James Duncan's book entitled, The River Why, focuses around the main character, Gus, and how he changes throughout the book. In this book Gus is discovering what life really is and that the whole world does not revolve around fishing. After moving out of his erratic house he spends all of his time fishing at his remote cabin, but this leaves him unhappy and a little insane. He embarks on a search for him self and for his own beliefs. Duncan changes Gus throughout the book, making Gus realize that there are more important things to life than fishing, and these things can lead to a happy fulfilled life, which in turn will help Gus enjoy life and fishing more. Duncan introduces a character, Eddy, who significantly changes Gus's views on what he needs in his life and she gives Gus a sense of motivation or inspiration. Eddy changes Gus by their first encounter with each other, when Eddy instills in Gus a need to fulfill his life and when they meet up again, completing his need. Fishing is Gus's first passion but he loses it after he puts all of himself into it, and when Eddy comes into his picture Gus feels a need to have more in his life, like love. Through finding love he re-finds his passion for fishing and learns more about himself. When Eddy and Gus finally get together, he sees this "equilibrium" between his old passion, fishing, and his new one, Eddy. Duncan's use of Eddy gives Gus a new found sense of purpose and to have a more fulfilled life is a critical step in Gus's development as a character. This is why Eddy is the most important character to this book, because she gives Gus inspiration to find himself. On their first encounter with one another Gus is compelled by her differences in dress, techniques and gear. After she leaves, Gus feels a "need" to fulfill his empty life. Finally when she shows back up in his life, Gus then has everything he could ever ask for: a beautiful woman who loves to fish, just like him. He explains how he first sees Eddy on page 151 as: "A barefoot girl. A full-grown one. One who wore the top tenth or so of what had long ago been a pair of blue jeans. One who wore a short, skin-tight, sleeveless sky-colored t-shirt through
which revealed the shape of the
" After sneaking his way up to the tree where she sat "motionless", not noticing Gus, his attention is diverted, if not completely, towards her odd pole and gear. Lying to himself as he checked out this "research project" Gus notices how her gear and technique was like nothing he had seen or used before, but his mind never fully wondered from Eddy as seen on page 151. "Her fishing equipment was innovative also; she appeared to have no creel or equipage or container of any kind apart form her pole and line and whatever was on the end of it. There was the possibility of a few spare hooks or leaders in the pockets of the fraction of blue jeans
but the theory grew tenuous
As to the possibility of fishing tackle concealed with in the sky-colored t-shirt, this was even less likely. Nevertheless I considered the problem long and carefully, scanning every least curve of the thin material, reluctant to give up the search." While Gus is checking her style out he realizes that Eddy was important in someway and that he needed to learn from her. He describes his sudden thirst for knowledge about Eddy as follows on page 150: "She must be an extraordinary person, well worth watching, well worth meeting, well worth thinking about, an exceptional fisherman, and I was, what I was, I was learning, yes learning: I was learning like crazy. I'd never learned so much so fast before
" Watching Eddy fish, Gus absorbs a lot of information that before was totally unseen to him. Not only about fishing, but about this woman and about himself, needing to learn from her. He says on page 152 "I felt for the first time that I was in the presence of a fishing genius exceeding...
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