family’s life. He was able to do this because he understood why he did what he did. He understood his family and the craziness that went on in his life. He was able to show the audience what truly went on. The reader was able to clearly identify which character in the novel that they could relate to. He paints a picture that is easily readable to the audience.
In this whole story of “A River Runs Through it” there is a lot of metaphors for different things. There is a lot of symbolism that takes place in the story. Take the river and the mountains for example. Each brother is one of the forces. Norman is the mountain, the older one, the quieter one. Paul is the river, strong and powerful and more youthful. Norman was constantly having to look out for Paul and keep watch. Norman was always a little upset that he had to be the bigger person even from a young age. He always had to be the one to use his brain when Paul would never.
Both of these stories or novels are centered around the idea of really great authors and that they can portray what they are saying and what they want the audience to know. They want the reader to easily be able to pick out pieces they can relate to and they are able to show the beauty of their story both of them for different reasons. In “Writing” there is a quote that states: “A writer is not someone who has something to say, as he is more of someone who has found a process that will bring out new things that he would not have thought of if he hadn’t started writing it” (Writing,195). This thought from Stafford is a really good idea because it relates to McLean’s ideas on his life and the things that made him who says he is. These are the things that showed Norman as a person. Norman shows the audience what kind of person he is with this kind of a novel that he wrote. Norman states this clearly in the end of the novel by saying: “Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it” (A River, 106)
This paragraph is easily identifiable because it is at the end of the novel and its easily seen as the merger between different ideas. This paragraph is Normans entire life shot through one sentence. From this one sentence and last paragraph the reader can see who Norman was and how other people viewed him as a person. Norman knew himself that he wasn’t the one friend that people wanted to hang out with. His younger brother Paul was by far the more popular brother and everyone put Norman second. Within the whole story the reader gets to see Norman kind of hide behind Paul and hide behind all of his success.
William Stafford says the he cannot be afraid to fail. That is his main point in his writing. He is never satisfied with what he writes. Norman Mclean wrote “A River Runs Through it” with a lot of intention. It made the story feel so raw because the story was from the point of view from someone who was in that story. He knew each of the characters in the novel because he was there to experience them first hand. He knew the little stuff about each of these people. These were his friends and family. He knew them on a personal level. He didn’t have to research these people. He knew who they were and what they were. This comes back to Stafford’s “Writing” because, like what was said earlier, he is never satisfied with what he writes. That is one way how these two writers are unique and the same of some sorts.
Like what was stated in the beginnings of this story, Stafford talks about not being afraid when writing. In his story he wants the reader to understand that you have to let the words come to you. When writing you have to be able to let go and let the story come to you. Norman’s writing is very similar. You get the feel of the words just flowing through Norman while “A River Runs Through it”. Like Stafford talks about letting the words come to him, other people can relate to that like myself.
When thinking about what has been written so far it is hard not to see myself relating to many of the things that take place in this story. It would be interesting to see these two authors go head to head, or to simply have a conversation between the two of them. Norman was able to keep thing professional and not over dramatic when writing this. It is interesting to see if Norman had realized everything about “A River Runs Through it” when he was writing. Stafford and Mclean knew how to write. They knew how to write to an audience. They both knew how to captivate and audience with a few simple words and a few simple paragraphs.
When I had decided to come to Weber it was a relief. My initial decision was to attend Seattle Pacific University in Seattle. I was originally from Seattle and had grown up there for a while. My family is from there, it just made the most sense to go there. But something about that school never settled well with me. Although having my family surrounding me would be nice and would have made me very comfortable, it just never felt right. Eventually I had decided to scrap on Seattle Pacific. Now I was back at where I started. Scared not knowing what to do. I was back to step one. But this time was different. This time I felt a sort of peace about it. I did not know what it was but it was not like the first time. This time I had a friend that was giving me some guidance on what to do. His words to me were to let the decision come to you. He told me if I kept searching for the decision that I was never going to find it. He told me to let all of the information that was in front of me to soak over me. My friend had told me that it will come, and to just have patience. Patience was a huge deal to me. Up to that point I had never really dealt with patience that much. But eventually the decision came to me and it was Weber. I had to learn how to let it come to me and not go chasing that huge life decision.
All three of the stories all had one central idea. The idea was letting things come to you. Don’t go chasing what you are looking for, let it come to you. In Stafford’s “Writing” case he wrote a story about this. For Norman Mclean and “A River Runs Through it” he had to wait for the words come to him for his novel. He couldn’t just write it in one day, he let the words come to him. And for myself I had to learn how to be patient and let the decision come to me. All three stories center around the idea of letting the thing that they are searching for come to them.
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