Essay on Cold Mountain

Submitted By kylieapril
Words: 1407
Pages: 6

The way a person was raised and the way they grew up can really explain a lot about someone. When you know how someone was raised, it becomes apparent where their attitude came from, their self esteem, confidence, attitude; this all becomes more clear to a person. Like in the novel Cold Mountain, Charles Frasier has two characters named Ada and Ruby. They both grew up with totally different lifestyles, but in the end they use both of their knowledge to help each other out. Ada was raised by her father, Monroe, who always sheltered her from hard work. Ruby was raised by her father, Stabrod, who left Ruby to fend for herself most of the time. Ada grew up in the lifestyle of being sheltered from doing any hard work. Ada’s father, Monroe, passed away and left Ada to fend for herself, but “as long as she could remember he always hired adequate help…” so she never had to learn what to do because someone was always looking out for her and doing the work. She always had time to paint her landscapes and still life or play the piano, which she wasn’t very good at. And she also had the time to read, which she was good at. Monroe had the idea that the land that they had was going to help them pursue a lifestyle and become a business for them to continue for generations. Ada lived “in the possession of close to three hundred acres of steep bottom, a house, a barn, out buildings, but no idea what to do with them.” The fact that Monroe always sheltered Ada from having to do any hard work hinders her from knowing what to do now that she is on her own. She can no longer rely on her father and “now the hired people were gone…leaving Ada to make do on her own.” Ada grew up in Charleston and is referred to as a “lively and attentive daughter” for Monroe. Ada is described as that because she was all her father every really had, she was his only daughter and his only child. Ada always was with her father because she never knew her mother. The fact that Ada never grew up with a mother and never had to do any work is symbolic because she needs Ruby and the desperation for her to help her survive. Ada is describe as a women with pale skin and “fine plaited hair.” This gives the impression that she is fond with finer things. She is not a fan of working hard or doing labor, she is content with the way she grew up with not working or doing anything but what she wanted, which is why she needs Ruby’s help. Ruby grew up with the lifestyle of working hard and not getting by with doing nothing. Stabrod believed that shortly after Ruby could walk she could feed herself. Stabrod joined the army and left Ruby to live alone, which she’s basically been doing for years. Ruby’s skill(s) that she obtains is “by the age of ten, she knew all of the features of the mountains for twenty-five miles in any direction…” Stabrod never got really attached to Ruby because her mother told a story where her “father” was in fact a heron, not a human. When Ada and Ruby are on the mountain, Ruby began talking to a heron. It was like she had a connection with the heron because, “the heron walked toward them to the river edge…he was not ten feet away.” The majestic quality in this scene is breathtaking because birds, or any animal for that matter, would flee in the presence of any other moving thing.
The way that Ada and Ruby act together is so genuine, Ruby really does care for Ada and her being able to care for herself. From the beginning since Ada was first introduced, it seemed that she was some what untrusting, especially in herself. From the very first time Ada is presented to the reader, she is writing a note. It proceeds to say, “…she mistrusted her handwriting, for no matter how she tried, she had never mastered the flowing whorls and arcs of fine penmanship…Even more than penmanship, she disliked the tenor of the letter. She balled up the paper and tossed it into the boxwood bush.” Ada isn’t confident in herself and her doings, which is affecting her furthering…