Creativity In A River Runs Through It

708 Words3 Pages
Through the creative and individual process of making true art, one can use the self-expression to find personal truth and become at peace with oneself. Before discussing its role in peace, it is important to define true art, or more specifically the Transcendentalist perception of it. True art can take many forms, however what is most important is process behind it. Creativity is key; true art is an individual and original creation that is worked for through development and exploration of self. Art, when derived through a creative and original process, shows purity, and is not only a creation by, but a reflection of the artist. This reflection can show the artist truths about themselves they may not have known until they were revealed to…show more content…
While both Norman, Paul, and their father perform the art of fly fishing, the true artist is Paul. Paul becomes an artist through the creation of his own individual style, “shadow casting”. It is a reflection of Paul, his creation, putting his own influence into a given format. “It was one rhythm superimposed upon another… the canyon was glorified by the rhythms and colors” (Maclean 21) Paul poured himself into fly fishing, more so than Norman. Through the work, the creativity, and the self-exploration, he made himself an artist. Due to his self-expression and rejection of instruction, Paul finds his own style, his truth, and with that: peace. Paul isn 't perfect, but he knows who he is. If he ever feels confused, or in need of redemption, he can return to his art for the answers. Despite all of the bad sides of Paul, it could not be denied by any character that “he was beautiful” (Maclean 103). He found peace. Neal, on the other hand, lives a life devoid of art, and due to that lives a life devoid of peace. Neal is a bait fisherman, and bait fishing is in no way considered an art in A River Runs Through It. Bait fishing has none of the qualities synonymous with true art, it does not require originality or creativity, and therefore cannot lead to self-discovery. Neal is seen as a cheap excuse for a Montana man, especially by Paul, who values fly fishing highly as an art form. Without an outlet for self-expression Neal cannot go through the process of finding himself through creativity, and remains lost in respect to the universe. Paul, as an artist, can sense the lack of this quality in Neal, saying that “some day… Neal is going to find out about himself and he won’t come back to Montana” (Maclean 57). Neal is a tornado in the lives of those around him, in his time within the story he becomes drunk, disgraces
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