Learning about One's Tribe in the "The Way to Rainy Mountain" Essay

Learning about One's Tribe in the "The Way to Rainy Mountain" Essay

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The Way to Rainy Mountain is by no means a normal novel. It does not have the same cookie cutter formation as most books, where the plot goes from beginning to end in neat little chapters. It is not just a simple book, it is a book that has meaning, and it is a book that makes its readers think. It is a book about connections from the past. These connections are like puzzle pieces that the main character, N. Scott Momaday, has to put together in his journey to truly understand his heritage. Through the past, Momaday finds a way to honor his grandmother’s memory and to connect with his Kiowa culture. The past comes in many different forms; it could be the way distant past spanning hundreds of years ago or simply just a minute ago. Momaday uses the past to complete his journey and add to the meaning of the book as a whole; this past includes the history of the Kiowa people, the memory of his grandmother, and his own childhood memories.
The history of the Kiowa people comes in two forms, the facts about the tribe, and also the myths and legends that have been passed down from generation to generation. This history is a part of Momaday's culture; it is a part of him and it is a really important part of the book. Every culture had a beginning, a place of origin, and eventually everything has an ending as well. The Kiowas had both of these, they had a past filled with different events, some were happy and some were sad, but all of them were part of the culture that they created. Rainy Mountain is part of this history, and it is essentially the most important place for the Kiowas. This mountain or knoll is located on the plains of Oklahoma. This land is described by Momaday like so, “To look upon the landscape in the early morning, wi...


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... that was deprived of a true Kiowa upbringing. He was part of the generation that did not quite connect with those who were more traditional. Momaday took it upon himself to connect these two generations, to connect himself with his grandmother. His journey began, way before he was born. It began with the history of the Kiowas, the past and the origins of the tribe, it then led him to his grandmother and all of the memories he had of her, and finally he connected both of these to his own past, his own memories. The past is what made this book so unique because Momaday took all these different forms of it and he connected them in a way that made the puzzle complete. By doing this, he ended his journey and somehow he mended the space between his grandmother and himself, the traditional and the modern. He connected the Kiowas together; he made them a whole, a tribe.

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