A River Runs Through It

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Norman’s wife, from Wolf Creek, Montana. Jessie worries over her brother Neal in much the same way that Norman worries about Paul. It’s ironic, then, that this shared quality threatens to cause major problems in their marriage. Though we don’t see much of Jessie in the novella, she seems to have a strong personality and high expectations for Norman’s behavior in her family. Still, Jessie serves as a source of love and strength for Norman that he draws upon in his other struggles.
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Jessie Character Timeline in A River Runs Through It

The timeline below shows where the character Jessie appears in A River Runs Through It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
Norman arrives home and goes to sleep. He’s woken up by his wife Jessie, who reminds him that they have to meet Neal at the train station. Norman is... (full context)
Skill and Art Theme Icon
Eternal Nature vs. Human Frailty Theme Icon
That night Neal tries to sneak out of the house, but Florence and Jessie see him. Norman, to avoid being asked to do so, volunteers to accompany Neal to... (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
Skill and Art Theme Icon
The group loads the truck of Ken, Jessie’s other brother, and the six of them pile in. They follow the pothole-ridden road (making... (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Eternal Nature vs. Human Frailty Theme Icon
...Paul jumps out; he’s ready with his leader and flies before Norman has even moved. Jessie warns Norman not to abandon Neal. Paul calls over his shoulder that he’ll start upstream,... (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
Ken says he’ll fish the beaver dams upstream. Jessie pinches Norman on the arm and repeats to him that she shouldn’t leave her brother.... (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
...the truck. The women are holding carving knives—they’ve been making sandwiches—and point them at Norman. Jessie accuses him of having left Neal. Florence says the “poor boy” was exposed to the... (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
...half in a sweat bath and half in a cold river. He says silently to Jessie that he did not leave her brother—Neal left him. (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
...meet at Seeley Lake, by the Blackfoot Canyon, where they have a cabin. Norman asks Jessie if it wouldn’t be a good idea for him and Paul to get away briefly.... (full context)
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
Grace, Disgrace, and Divine Will Theme Icon
...on an island. As they go inside, Florence asks what they’ve done with her boy. Jessie appears and tells Norman he’s a bastard. Norman tells her to get out of the... (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
Before Norman closes the door, Jessie tells him to wait. She says he doesn’t like Neal, does he—and Norman asks why... (full context)
Familial and Brotherly Love Theme Icon
Help and Helplessness Theme Icon
Jessie steps backward, then asks why Neal is so burnt. He repeats what he’d said to... (full context)