Masculinity In Cold Mountain

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Cold Mountain, written by Charles Frazier, is not necessarily a feminist novel, but a reiteration of the age old call for balance between masculinity and femininity. Legendary heroes such as Achilles, Odysseus , Jason and Hercules must all find balance in their quests lest they fail. Inman, the protagonist, is no different in this civil war era Odyssey. American society’s perceived gender roles radically shifted after the Civil War. Ada, Ruby, and Inman all defy the traditional notions of the devoted housewife and the gruff farmer. With Inman gone on his journey , back to Black Cove, Ada is left to fend for herself in a male ruled job, running the farm. Ruby, similarly, grew up with an drunkard father and learned to survive at an early age.…show more content…
Stobrod was a drunkard who abandoned Ruby. She, as a female, grew up traditionally as a male. She is proficient in all duties around the house and the farm. She sees herself as everyone 's equal and doesn 't take no for an answer. When Ada complains about a rooster that tried to flog her, Ruby simply kills the rooster, “Ruby looked at her with a great deal of puzzlement. She rose and stepped off the porch and in one swift motion snatched up the rooster, tucked his body under her left arm, and with her right hand pulled off his head … —He 'll be stringy, so we 'd best stew him awhile, Ruby said.” (Frazier, 68) Ruby has a knack for being practical. She gets work done around the farm quickly and efficiently, all the while teaching Ada. Ruby saves Ada from starvation, showing qualities of leadership and pragmatism. Ada respects Ruby as a masculine figure on the farm, “Ada had soon noted the Ruby’s lore included … raising of crops … both animal and vegetable … constantly pointing out the little creatures that occupy the nooks of the world.” (Frazier, 137) Ruby is extremely learned on the subject of the natural world. This knowledge was extremely uncommon of women in their society, yet it is essential for Ada and Ruby’s survival. Ruby highlights historical qualities that are seen as
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