Essay about Analysis of N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain

Essay about Analysis of N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain

Length: 962 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Analysis of N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain


The Way to Rainy Mountain has a distinct pattern in its form.  In each section, it has three parts, each of whose separateness is clearly marked by its own place in each page and its own typeface: the legend, the history, and the personal memory.  The pattern, however, never makes it simple for the readers to understand the novel.  Rather, it confuses and bothers the readers by placing them where the double edges of reality meet.  On the one hand, there is a reality as the result of the dominant ideology, which has become a priori in many cases, and which has hidden that there is another reality (or possibly, multiple realities).  On the other hand, there exists another reality, which is present (thus, real) but absent (or buried), and which makes the dominant "reality" possible but, at the same time, continuously undermines it.  In The Way to Rainy Mountain, the patterned form brings about the two different realities: first, there is a discursive, or ideological reality, which separates legend from history and the personal from the cultural; second, there is a lived-way-of reality, in which legend, history, and the personal experience can never be separated.  Along the journey to the Rainy Mountain Cemetery, where the memory (that is, "experience of mind which is legendary as well as historical, personal as well as cultural" p.4) is buried, the readers are continuously challenged to make a connection between the three forms of memory, which has been always obvious in Native American oral tradition.  It is hard to trace all three forms at once; thus, focusing on the personal account of experience and memory, I will examine how it is related with an...


... middle of paper ...


...ccounts of memory are overflowing into one another and forming a panoramic picture of memory, in which the distinction between legend and history and between the personal and the cultural cannot operate any more.  The plain he is watching over is not the land itself.  Somewhere in it, a woman in a beautiful dress is buried without a tombstone.  Even the "glare of noon and all the colors of the dawn and dusk" has its memory to be recollected.  It is a landscape heavily loaded with the memory - both legend and history, both the personal and the cultural, which should be recollected and remembered.  It is a "remembered earth," which "a man ought to concentrate his mind upon," "to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about, to dwell upon it." 

Works Cited:

Momaday, Scott N. The Way to Rainy Mountain. Albuquerque: U of NewMexico P, 1969.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Literary Analysis: N.Scott Momaday Essay

- The desire to learn about family and its history can lead a man to great monuments of nature. Scott Momaday is Kiowa in the blood, but doesn’t know the impact of his ancestry, what they had to endure, and how they adapted to the obstacles thrown at them. Scott Momaday decides to travel 1,500 miles to “see in reality” what his family went through. He writes this story with a mixture of folklore, myth, history and personal reflections. Scott Momaday uses nature as a main component of his story, incorporating different voices and his memory to bring personal vision into the story with different time frames to give the ultimate experience of the Kiowa and his family....   [tags: kiowa, scott momaday, rainy mountain]

Strong Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Way to Rainy Mountain, N. Scott Momaday, Native Am]

Strong Essays
1183 words (3.4 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Way to Rainy Mountain, tribes, Native Americans,]

Strong Essays
920 words (2.6 pages)

The River Mountain By N. Scott Momaday Essay

- In The Way To Rainy Mountain, the author N. Scott Momaday makes a clear use of figurative language throughout the story and descriptive language to describe the nature around them, explains their myths about how their tribe came to be a part of nature, as well as the importance in nature that are a part of the Sundance festival and the tai-me. The story made clear how the Kiowas appreciate and respect the nature around them. Momaday gives a deep explanation of what it was like to be in Rainy Mountain when he describes the changes in weather: “Winter brings blizzards, hot tornadic winds arise in the spring, and in summer the prairie is an anvil’s edge....   [tags: Kiowa, N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn]

Strong Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

Momaday and Sears: Culture Essay example

- A Story Tells it All There seems to be a central theme to Sears’ book, Momaday’s book, and the various films we have reviewed, that there are old stories told about all of these "sacred places" that show us how to understand, care for, preserve, and protect the land around them. There are two aspects that stem from this main theme: that the words of these stories are traditional and sacred, and that people value different parts of the land in different ways. Some cultures value land as a worshiping center while others use it merely for entertainment and recreation....   [tags: Momaday’s Literature Culture Essays]

Free Essays
1121 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Rainy Mountain

- Rainy Mountain Summary of “ The Way To Rainy Mountain “ ( Momaday p. 430 ) Momaday, tells the story of his grandmother and how she evolved from a land of her ancestry. She, being one of the few “belonging to the last culture to evolve in North America” (431). In a descriptive detail, Momaday, portraits the events that takes us on a journey through time before our modernized society had come into existence. A time of survival, rituals, suffering, and extinction. He starts out by setting the scenery of the place where his grandmother lived....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
406 words (1.2 pages)

N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn Essay

- N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn House Made of Dawn, the novel that began the AMERICAN INDIAN LITERARY RENAISSANCE, is Scott Momaday's masterpiece. He originally conceived the work as a series of poems, but under the tutelage of Wallace Stegner at Stanford, Momaday reconceived the work first as a set of stories, then as a novel. House is the story of Abel, an Indian from the Pueblo Momaday calls "Walatowa," a fictionalized version of Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico, where Momaday grew up. Abel returns from World War II a victim of what we would call today "post-traumatic stress syndrome." He is unable to speak, even to his grandfather, Francisco, who raised him....   [tags: Momaday House Made Dawn Essays]

Strong Essays
903 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on A Comparison Between The Way to Rainy Mountain and Love Medicine

- In the novels Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich and The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday, the reader gains views of Native American culture, both past and present, through two disparate means of delivery. Both authors provide immensely rich portrayals through varying literary devices in efforts to bring about a better understanding of problems contemporary Native Americans face, especially regarding their own self-identity. The story of Love Medicine revolves around a central character, June Kashpaw, and the many threads of relationships surrounding her, both near the time of her death, and in what has gone on before....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Strong Essays
888 words (2.5 pages)

On The Rainy River by Tim O'Brien Essay

- The relationship you have with others often has a direct effect on the basis of your very own personal identity. In the essay "On The Rainy River," the author Tim O'Brien tells about his experiences and how his relationship with a single person had effected his life so dramatically. It is hard for anyone to rely fully on their own personal experiences when there are so many other people out there with different experiences of their own. Sometimes it take the experiences and knowledge of others to help you learn and build from them to help form your own personal identity....   [tags: O'Brien Rainy River Essay Analysis]

Free Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Brokeback Mountain

- Setting "Brokeback mountain Mori" begins in a mental institution, passes through an anonymous motel room and tattoo parlor, and ends in the back of a police car. Brokeback mountain never explicitly mentions whether Leonard has been in a mental institution (though certain ambiguous clues indicate that perhaps he has). It also passes through motel rooms and tattoo parlors, but it adds other locations, such as Natalie's house, the bar where she works, a diner, and the abandoned building where Leonard kills both Jimmy and Teddy....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Free Essays
1801 words (5.1 pages)