English Patient and Cold Mountain

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In both the novel, The English Patient, written by Michael Ondaatje, and the film, Cold Mountain directed by Anthony Minghella, characters shown throughout both demonstrate the effect war has not only on the soldiers fighting the war, but the people left behind. Although statistics show a lifetime occurrence in combat veterans with post traumatic stress disorder to be ten to thirty percent, they do not show the damage and change that occur to people back home. Ondaatje and Minghella both captivate the changes going on in the people left behind. Throughout the movie Cold Mountain, Ada (Nicole Kidman) undergoes a huge transformation. To the extent that when Inman and Ada finally reunite Inman hardly recognizes her. At the beginning of the film Ada is portrayed as innocent. Ada is highly intelligent and her education seems to have sheltered her from the real world. As the war progresses Ada loses her father, and is now without a male figure in her life now that Inman is gone off to war. Ada has been left penniless, and all alone to tend a broken down farm which she has no knowledge of how to run. As time goes on Ada’s health deteriorates because she is eating very little and has very little money to take care of herself. When Ruby (Renee Zellweger) shows up at Ada’s farm, Ada seems timid at first whether to let Ruby help her, but she realizes how desperate she is and really has no choice. As Ruby walks around the farm she realizes how much work needs to be done and begins to make a list. Ada seems lost when Ruby is talking; this is ironic because Ada is the educated one but when it comes to farming Ruby is considered the educated one. Ruby’s knowledge soon begins to rub off on Ada. For Ada to show her appreciation to the Swanger’s for all the help they gave her, Ruby and Ada made them a home cooked meal right from their garden. Ada was very proud of what she had

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