Analysis of Cold Mountain, Ch. 19

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Cold Mountain Chapter 19: Analysis of “the far side of trouble” Frazier opens his chapter with Stobrod waking up, but falling back to unconsciousness because of his injuries from Teague, and Inman following suit because of his fatigue. Ruby and Ada are left to build a fire and cook on their own. When Inman wakes up, he assists the wounded Stobrod, and goes to eat the chicken stew Ruby made. Now alone with the new Ada he hasn’t fully met, he tries to bring up conversation. Inman reads a passage from Bartram’s Travels, and gets embarrassed when the passage turns out to include sex. They start to talk of the past, to catch up on what happened when they weren’t together. Inman brings up marriage to be something not so possible now that he has been damaged so much, emotionally and spiritually. But Ada, from her experience of herbs and nature, concludes: “I know people can be mended…. I don’t see why not you.” (420) While they continue talking, their conversation of past and future is interrupted by Ruby who says Stobrod’s fever is down right now but still keeps rising and falling. The next morning, Inman and Ada go hunting. Though they don’t find any game, they discover an old Indian arrowhead stuck in a tree, and they dream of returning there in the future with their family. When they return to camp, Ruby tells them that Stobrod’s fever is back up. “Night will be the crisis, I believe. He’ll stay or go, but tonight will be the deciding of it.” (428) Ruby stays with Stobrod to care and heal him, so Ada goes into Inman’s hut to sleep with him. “The world was such an incredibly lonely place, and to lie down beside him, skin to skin, seemed the only cure.” (429) Later in the night, they discuss once again their past experiences and hopes for the future. This chapter incorporates love and time as its major theme. Inman and Ada sit in the hut feeling uncomfortable and
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