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Cold Mountain
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  1. Cold Mountain An episodic novel with journey structure By Charles Frazier

  2. Reading Check Quiz On a piece of paper, write the answers to the following questions, all related to last night’s reading or • What is the Home Guard? • “Up ahead he saw a flickery light, which looked to be right in the course way.” What does Inman find when he reaches that light? • What did he eventually do with what he found? • From whom does Inman get sustenance in the last chapter?

  3. Conflict • Both Ada and Inman as protagonists struggle against the various circumstances that separate them. • Inman suffers internal conflicts as he makes ethical decisions along his journey, yet he is also at odds with societal rules threatening his goal of reaching Cold Mountain. He has to survive under harsh conditions. • Ada also struggles with conditions imposed upon her. Not having an upbringing conducive to survival, she is forced to labor or die. • As Inman journeys to Cold Mountain, Ada journeys from a young, impractical woman into a more independent woman. She begins to understand her place in the world.

  4. General Notes • POV: Third person limited narration. Switches between Inman and Ada. • Tone: Sometimes subdued and reserved. Often meditative and questioning as Inman struggles with broader moral or spiritual concerns. Occasionally lightly humorous. • Setting: 1864, near the end of the Civil War. The novel refers to events that directly preceded the war and others that occurred decades before (flashbacks). Takes place in Virginia before Inman journeys west to North Carolina. In episodes with Ada, the setting is at Black Cove in Cold Mountain.

  5. Setting – The Cape Fear River, North Carolina South Carolina “… but the river stretched wide before him, a shit-brown clog to his passage. As a liquid, it bore a likeness more to molasses as if first thickens in the making than to water.” 65 This descriptive language is important in that it juxtaposes…

  6. With the healing waters of Home… Cold Mountain “Where he was from, the word river meant rocks and moss and the sound of white water moving fast under the spell of a great deal of collected gravity.” 65

  7. Cold Mountain, NC Southern Blue Ridge Mountains.

  8. Style Stark and Candid Narration “The fire kept moving his way until rather than be burned up, he took the axe he had used for lopping limbs and hewed away his leg at his knee. He tied off the bleeding with a strip of his pant leg twisted tight with a stick and then trimmed a forked limb into a crutch and walked home. He lived, but just.” pg. 84 When present, this narration creates a harsh, brutal tone, establishing the roughness of life in the rural South. This, combined with the idealized images of Inman’s home place (setting), and his longing for home, further reinforce Inman’s internal conflict and his drive to return home.

  9. Style Continued… There is a spiritual edge to the narration. “But later she was spoken to by a voice in the dark. Its talk seemed to arise from the rush and splatter of a river noise, but it was no cannibal demon. It seemed some tender force of landscape or sky, and animal sprite, a guardian that took her under its wing and concerned itself with her well-being from that moment on.” 83 “Listen to me, Laura, he said. That preacher does not speak for God… He means you no good… He touched her eyes with the tips of two fingers… She settled down under his hand, settling back to sleep.” 94 “Inman had thought on the issue a minute and then said, How would you ever come to know God’s name for that Star? -- You wouldn’t, He holds it close, the boy said. It’s a thing you’ll never know. It’s a lesson that sometimes we’re meant to settle for ignorance. Right there’s {indicating the battle field of dead soldiers} what mostly comes of knowledge, the boy said, tipping his chin out at the broken land.” 91

  10. American Civil War • Eleven states in the South broke away to form separate government – The Confederacy. The war became one of the most bitter civil wars in world history. Close to 700,000 people were killed, affecting nearly every family in the country. • Chief reason: slavery. When Lincoln abolished slavery in 1863, many slaves abandoned their masters and plantations/farms were left to decay and become blighted. • Devaluation of paper money is alluded to, as are specific battles such as Fredericksburg. • Purpose of the Home Guard was to protect the South and its people, but it had become a violent military force that hunted and often killed deserters and citizens who were housing them.

  11. As you read… • Pay attention to chapter titles and what they do your interpretation of the chapter. Decipher why Frazier called them by these titles. • The Shadow of the crow • The ground beneath her hands • The color of despair • Verbs, all of them tiring • Like any other thing, a gift

  12. Crow: A shadow is a haunting, ever-present entity. Crows are symbolic of death. The shadow of death seems to follow himwherever he goes, framing his existence in gloom. However, he later associates crows with freedom from strife. • The ground beneath her hands. Besides the fact she needs to use the ground to survive and her father is also buried in the ground, it is highly likely that that the phrase “beneath her” reflects her privileged upbringing. Until her father died, such labor was “beneath her.”

  13. Chapter titles continued… • The Color of Despair: Blue. This is a reference to Swimmer’s discussion with Inman about what an enemy could do to a person’s soul. The soul is “constantly under attack” and in need of strength. Inman’s incessant battles, both within himself and against others, are wearing on his soul. For Inman, the world, too, has become soul-less in the increasingly brutal time period. Perhaps this is why people refer to “singing the blues.” • Verbs, all of them tiring. Of course this refers to the routine of chores ranging from killing chickens to gardening. • Like any other thing, a gift. Hmm…not sure. Is it the gift of a dream of Ada that makes him feel lighter in spirit the next day, or a gift of being able to fight, in spite of the fact he is a peace-loving person? Or perhaps the gift of food from the traveling show-people? Or the gift of being with more advanced-thinking individuals who do not segregate according to the color of skin: “And then at some point the white man said a strange thing. He said that someday the world might be ordered so that when a man uses the term slave it be only metaphoric,” (129)

  14. Type 3 Writing • In one well-developed paragraph, explain the symbolic significance of Ada selling her piano. • FCAs #1 Use of three boxed college level words #2 Use of three underlined embedded passages, no longer than ten words #3 Use of two literary devices.