On The Rainy River

On The Rainy River
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Storyboard Text

  • Exposition
  • Conflict
  • Rising Action
  • Tim O'Brien, a liberal who strongly opposes the war in Vietnam, is drafted to fight for his country. At his humble job at a meat-packing plant, he makes the decision to run away.
  • Climax
  • Trying to decide whether or not to flee to Canada, O'Brien comes upon the Tip Top Lodge, a ramshackle fishing resort run by the elderly Elroy Berdahl.
  • Falling Action
  • Tim spends six days at the Tip Top Lodge with Elroy, fishing and doing odd jobs for the reticent man. The two end up bonding, and Elroy tries to pay Tim.
  • Resolution
  • Tim and Elroy go out fishing, and Elroy takes them over the Canadian border. Tim must decide whether to jump out and make a break for Canada or go and fight in the war.
  • Tim submits to embarrassment and refuses to jump from the boat. He and Elroy head back to the lodge and the next day, Tim leaves. 
  • Tim ends up going to the Vietnam War and labels himself a coward for doing so. He survived the war, but doesn't think of his story as having a happy ending, as he went against his morals.
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