Past Experiences of Ancestors in N. Scott Momaday's "The Way to Rainy Mountain"

Past Experiences of Ancestors in N. Scott Momaday's "The Way to Rainy Mountain"

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The Way to Rainy Mountain was written in 1969 by Pulitzer Prize winning author N. Scott Momaday. The novel is about Scott Momaday's Kiowa ancestors and their journey from the Montana area to Fort Sill near Rainy Mountain, Oklahoma, where their surrender to the United States Cavalry took place. In The Way to Rainy Mountain, Momaday traces his ancestral roots back to the beginning of the Kiowa tribe while not only learning more about the Kiowa people but rediscovering himself and finding out what his true identity is. The death of his grandmother prompts Momaday to dig deeper into the background of his family. To better help him become closer with his ancestral roots, Momaday returns to Rainy Mountain to visit his recently deceased grandmother’s grave where the spirit of the Kiowa tribe was thought to be very strong. Scott Momaday’s grandmother was believed to be the last of the Kiowa’s; with her death came the death of the Kiowa culture. Momaday wouldn’t let such a spiritual people who meant so much to him be forgotten so he created The Way to Rainy Mountain with this motivation. As Momaday works through each of the Kiowa’s mythical stories, he begins to learn a lot about his ancestors and, in turn, about himself. After reading the novel, it is evident to the reader that from beginning to end, Momaday has grown tremendously and has an increased sense of knowledge and appreciation for his Kiowa ancestors and their spiritual way of life. While Scott Momaday’s was creating his world renowned novel, The Way to Rainy Mountain, his relationship with past events greatly contributed to the overall meaning of the book in three major ways. During the novel, Momaday uses his recollections of the past to help understand Kiowa myths a...

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... journey to discover himself. I recommend people to read this book because it is the first book ever written in the circular time flow format which truly is an enjoyable roller coaster ride for the reader when being able to hear a myth, and then read what history proves really happened, and finally finish off with the narrators personal views on the topic; what an experience! This book greatly effected me for the better as I not only learned of the Kiowa’s almost-lost culture but like Momaday, I became more interested in my own roots and started to do some family research of my own!

Works Cited
BOOKRAGS STAFF. "The Way to Rainy Mountain: Characters". 2005. January 2 2010.

Momaday, N. Scott. The Way to Rainy Mountain. New York: University of New
Mexico, 1977. Print.

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