Cold Mountain Essay

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The story is about wounded Confederate deserter’s return to his home and the city girl who learns to live there on a farm with the help of a perfect mountain girl.
A gravely wounded confederate soldier, a veteran of the savage battle of Fredericksburg, writes from the hospital to the woman he left behind that he is coming home to her - Cold Mountain Essay introduction. Inman deserts, knowing that Home Guards are on the prowl for deserters, and he begins a long trek westward to Cold Mountain, where he grew up. Inman’s youth has filled him with respect for Indian lore, and warfare has filled him with nightmares of shattered bodies and incompetent leadership. Having enlisted to protect his homeland from invaders, Inman is disappointed by humanity’s brutality and has no loyalties. Inman worries that 4 years of horror have transformed him into a monster his would be spouse on idyllic Cold Mountain, Ada Monroe, cannot love.
Ada struggles to survive in the shadow of Cold Mountain at Black’s Cove after her father, Monroe, a Charleston preacher, moves there for his health but suddenly dies. Ada has enjoyed a protected, comfortable life but been denied training in anything practical. Snobbishly prickly, she is an object of mirth among the locals but is befriended by Ruby, a troubled young woman who has learned survival through trial and error, having been all but abandoned by her worthless father, Stobrod. Stobrod has enlisted and is presumed dead or deserted, so Ruby is available to help and tutor Ada. They become fast friends and Ada gradually becomes a more rounded person, who is able to survive.
As Inman walks home, he encounters a number of colorful characters. A failed preacher, Solomon Veasey, becomes his companion for a way, until they are seized by the Home Guard and dragged back eastward. The guardsmen tire of dealing with their charges and…

Cold Mountain Essay

Cold Mountain

            Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is a novel about a man determined to have his life back after he joined the war - Cold Mountain Essay introduction. Set in the time of the American Civil War, the novel tells of how W. P. Inman struggled to return to the life he always wanted to live, back in Cold Mountain. Though set in the times of war, the story is not about the war per se, but instead of the battle that Inman must survive against himself, his environment, and against other people. Cold Mountain carefully chronicles the hardships and struggles of Inman in his journey to find home (Frazier, 1997).

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            The novel starts with a scene in a hospital for the Confederate military. Inman is shown as a soldier who is just recovering from a wound he received in a recent battle. Inman doesn’t really like the war. He was tired of fighting because he never really liked what he was fighting for. Inman never really had a choice; he was like other people who were forced to fight the war, without really knowing what they were fighting for. All he ever wanted was to go back to his home at Cold Mountain, North Carolina, away from the sounds of the guns, cannons, and cries of dying men.

            Inman was hesitant at first, but when a blind man gave him the advice to go, he was almost convinced. It was when the man next to his bed died that he finally made up his mind. He didn’t want to end up a dead man; he wanted to go home, to enjoy his life. It seemed that Inman has something that kept pulling him towards Cold Mountain, something powerful that he decided to escape from the hospital and walk back home for 250 miles. Inman indeed has something – or someone to motivate him to go back home. She is Ada Monroe, who recently moved to Cold Mountain, before Inman went away.

            The 250-mile walk back home is anything but a leisurely stroll. He may have escaped the hospital, but there were other things that he has to watch out from. Inman is not the only one who stole away from the war. There are other deserters just like him, which is why there are people designated to look for them and track them down. These people were known as the Home Guard, whose main purpose is to search for Confederate soldiers who deserted the war, just like Inman. With them around, Inman can’t relax until he has safely returned to his home in Cold Mountain.

            One of the stops that he made in his travel was when he met a preacher called Veasey. Their meeting was nothing like a normal acquaintance. Veasey was about to murder his lover that got pregnant, and Inman came right in time to stop him. He was able to convince him not to continue what he wanted to do, and just let her lover go. He did so, and he also decided to go with Inman in his travel. At this point, we can see that Inman’s thoughts were not of selfish nature. He went out of his way just to help save a life, and even managed to give a new life to the preacher. As he continues to travel, he doesn’t just passively go by other people’s lives, but instead he still manages to reach out and affect them to change for the better.

            Inman and Veasey traveled together for quiet a distance when they stumbled upon a dead cow that had fallen in a creek. Seeing this as an opportunity for them to feed, they butchered the cow. The owner of the cow was not pleased with what he saw, and he went directly to the nearby Home Guard. Prior to the owner seeing them butcher the cow, Inman and Veasey were really driven by hunger to do what they did. After traveling for some distances, hunger was one of their problems, and seeing the dead cow in their way was the only solution that they had. They didn’t care if it is already dead, as long as it would serve as food for their tired and hungry bodies, they’d take it. They really didn’t have any choice. If they didn’t take that chance, they’d end up dying from starvation.

            Upon hearing from the owner of the cow, the Home Guard immediately responded and captured the two. They were put in a group with other prisoners; most of them are probably deserters just like Inman. They were made to walk for several days without no clear destination. It was when the Home Guard grew tired that they stopped. The stop wasn’t so good for them however, because the Home Guard decided to just kill them because they are just trouble for them. This is the part of Inman’s journey where he feels uncertain whether he can still continue or not. He is facing a situation wherein he could actually be killed without even making it back to Cold Mountain.

            When the Home Guard declared that they would just be shot instead of continuing, Veasey stepped forward to try and stop it, but he couldn’t; they couldn’t. All of them were shot, except Inman, who took a bullet that has gone through Veasey. He was wounded, but it wasn’t fatal. He played dead, and was buried along with the others in a mass grave. At this point, Inman realizes that he was still lucky, and would still be able to continue with his journey. He was sure that he’d die right then and there, but he didn’t. It is something that encourages him to go on and continue with his journey, something that would enable him to push through until he reaches the Cold Mountain that he longed for. Ada is also something that keeps him going. The more he gets into a pinch, the more he is determined to make his way back home.

            Inman manages to drag himself out of the mass grave, and decided to push through. Looking back at the dead bodies, it seems that he hated the war more, as it took lives even if it is not about the reason that the war is being fought. As he moved forward, he experiences more and more hardships like hunger, more Home Guards, and even more hunger. He often runs into civilians who were willing to help people like him, giving him shelter and food for the night. Inman is a perfect example of the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” because the more he experiences hardships, the more he is determined to push through and return to Cold Mountain.

            Inman was able to help an old lady retrieve her hog, which is her only possession. Inman was the kind of person who would really go out of his way to help others, even though he was really on his way home. He stumbled upon another old woman who gave her precious advices, and medicines to help him fully recover. His journey towards Cold Mountain is filled with experiences of helping and being helped that it would seem like Inman is out there to experience life. While he’s on his way home, it’s as if he’s already living his life.

            At the end of the story, he was able to go back to Cold Mountain, and was able to meet Ada Monroe. He immediately married her, but afterwards, an encounter with the Home Guards cost him his life. He died in the arms of his wife, though, he died happy. He was able to go back to Cold Mountain, and was able to live his life and marry his loved one. Clearly, W. P. Inman won his war.


Frazier, C. (1997). Cold Mountain: A Novel (First ed.): Atlantic Monthly Press.


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