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Word Count: 1,411
Norman Mcleans A River Runs Through It explores many feelings and experiences of one turn of the century family in Missoula Montana In both the movie directed by Robert Redford and the original work of fiction we follow the Mcleans through their joys and sorrows However the names of the characters and places are not purely coincidental These are the same people and places known by Norman Mclean as he was growing up In a sense A River Runs Through It is Mcleans autobiography Although these autobiographical influences are quite evident throughout the course of the story they have deeper roots in the later life of the author as he copes with his lifes hardships The characters in the movie and book are taken straight from Mcleans life From the hard working soft centered minister father to the drunken down on his luck brother-in-law Neil The character of Paul appears the be the most true to life member of Normans family The audience quickly becomes familiar with Paul and his quick-tempered always ready for anything attitude This is evident in the beginning of the story with Pauls frequent phrase with a bet on the to make things interesting Mclean 6 It was almost funny and sometimes not so funny to see a boy always wanting to bet on himself and almost sure to win Mclean 5 Unlike Norman who was rigorously home schooled every morning while Paul seemed to escape this torment The boys would spend their afternoons frolicking in the woods and fishing the Big Blackfoot River The differences that developed between Pauls and Normans fishing styles become evident in the published versions of Mcleans life as well as his real life Norman followed the traditional style taught by their preacher-father ten and two in a four -count rhythm like a metronome The four-count rhythm of course is functional The one count takes the line leader and fly off the water the two count
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