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Cold Mountain

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Charles Frazier’s novel, “Cold Mountain” can be considered a romance set against the backdrop of the Civil War.  Utilizing the historical content of the Civil War era, his novel becomes an exploration of social class transformation and social change wrought from this national upheaval of colonial life, with the love story as simply a byproduct.  Cold MountainThe main characters, Inman and Ada, reflect this social transformation and offer a portrait of life forever changed by the catalyst of war.

Although “Cold Mountain” is a fictional account of the Civil War, there is much historical content worthy of examination that a history term paper could be written on it.  Frazier adequately encompasses social distinction before and after through the means of flashbacks that describe a completely different world prior to the coming of the war.  The book opens with Inman recuperating from a wound suffered during battle.  He frequently lapses into remembrances, which offer the reader a view of society that once was and is now gone forever.  The same takes place with Ada, the daughter of a minister whose social class has become completely altered due to the war.

Prior to the Civil War, the South was based on a strong sense of class distinction. Traditions and familial heritage played an important role in southern society.  Many of the more populated cities became institutions of social exchange and rule.  The closer to the nation’s capital, the more influential society seemed to become. 

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