[2015] Emily Gage: Cold Mountain

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[2015] Emily Gage: Cold Mountain

Emily GagePeriod 5December 3, 2015

Cold Mountain Charles Frazier

Inman's gun

"Life Apart: Soldier's Journey to Beloved"

Cold Mountain is set during the Civil War in the 1860's. The book takes place in multipe areas, all held in the South, including the main setting of Cold Mountain, North Carolina. Ada and Ruby live on about a 30 acre farm called Black Cove in Cold Mountain, NC, that's said by Ada to have been liked by her father because, "He [her father] liked the arc of the wooded hillsides as they swept up, broken by ridge and hollow to Cold Mountain. Liked the water from the spring, so cold that even in the summer it made your teeth ache and carried the clean neutral taste of the stone it rose from." (60). Inman is traveling from Virginia to return there. He encounters several different locations along his walk that show his true character though his experiences. Inman experiences much change across the land on his walk, and in each place a different person to represent the land he crosses. Inman's journey slowly brings him from the hospital, to low flat fields, to rolling fields, as gradually the ground becomes vast and climbs into Blue Ridge. As he travels, Imnan notes the further he walks towards his home, the less people and the less inhabited the area is. This is calming for Inman, who's excited to return home after his long and tiring journey of more than 300 miles.

The main theme of Cold Mountain is the want of isolation within the characters. Ada experiences a want of isolation as a result of feeling she doesn't belong in Black Cove due to the way she is treated by others there. Most believe her odd and she is a reserved person comparatively. This is relatable because in modern day society, many teenagers go into depression worrying to much about how others think of them. Not only teenagers experience this, but adults too. Feeling judged by society makes you change so others will like you. You lose your sense of you. Ada just wants to escape all the judgement from the town so that she can live in peace without the stress of society on her. Early on from the beginning of the book Ada shows her want of isolation when it is stated, "Ada wished never to leave this fine shelter, for when she considered the pass she had lately reached, she wondered how a human being could be raised more impractically for the demands of an exposed life." (30). Ada believes her father sheltered her too much and wishes to return to a sheltered life, for now that he's gone she's not sheltered from society's tough demands and expectations, feeling as though she's judged by the fact that she can't run a farm but can play piano and paint. Nowadays, children are expected to be ready for society's tough lifestyle as soon as they graduate high school. It's scary because you worry what you will encounter alone. Out of fear, you just want to live off the grid and not care or feel stress that's generated from society.

Cold Mountain is a captiving, slower-paced look into human life and all it's difficuties. Viewing both the woman and man's side of the story generates a romantic book that shows the effect of one another on each other. Relatable in the sense of want of isolation and the setting being similar to Alaska, this book is easy to comprehend yet hard to fully understand true hidden meaning. I loved the insights on reglious views, opening up my understanding of different religions and causing me to see different persepectives. Cold Mountain was a wonderful romance that gave me views of different people and how each one treats another. It showed that one person can reveal a person's natural goodness by the actions he/she takes or what they say. It shows that even in a cold, grief sticken world of war that some people can still maintain a kind heart and offer more than they can give. The book helped develop a sense of wholeness inside me, opening up perspectives on life and making me feel grateful for all I have. I'd strongly recommend this book to all who crave an understanding of life and want to grow as a person.

Inman

Ada Monroe

Ada Monroe is a highly educated, literate young woman. She grew upin Charleston, South Carolina with her father before moving to Black Cove. Ada's mother died when she was born. Ada changes thoughout the story from a young seemingly childish lady, into a woman who can somewhat hold her own. Growing up with her father, Ada realizes that she was sheltered too much once she loses him. She has a hard time with the Civil War going on and no servants to work. Unable to work herself at the farm, Ada just reads daily and scrounges for food around the house. Inhabitants of Cold Mountain think Ada odd and hard to talk to. Because of that, Ada feels like she doesn't belong there. However, she believes she's changed to much to fit in in Charleston, therefore she decides that she is drawn to Black Cove and stays. When Ruby comes along, Ada is able to learn how to run her farm and make a living. Ada misses her loved one, Inman and hopes he'll return to her soon. "For a time, every book she plucked from the shelves frightened her, their contents all concerning mistakes made by wretched dark-haired women so that they ended their days punished, exiled, and alien. She had gone straight from The Mill on the Floss to a slim and troubling tale by Hawthorne on somewhat the same theme. Monroe had apparently not finished it, for the pages were uncut beyond the third chapter. She guessed Monroe would have thought the book unnecessarily grim, but to Ada it seemed good practice for her coming world. No matter what the book, though, the characters all seemed to lead fuller lives than she did." (35)

Ruby Thewes

Inman was raised in Cold Mountain, North Carolina. In 1861, after falling in love with Ada Monroe, Inman enlists to fight for the Confederates in the Civil War. Inman changes in the war, becoming troubled with all the violence he has seen. This worries him, believing Ada will no longer love him. Inman seeks comfort from Ada and his homeland, causing him to ditch the army and journey by foot to Cold Mountain. On his way, Inman shows that even though his hardships, he is able to maintain his sense of what is right and kind. Inman is tested throughout the book, causing his natural sensitiveness to show. He believes that the world is cruel and violent, and wishes he could live in peace on Cold Mountain. "

Ruby Thewes is a dark-haired tan young woman who was raised in Cold Mountain, North Carolina. As a young girl, Ruby's father would leave her for days on end to find food for herself. Ruby is extremly independent and holds strong a connection to nature. She finds Ada and helps by teaching her how to work the farm. She lives with Ada in Black Cove. Ruby is tested when her father returns from the war and asks for her help. Due to his poor care of her when she was younger, Ruby hates him. However, she shows her loyalty when her father returns from the war seeking her help. She's not educated in the same ways as Ada but posseses a great deal of more knowledge about nature. Ada and Ruby begin as opposites, Ruby being more of a tomboy and Ada being a lady, but eventually Ruby changes Ada into someone who fits in better in society and isn't afraid to get down and dirty. One of Ruby's talents is trading and always gets the better end of the bargain. "The force that Ruby used to drive Ada on was this: somewhere Ada knew that anyone else she might hire would grow weary and walk away and let her fail. Ruby would not let her fail." (105).


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