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Home | Character Sketch | Essay of PlaceFinal Essay

  1.  "Below him was the multitudinous river, 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 circles to the tops of the cliffs where, after becoming a wreath in the wind, they became rays of the sun."

I liked this passage because it showed how great of a fly-fisher Paul is.

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 2.   "Paul was too young to swing an axe or pull a saw all day, and besides he had decided this early that he had two major purposes in life: to fish and not to work, at least not allow work to interfere with fishing. In his teens, then, he got a summer job as a lifeguard at the municipal swimming pool, so in the early days he could look over girls in bathing suits and date them up for the late evenings.

This passage told the reader that Paul is first and foremost a fisherman. It also shows that Paul likes the girls.

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3.   "We held in common one major theory about street-fighting - if it looks like a fight is coming, get in the first punch. We both thought that most bastards aren't so tough as they talk - even bastards who look as well as talk tough. If suddenly they feel a few teeth loose, they will rub their rubs, look at the blood on their hands, and offer to buy a drink for the house. "But even if they still feel like fighting," as my brother said, "you are one big punch ahead when the fight starts."
     There is just one trouble with this theory - it is only statistically true. Every once in a while you run into some guy who likes to fight as much as you do and is better at it. If you start off by loosening a few of his teeth he may try to kill you."

This passage showed the reader that the Norman and Paul, mostly Paul, have short fuses and are willing to suffer the concequences.

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4.   "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and flyfishing."

This is the mostimportant quote from the story. This quote is the one that starts the story and sets the tone. It tells the reader that flyfishing is a major priority in the McLain household.