Resilience In Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It

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Resilience. This word can be applied to both humans and nature, but in the end it is nature that will endure. In Norman Maclean’s novel, A River Runs Through It, the author shows just how powerful nature can be and just how frail humans are. This story centers around the art of fly fishing, family, and the Bible. While fly fishing takes place in nature, Maclean draws a distinct line between human skill and the creativity needed to make that skill an art. Maclean also delineates between the nature that this art takes place and the rest of the world. In this novel, nature is magnificent and awe-inspiring, making the characters feel small in comparison. However, nature provides a source of stability and solace. Throughout the novel, continuity and eternality of the natural…show more content…
The character, Neal, does not grasp nor understand the power that nature has, and do to his own stupidity nature leaves her mark, giving him an excruciating sunburn. Neal only wanted to use nature for his own selfish benefit, instead of learning from it and acknowledging nature’s power and strength. By contrast, Paul, son of the preacher, acknowledged the power of nature and was attuned to the natural world and respectful of the waters and mountains of Montana. Yet, Paul could not escape his own frailty and his life was taken from him prematurely. Paul’s death is significant in that it reminds others that life can be quickly snuffed out, but the waters of the rivers in Montana will not be so quickly eradicated. As demonstrated in some of the finest environmental literature of the 20th century, such as Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, nature is powerful and continues on despite human corruption and destruction, and no matter how hard humans try to dominate nature, they rarely escape their own
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