By the River

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By the River

Each person possesses a distinct personality and a unique set of traits to match. Along with an individual identity, each person also possesses deviating dreams and desires. For instance, in Jack Hodgin’s By the River, two polar personalities are displayed throughout the story by the couple, Jim and Crystal Styan. Additionally, while the story progresses and while the different natures of the couple are discovered, contradicting dreams and desires are also uncovered. A difference in people’s personalities ultimately leads to a difference between their aspirations and ambitions as well.

In the story Jim Styan possesses an outgoing and persuasive attitude, while Crystal Styan holds more of a docile and compliant nature. These personalities are demonstrated when the couple is confronted with their insecurities while at the movie theatres. When Jim is exposed to figures in movies who seem to be embarrassing and embarrass him, Jim reassures himself by making “a lot of noise so people will know he isn’t a bit like that himself” (5). In contrast to this, while Jim confronts his insecurities with self-affirmation through blatant laughter, Crystal faces her insecurity in a more passive and quiet approach. Greatly embarrassed to be seen with Jim, Crystal had quietly “slouched as far down in the seat as she could so no one could see she was there or had anything to do with Jim Styan” (6). Furthermore, Jim’s persuasive nature and Crystal’s submissive nature can be seen when “he talked her first out of the classroom and then right off the island of her birth and finally up” (11), into the mountains. Additionally, this distinction between Jim and Crystal’s personalities leads to a difference between their dreams and desires pertaining to their personalities.

Jim’s adventurous nature dispenses adventurous desires, while Crystal’s settled natures dispenses settled desires. Jim’s outgoing nature hungers for adventure and seeks...
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