Savagery In Cold Mountain

Improved Essays
Savagery. Hunger. Pain. Loss. War plagues the human condition in ways that no other experience can, understandably inspiring many authors through the course of human culture to set their story in the locale of war. However, on the brink between modern warfare technology and ancient battle tactics, the already gruesome American Civil War elucidates another point of intrigue in being one of the most fatal wars statistically in recorded history (Dutch). Amongst the horror and tragedy created during this era, the stage is set for a story unlike any other war in any other time possibly could. In his novel Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier understands the historical context of the American Civil War to illustrate a story that transcends time and place while necessitating both time and place in the setting of his story. Through an exploration of understanding what being human actually entails, Frazier’s fictional account of the Confederate soldier Inman traveling home to Cold Mountain epitomizes the struggle between man and killer. While on the course of Inman’s journey home, the reader is lead to incessantly continue and ask the question: Violence for what? Ultimately, the return to humanity guides the course of the novel, challenging Inman along every step of the journey to do the humane thing, rather than …show more content…
In a dissertation titled The Language of War, Harvard literature professor James Dawes attempts to explain the after-effects of war through a literary framework. Dawes suggests, “War dismantles the culture that constitutes the individual; it violates the boundaries that structure social meaning” (Dawes 133). Deductively, Inman loses his humanlike qualities, including empathy, due to the distorted values affected by warfare. However, the larger theme that transcends Frazier’s novel in some reiteration: violence for

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    War has proven over a series of time that it destroys the human mind. It turns family against family, brother against brother, leaving a lasting affect on the human psych. Using literary elements, authors have a way of describing war through their writing. Liam O’Flaherty and Thomas Hardy are two examples of this. Liam O’Flaherty’s short story, “The Sniper”, and Thomas Hardy’s poem, “The Man He Killed”, contain a plot, irony, and theme to describe their thoughts on war, and can be used to state how these two pieces of writing are more different than similar.…

    • 494 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Précis #2 West, Rebecca. The Return of the Soldier What role does the War play in The Return of the Soldier? The Great War played the pivotal role of change in ideas and perception throughout the novella titled The Return of the Soldier. West uses this paperback as a declaration on how the war had unknown psychological effects, on memory and on the concepts of sanity. Furthermore, it also affected the families and love one of those men who went to fight.…

    • 726 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    War is arguably one of the most emotional and horrific events in the lives of those who must partake in it. Many soldiers begin to question, “why me?” and begin to think about what is happening back home. In Thomas Hardy’s, The Man He Killed, and Tim O’Brien’s, “The Things They Carried”, these ideas are explored. The depth of these authors diction compels the reader to be thankful that they do not have to set foot on the battlefield, presenting the loneliness, anger and confusion of these weakened soldiers. Both Hardy and O’Brien offer the theme of war giving returning soldiers posttraumatic stress in their writings.…

    • 1127 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Power of Imagination: An Analysis of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried What would the world be without the power of imagination? If you have ever pondered this thought, you may relate to Tim O’Brien, the author of the novel The Things They Carried. As a soldier in the gruesome Vietnam War, Tim O’Brien suffers physically, mentally, and emotionally from the effects of the war. From witnessing fellow friends being shot and wounded, to trying to locate and rescue a good friend’s dead body, one can only imagine the effects that these situations would have on a soldier. O’Brien utilizes imagination to establish the horror of war, to uncover uncertainties, and to escape from the war’s sickening events.…

    • 1121 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Some say the mental percussion from war is far worse the physical. With Freud’s and Jung’s theories brought together. Someone reading can see their theories in Tim O’Brien’s novel. With Ted’s fear of death and the enemy. Martha’s deceitfulness towards Cross during his time in Vietnam and Cross’s reform during Vietnam, the beginning of his new view in…

    • 516 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel by Kurt Vonnegut, brings a new aspect to the image revolving around time, life, and war, as well as how war is perceived. Vonnegut changes the glorified image of war and brings a never before experienced reality into his novel. In the words of noted scholar Josh Simpson, “Slaughterhouse-Five shows two things simultaneously with equally chilling clarity: what war and bad ideas can do to humanity” (Simpson 7). Like-minded, Dr. Ruzbeh Babaee adds, “Vonnegut’s dark picture criticizes our contemporary world and the devastative direction in which we are headed” (Babaee 2). Vonnegut’s experience throughout his time in war gives his audience a new perspective on what time and life in war are in reality.…

    • 1351 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    O Brien Themes

    • 1005 Words
    • 5 Pages

    F: How does the way O’Brien structures his work inform the themes and messages he develops? The way O’Brien structures his work through the use of narrative storytelling, direct quotation, and recurring motifs help emphasize the themes of post-war hardships, emotional weakness, and guilt . O’Brien uses common motifs of amoral decision making, isolation, and moral ambiguity. The motifs set the path for the book because O’Brien creates a novel about a group of men who endure the mental and physical fight on war. War can be considered one of the most traumatizing “job” in the world because of the potential it can change a human.…

    • 1005 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Capturing Readers through Rhetoric The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien holds a collection of fictitious stories that detail the seemingly endless extent of suffering and destruction that soldiers must endure while tangled up in the chaotic corporeality that is war. O’Brien effectively makes these fabricated stories reach out to the reader and ensnare their senses, relating the readers to the novel even if they do not have firsthand experiences with war. He captures the reader by using a proficient collection of rhetorical strategies. Throughout the novel, it appears that O’Brien focuses less on the political aspect of war, and instead concentrates on the people who participated and suffered from the war instead. He does so through…

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Eros And Thanatos Analysis

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Human Nature, Plagues and the Antidote People are born with an equal capacity to do good and to do evil. In every person there is a ceaseless battle between Eros and Thanatos; the need to preserve and conserve life and the need to destroy all living things, respectively. Life has myriad of events that bring Eros and Thanatos into conflict. War is a constant in human nature so it is expected that was will also be seen in the physical world. War is aided by many different sources but on of the most prevalent in modern society is nationalism.…

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    A chapter of the Civil War ended, while another one was soon to begin. Thousands more lives were soon to be lost, as individuals fought for their beliefs. The sheer brutality of the Battle of Gettysburg was clearly illustrated with a flawless style of writing, the purpose of each army was revealed and justified, and the thought-processes and clashing of heads was shown in ways that sheds light on the reason for the uncoordinated-Confederate effort and eventual loss. Shaara wrote with passion and an abundance of knowledge which is easily transferred over to the minds of readers because of his simplistic yet insanely descriptive style of writing. This style of writing, and the amount of depth in Killer Angels, are what enabled Shaara to successfully prove his purpose in writing the book.…

    • 1734 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays