“I am coming home one way or another, and I do not know how things might stand between us. I first thought to tell in this letter what I have done and seen so that you might judge me before I return. But I decided it would need a page as broad as the blue sky to write that tale, and I have not the will or the energy.” –“Cold Mountain” Charles Frazier
Cold Mountain was written by Charles Frazier. Charles Frazier was an Anthony Ming Ella’s star. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved there years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father’s derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories, Cold Mountain asserts itself as an authentic American Odyssey–hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving.
Cold Mountain is a masterpiece that is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished American in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor. The writer was great. He profoundly insight into the relationship between man and land, also he describes the danger of loneliness. He has a remarkably keen insight into the changes of society, just as the other writers in 19th century. The novel recreates a disappeared world which existed years ago. Nowadays it still has the amazing meaning.
The most outstanding theme is the desire for home. The entire story of Inman centers on this goal. When the landscape appears more like home, he is driven onward. When he thinks of being home with Ada, he perseveres. For Ada the desire for home is less physical. She is pursuing an emotional need to find her place in nature and to establish the feeling of being at home on the mountain.
Another major theme is that of endurance. It is clear that no matter what obstacle Inman is confronted with, he will go on. His longing for home and for Ada persist. He drives himself, unyieldingly, despite all dangers.
A less dramatic but more pervasive theme is man’s relationship to the land. Humanity has a place in nature that aligns with the old life ways. Few, if any, contemporary readers thread beans to make leatherbritches or make home made harrow, yet these and other early nineteenth century practices are paid homage to in the writing of this book. There is a value in the old way of life where people depended on the land, limited desires, and made due with what nature provided.
A lesser theme is that of how the lives of soldiers and civilians alike are transformed by the war. The mountain people especially were caught between the two different economies of the war. Though they had no ties to either slave agriculture or industrial capitalism, their homes and lives were all but destroyed.
The theme of the danger of solitude is also presented. In scenes where Inman or Ada are left to their own thoughts, their moods degenerate and their thoughts become negative. They do battle with their own psyches that have been assaulted by loneliness. Also, the goat woman’s thoughts and Inman’s views on her life exemplify this theme.
After I read the book, I found I was shocked. Not only was I shocked by the firm love between Inman and Ada, but also the war. In the beginning of the story, the writer shows us beautiful scenery. Cold Mountain is the main sign in this novel. Ada and Inman fall in love at first sight. But at that time, they can’t say everything on their minds. Their love is pure. When the war comes, Inman is set on leaving for the front. Before he leaves, Ada sends him a book and a picture of herself. They kiss and swear they will wait for each other. There is a scene impresses me. When Ada was praying in the church, a dove flies into the church. She was afraid. Inman caught it. And it stands on Inman’s arm. I think the writer want to convey the peace to us. Inman doesn’t want to kill people, but in fact he has to kill the enemies and protects his friends.
I don’t know why there are so wars in history and also nowadays. The wars make people cold and destroy their houses and lands. In this novel, we see the war between the North and south was cruel. Many soldiers died in the war. Many farmers’ lands were taken by government. Inman was tired of fighting and wanted to go back to his place. So he decided to run away. During his way to Cold Mountain, the writer wrote many things. He exposes the result that the war had brought to people. Wives became widows. Parents had to live by themselves as their children wound never come back. At another time, we can see the growth of Ada, who is a girl. After her father died, she had to learn to earn her living. There is a iron will underlying that soft and fluffy faï¿½ade. With the help of Ruby, they live happily. Ada likes playing piano. When she practices playing piano, she always misses her beloved Inman. She really hopes he will come back one day and she believes he will come back.
Cold Mountain is the story of two parallel journeys: Inman’s physical trek across the American landscape and Ada’s internal odyssey toward an understanding of herself. What makes Frazier’s novel so satisfying is the depth of detail surrounding both journeys. Frazier based this story on family history, and in the characters of Inman and Ada he has paid a rich compliment to their historical counterparts. Cold Mountain is, quite simply, a wonderful book.