Characters that Most Influenced Inman in Cold Mountain Essay

Characters that Most Influenced Inman in Cold Mountain Essay

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The novel Cold Mountain is about two peoples’ independent journeys through different struggles and situations at the same time. One of these people is Inman, an injured soldier who is trying to find his way home after deserting from the fighting. He meets a lot of strange people along the way. Some of them help and some of them hinder. However, they all teach him something about himself, or something that he can relate to himself. There are some characters that are more significant in this respect than others and they have more of an actual influence on Inman’s journey.

One of these characters is Veasey, the preacher. Inman meets him when he catches the preacher trying to throw a drugged, pregnant girl into the ‘Deep River’. Inman saves the girl from Veasey and leaves him to face his punishment. Later on in the story, Veasey returns with “his face…cut and marked by bruises”. Veasey is a general negative influence on Inman’s odyssey. He uses religion to justify his immoral acts and symbolises false faith and unrestrained selfishness. He is, however, company for Inman, even though Inman does not want it. They travel together and find a “grim roadside inn”. It is here that we see Veasey as being a danger to Inman. Veasey meets a prostitute called Big Tildy and makes a deal. Here, he picks a fight with a drunken, armed man who tries to take Big Tildy elsewhere. The two men draw their pistols at each other, but Tildy takes Veasey’s from him. Veasey wants to continue with the fight. Inman steps in and the drunken man goes away. “You’re set on getting us both killed.” Inman realises that Veasey is a danger and tries to leave him behind when he leaves, the next day. Veasey however, catches up to him again.
Together they both meet Jun...

... middle of paper ...

...s ironic because all throughout the novel we have heard stories of Inman’s terrible ordeals in the war.

Inman’s journey has been both negatively affected (Veasey) and positively affected (Sara). In my opinion, for all of the bad things that happen to Inman, something good happens. The best example of this is Veasey. Inman puts up with Veasey and his annoying habits for so long, and he saves his life in the end. Therefore, even the negative influences that Inman experiences on his odyssey, result in a positive outcome.
Inman learns a lot from the people that he meets on his odyssey. Some affect his journey and some do not. There are characters that have not been mentioned because they are not as influential as the ones that have been. Characters like the gypsies, who show Inman that stereotypes cannot always be trusted, do not help him on his psychological journey.

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