Inman Character Analysis

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Summary Injured by a gunshot to the side of his neck, Inman, the main character, slowly heals in a Confederate hospital full of dying casualties. Inman loathes the war— he does not see the purpose behind it and only recognizes its misery. He recalls earlier memories with a woman named Ada, with whom he shared a romantic relationship prior to his conscription into the Civil War. Following the advice of other patients, Inman escapes the hospital in an attempt to reach Ada’s farm. Whilst on his journey, Inman meets a variety of different characters and encounters several war-time situations. As he progresses, he quickly becomes familiar with a group known as the Home Guard, a group assigned by the Confederate forces to enforce conscription,…show more content…
Initially, Ada finds herself “thinking...that she wished she could have gone before Monroe”, implying that she cannot survive with his absence (29). Living by herself, she avoids strangers, remains hungry, and leaves everyday tasks undone. Because her mother dies from childbirth, Ada has become inherently dependent on Monroe her whole life, leaving her helpless and apprehensive when he can no longer care for her. Furthermore, she cannot function in his absence, struggling to maintain a life of subsistence despite her history living on the farm. Frazier’s description of her life after Monroe’s death highlights her dependence on others near the beginning of the novel. However, this dependence dissolves through a combination of survival skills and personal development she learns from Ruby. As soon as Ruby meets Ada, she declares that she has “never hired out as hand or servant” and demanded equality between the two women. Emotionally, Ada becomes much more independent when she starts living with Ruby; with Ruby’s candid attitude, Ada learns the importance in fending for oneself both on the farm and around others. Ruby’s personality is emulated throughout the next few months, and becomes much more comfortable confronting others in both As the two began managing the farm, “Ruby seemed to aim Ada [to]...the rudeness of eating [and] of living” rather than “[paying] someone to grow for them” (81). While proving to originally tire out Ada, Ruby’s harsh and hardened lifestyle shape Ada into a self-sufficient woman. Even though the two women never separate for the rest of the novel, it becomes clear that Ada can fend for herself in hostile environments, especially when winter appears near the end of the novel. Even more so, the relationship between the two proves to be symbiotic, as Ruby appears to benefit as well. A result of Monroe’s emphasis on education, Ada’s
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