A River Runs Through It, themes and motifs

Essay by carooooooHigh School, 11th gradeB+, November 2014

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Aixala 1

Carolina Aixala


English 2

5 May 2014

A River Runs Through It: Spring Essay

In the movie A River Runs Through It, there are countless recurring themes and motifs

that illustrate many of the problems and struggles one deals with. The story is set in the early

1900's and paints a story of two brothers growing up and finding who they are. Their father, a

Presbyterian minister, teaches his two sons the ways of fly­fishing from a very early age and

shows them how it is not only a pastime but somewhat of a therapeutic sport. The two brothers

both become avid fly fisherman but take different paths in their lives, Paul running into trouble

and getting caught up with the mob and gambling, and Norman going away to college and

becoming a professor. With them becoming two completely different individuals they struggle

with relating to one another, and throughout the movie they overcome many challenges. The

story takes us on a journey to self reflection, and shows the much deeper meaning in life, through

hidden themes throughout the movie.

Throughout the movie there are several hidden themes, one being the value and

importance of family. Paul and Norman grew up with a strict daily regime, studying their

Presbyterian father before anything else and fly fishing in the Blackfoot River. Their father, Ref.

Maclean, teaches them each of their strengths. Norman being instilled with English literature and

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writing, later becoming a professor, and Paul constantly fishing, soon to become an avid

fly­fishing connoisseur. Their father helped shape them into who they became later in life, each

man taking a different path. Not only is their father a relatable family figure, but also the

relationship and bond between the two brothers. When Norman comes back...