Study Guide

Cold Mountain What's Up With the Title?

By Charles Frazier

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What's Up With the Title?

Frazier should be paying this title extra, because it's working overtime. Cold Mountain is a literal place in North Carolina, but it's also a symbol for all sorts of things in the book. It's home to Inman and becoming home to Ada, and it symbolizes what it means to have a home at all.

Cold Mountain is also imagined as a place with spiritual significance, where someone can enter a better world if they know how to reach the right state of mind. Frazier does this by linking the place in North Carolina to the works of a Chinese poet who used a different Cold Mountain as a symbol for reaching Enlightenment (see "What's Up With the Epigraph?" and "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory" for more).

As if that weren't enough, Cold Mountain is also seen as a portal to a world of peace in a story told by an old Cherokee woman to Inman ("Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory" has the details).

As titles go, this one is an Academy Award winner. It's a best performance for sure.

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