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.