Cold Mountain : The Civil War Essay

Cold Mountain : The Civil War Essay

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Cold Mountain: The Civil War

     The Civil War was a four year armed conflict between northern and southern sections of the United States. The Civil War cost more American lives than any other war in history. There were bout 3 million people who fought in the beginning of the Civil War and about 600,000 people’s lives were lost at the end of the war. What began for many as a romantic adventure soon became a heartbreaking bitter struggle between the two parts of a divided country. This, however, was more than the industrial North fighting against the agricultural South. There were divided families with brother fighting brother. Some Northerners joined the Southern ranks and some Southerners were in the Union army, each fighting for what he thought was right.     The most obvious causes of the Civil War were the issues of states’ rights and slavery.     Hundreds of books, movies, and documentaries have been published on the Civil War. One of them was written by Charles Frazier called Cold Mountain. The novel focuses on the life during the Civil War.
     Cold Mountain captures some of the spirit and reality of the Civil War. Many people contributed their time, effort and lives in the Civil War. The main character, Inman, walks away from a hospital for Confederate wounded at the start of the book and is constantly on the move, meeting odd and dangerous characters, even a Circe. Beginning with Inman’s decision to leave the hospital where he has been recovering from a near fatal neck wound which turns him into a deserter, or an “outlier”. As a fugitive, Inman must take back roads and obscure footpaths, always hiding from the murderous Home Guards. Inman is sickened by the wanton waste of young lives on the battle field and torn between the traditional conflict of valor and cowardice. In the field hospital, the injured Confederate private witnesses the brutality of both sides in the most bloody of American armed struggles, the War Between the States. Emotionally shaken, Inman realizes that he will return to the front and possible death as soon as he is well. He watches men on both sides ordered to charge into lethal barrages of gunfire and cannon shot, only to fall after a few precious steps. On more than one occasion, he is forced to kill. Inman is haunted by ni...


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...m. Everything that she wanted, he gave her. He was a trader who lost his money because of the war, (…”at arm’s length the war, the embargo, the various other expressions of hard times, and their effect on Ada’s income…(61),” which left Ada nothing when he died.
     Goat woman is an old lady that takes care of goats, and had been far away from the human world. She meets Inman while she is doing something to a bird trap. The goat woman takes care of Inman for a few days and helped heal his neck wound from the battle and from the wandering Home Guard.
     Charles Frazier had a very different way of narrating a story about the Civil War. Usually when people think of the word war, they think of it as people killing people or something more brutal. But instead, Charles Frazier focused his novel on how the war affected the lives of the people during the war. It was a very realistic novel because his characters were not all heroes, they were ordinary people with struggles and problems that they have to deal with and adapt to. Frazier did an excellent job by recapturing the war and how it affected those people who lived in Cold Mountain.

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