Paul Maclean Character Analysis

1449 Words6 Pages
Missoula, Montana in the 1930’s was far from similar to Classical Greece and Rome, yet similar tragic characters were woven into legend. Though he may not have had a royal entourage or battle for the crown, Paul Maclean’s life was a tragedy, though in a different way. Due to his stature, potential, tragic flaw, and recognition and acceptance of his fate, Paul Maclean was a classic tragic hero.
A classic tragic hero must be exceptional in terms of abilities and social ranking. Though not a king with a crown and court, Paul Maclean was king of the Blackfoot River. Norman called his younger brother “master of an art” (Maclean 6). In addition, on their last family fishing trip, Father Maclean described Paul and his fishing as beautiful (108). Though Norman was a
…show more content…
Paul Maclean knew that he had a gambling problem and aggressive tendencies, and he made the conscious choice to continue living that lifestyle. Once, on the river, Paul said he had nothing to do in Montana. “Except hunt and fish,” replied Norman. “And get into trouble,” (Paul) added (Maclean 63). This shows that Paul knew he was in trouble and was willing to admit that. People who recognize and accept their fate are willing to admit it, and Paul’s statement shows he fully knew what his problems were. He also appreciated his brother 's efforts to help him. After a conversation about helping Neal, Paul said ‘“But maybe what he likes is somebody trying to help him,”’ (52). Paul was not at all referring to Neal; he was referring to himself. He wanted Norman to know that he didn’t want to be rescued. Paul wanted to live his own life to the best of his ability, and find his own path. It made him feel loved that people cared about him enough to want to help, but he made the choice to live by his own rules, and live independently, just like a fly fisherman is independent and doesn’t accept flies or unsolicited advice from
Open Document