Study Guide

Cold Mountain Warfare

By Charles Frazier

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Inman may be running away from a war, but Cold Mountain isn't. The American Civil War is a constant presence in the book, one that can't be escaped. It's the reason Inman is fleeing toward home, and it's the reason it's not safe for him to do so. It's the reason Ada doesn't have money and has to learn about her farm, and it's the reason that so many people in the book are facing unstable situations.

Inman is the character who experiences war most directly, and it's a profoundly scarring experience for him. He's good at it, but he feels it's wounded his soul and body, maybe forever. He spends the whole book working through his experience of warfare, trying to figure out if he can find some sort of redemption afterward.

Questions About Warfare

  1. Does Inman find healing after his experience of warfare? By the end of the book, has he experienced some sort of redemption?
  2. If Inman does find some kind of redemption or healing from the scars of warfare, what brings that about? A return to his home near Cold Mountain? A reunion with Ada? Something else?
  3. What does the experience of war do to those who aren't fighting? What kind of effect does it have on women and children, for instance?
  4. Why did Inman fight in the war, and what made him stop?

Chew on This

Inman stops fighting because the experience of warfare is so brutal that he feels his humanity is being destroyed.

For Inman, finding love with Ada does bring about healing from the scars of war, at least partially.

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