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Cold Mountain Literary Analysis

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The novel, Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier demonstrates literary fiction more than commercial fiction. The characters, particularly Stobrod, Ruby and Inman, are round and complex. They have more to them than what meets the eye, and as the novel unfolds their true thoughts, feelings and actions are revealed. Each has his or her own internal conflicts that they deal with, realistically showing that life is full of disappointments and struggles. Stobrod is one of the more complex characters in Cold Mountain. He is an alcoholic who lets the alcohol control his relationships and ultimately his life. He often abandons his daughter for weeks at a time to go out drinking. Stobrod ruins his relationship with her, but tries to make amends years later.…show more content…
She is a “motherless child from the day she [is] born” (67), and Stobrod abandons her at a young age. She is forced to grow up early and provide for herself in order to survive, which is contrary to characters in commercial fiction who do not face real life issues like this. Ruby’s childhood and adult life are harsh realities and are not sugar coated. Ruby never mentions her father to Ada and chooses to bottle up her past instead. Ada is shocked as Ruby says, “My daddy. Stobrod. He’s made it from the war. But alive or dead, he’s of little matter to me” (286). Ruby Inman deserts war and searches for happiness and his past lover, Ada. Inman’s experience at war portrays him to be a tough and fearless man, but in reality he deserts like a coward. Soldiers are seen as heroes fighting for their country, and Inman did fight for his country, but leaves as soon as it gets hard. The war tears down his spirits, leaving him feeling broken, lost and constantly conflicted with his thoughts and emotions. He wishes to return to Cold Mountain in pursuit of the happiness war stole from him. “Cold Mountain nevertheless soared in his mind as a place where all his scattered forces might gather” (23). He also hopes to win back Ada, who is the force that drives and motivates him throughout the novel. Being the protagonist, much of the novel revolves around Inman’s journey back home. Through his triumphs and struggles, readers are able to better understand who Inman truly is and the complexities of his
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