"The Way to Rainey Mountain" by Scott Momaday

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“The Way to Rainy Mountain” by N. Scott Momaday

“The Way to Rainy Mountain” is a short story by N. Scott Momaday. In this short work, Momaday describes the loss of someone special to him, his grandmother, and the things and places that remind him of her. He spends a lot of time describing the terrain of what his people have named “Rainy Mountain”. His people are the Kiowa, an old Native American tribe that lived on the plains of Oklahoma.

The story, in the literal sense, is about the main character returning to Rainy Mountain, to the place that reminds him the most of his departed grandmother. He describes her and her personality, letting us get to know her as well. While he himself has never been to Rainy Mountain, he finds that, the closer he gets to it, the more it reminds him of his loved ones and his people and their history. Metaphorically, he discusses the way of life that the Kiowas used to have in their golden years. He talks about their strength and their origins as great hunters, how they were allies with the Crow Indians, who gave them their religion, how the US army pushed them until they were too divided to defend themselves All of this in comparison to how life is different for him today. Momaday, it seems, is writing this story for people who have also lost relatives. He seems to be relating to those who have gone through similar situations. The story takes on a depressing tone, as is usually associated with death, when he begins to describe the land in the first few paragraphs. You get a sense of loneliness when he describes the terrain because it is barren and desolate. This could be because he himself feels loneliness due to the loss of his grandmother. This point could be linked to the reason that he’s writing. Is he writing this to relate to others who have been through similar situations because he is lonely? It would seem so. His continuing to tell more and more about the history of his people hints that he may be writing to someone...
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