Essay on “A river runs through it”

Goals: To introduce students to relationships between personal values (often obtained through

family and religion) and natural landscapes; and to develop skills in interpreting values

and meanings associated with natural landscapes in American literature.

Instructions: Read Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It. This semi-autobiographical

book describes everyday family life: between son and father, between brothers,

and between husband and wife. Maclean depicts the meaning of these

relationships as being closely attached to specific landscapes and places.

Write an essay that interprets relationships within the storylines of the book that

links personal values with natural landscapes. The essay should identify and discuss

a theme connecting personal and spiritual values to nature. That is in what ways do

the characters’ values and religious identity shape the meanings they ascribe to

natural landscapes and their views they hold of nature.

Format: Times New Roman, 12 point font, double spaced, 1 inch margins all

around, spell checked, and reference all works cited. Approximately 5 pages, but no more than 8.

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