Study Guide

Cold Mountain Music

By Charles Frazier

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Music does it all in this book: it symbolizes spirituality, hope, sorrow, redemption…you name it. Even Stobrod Thewes, stereotypical frat boy relocated to the backwoods, finds redemption in music. He's finally able to give a gift to someone through music, and when he plays for a dying girl it changes him. As Ada thinks when she hears the story:

[…] no matter what a waste one has made of one's life, it is ever possible to find some path to redemption, however partial. (12.108)

Music seems to be that path, or at least a big part of it, for Stobrod. By the last time we see him in the book, singing a Gospel song after milking the cow and playing the fiddle, we come to think music may be pretty dang powerful.

And he's not the only one it helps. From all the times Inman and Ada think of music to the night Sara brings a little peace by singing to her baby after a traumatic day, music is everywhere in this book.

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