April 16, 2013
English Honors 4
The word diagnosis means to identify the nature and cause of anything. People use diagnosis many different ways with different variations in the use of logic and experience to figure out cause and effect relationships. The word diagnosis does not always have to consist of medical terms. In Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, the characters have some sort of knowledge about life and their surrounding environment (Way). All of the main characters face some kind of problem or obstacle that they must overcome, and they all have a cause and effect relationship.
The character of Inman reveals a conflict between his moral perspective and the awful realities of his own life. Inman’s task is to overcome all obstacles thrown at him (Breslin). The book tells his story of homecoming (Gardner). At first, Inman has a wounded neck and psychological scars of his memories of the war. All he can think about is Ada and the ghosts of dead and gone soldiers. Putting his wounds and scars aside, Inman remains a respectable hero (Piacentino). Throughout the story, Inman lets his conscience lead his actions. He wills himself to resort to violence when necessary, even though he stays troubled by the deaths he has witnessed and does not want to add to them. He remains ready to fight any battle, whether it be physical or moral. He comes off as aggressive because he wants to protect all of the innocent people, including himself. Not only does he have a geographical journey, but he has a conceptual journey, also. Charles Frazier makes Inman’s journey have a deep meaning. This suggests that his journey reflects a more insightful exertion. As a part of his spiritual awakening, Inman has flashbacks of past events. Two things keep him going: thoughts of Ada and memories of home (Gardner). Throughout his journey, he ends up losing faith in himself. However, his faith in another world remains strong. Frazier suggests that the goat-woman and Sara encourage Inman’s determination. “Inman's journey is, among other things, a record of his coming to terms with God. From its very first step, his journey is one of faith, a faith that he has lost in the war and is on the road to recovering throughout the story” (Gibson). He ends up conserving his humanity even though the intense psychological strain gets hard to handle. This is because he believes in a better life far away. Frazier shows that his true salvation from the now strange and delusional world can only be conquered through death.
Throughout the story, the character of Ada becomes more independent. She does not know how to function in the real world, because her education has isolated her from learning the important things. Because she is used to reading book after book, she stays away from idealistic participation. By the end of the story, Ada has gone through both happiness and hurt. She has adjusted to a life of hands on work, living by the patterns of the natural world. She learns to find herself in the world by believing in her instinct and by observing the silent signs of nature. Ada’s new life makes her have a greater encounter with the realistic and expressive difficulties of life. When Ada becomes reunited with Inman, it shows her new directness. She overcomes her feeling of alienation by confronting her doubts and expectations of the future. Ada admits to Ruby that she fears a lonely future. However, the simple structure around Cold Mountain proposes her refuge from feeling sidelined and weird. Cold Mountain provides a homeland thst she can share with Inman. After Inman’s death, Ruby’s family and Ada’s daughter continue to give Ada a source of emotional comfort. “Frazier is far more interested in exploring Inman's and Ada's emotional and spiritual efforts to conquer their fear, self-despair, loneliness” (Paul and McCarron). Obviously, even though Ada believes she is alone, she is not. Charles Frazier shows great change in this female...