River Runs Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1058 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)


8). This philosophy is deeply ingrained into the narrative as the theme of art surfaces frequently and author makes a clear effort to show why art was superior to competence. Competence refers to effective and serious learning of skills. A person competent at something is a man with required skills for the job but the same person may or may not be an artist. An artist is a person naturally gifted with the right attitude and aptitude for a certain task and during the course of his life, the task becomes his passion and attaining perfection in his art becomes his most important objective in life. Norman for example is competent where fly-fishing is concerned but Paul is the true artist. But then Norman is an artist where writing is concerned and Paul is not. Paul is however the artist who has been used in the book to describe what real art is and how it is superior to competence. Paul has mastered the art of fly-fishing and his entire body language changes when he is deeply immersed in catching fish.

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He steadied himself and began to cast and the whole world turned to water. Below him was the multitudinous fiver, and, where the rock had parted it around him, big-grained vapor rose. The mini-molecules of water left in the wake of his line made momentary loops of gossamer, disappearing so rapidly in the rising big-grained vapor that they had to be retained in memory to be visualized as loops. The spray emanating from him was finer-grained still and enclosed him in a halo of himself. The halo of himself was always there and always disappearing, as if he were candlelight flickering about three inches from himself. The images of himself and his line kept disappearing into the rising vapors of the river, which continually circled to the tops of the cliffs where, after becoming a wreath in the wind, they became rays of the sun. (p. 32-33)

TOPIC: Term Paper on River Runs Through IT' Can Assignment

Paul is the perfect artist who is focused on the perfection of his art so much so that being in the presence of this artist makes otherwise competent men feel like dwarfs. Art takes over one's body and soul like a hobby or task can never do. Art becomes the person as we notice in the case of Paul. The author writes: "My brother was only five feet ten, but he had fished so many years his body had become partly shaped by his casting" (p.23). For some reason, a true artist is the reflection of his art as Norman observes when Paul turns to fly-fishing, "He was thirty-two now, at the height of his power, and he could put all his body and soul into a four-and-a-half- ounce magic totem pole" (p.23). Paul and Norman thus represent art and competence respectively and we notice that in the race between competence and art, it is the latter that always emerges as the true winner.


Maclean, Norman. A River Runs Through It And Other Stories. 1976. New… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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