Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain Symbol Analysis

Cold Mountain Symbol Icon

Cold Mountain, the mountain that neighbors Black Cove, is clearly one of the novel’s key symbols. It’s such a big, imposing sight that it’s impossible to forget it—everybody who’s lived in Black Cove knows Cold Mountain like the back of their hand. Furthermore, the characters say on more than one occasion that Cold Mountain never changes—it’s the same as it was before the Civil War, and it’ll be the same again in a hundred years. In this way, Cold Mountain is a symbol of the characters’ collective past, and an important reminder of why Inman wants to go back to Black Cove in the first place: he wants to travel back to a time before he was a soldier.

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Cold Mountain Symbol Timeline in Cold Mountain

The timeline below shows where the symbol Cold Mountain appears in Cold Mountain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: the shadow of a crow
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...about. Inman remembers being a child long ago, sitting in school on the side of Cold Mountain , and listening to his teacher lecture him on old, noble English wars. (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
The Quest to Return Home Theme Icon
...heard this story years ago, he told Swimmer that he’d climbed to the top of Cold Mountain , one of the highest peaks in the world, and didn’t see anything like a... (full context)
Chapter 2: the ground beneath her hands
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc. She reads in her study, staring out at the hazy shape of Cold Mountain nearby. (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Hospitality and Quid Pro Quo Theme Icon
...house and walks back to the farm. On her way home, she stares up at Cold Mountain . (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...that Monroe could get some fresh air. Ada had never seen mountains before arriving at Cold Mountain . She was delighted to find Monroe so interested in Cold Mountain’s foliage and animals.... (full context)
Chapter 3: a color of despair
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Romance, Sexuality, and Repression Theme Icon
...the day that Inman first saw Ada, Monroe spoke in church about the beauty of Cold Mountain , and the inevitability of death (this was Monroe’s favorite topic). (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
The Quest to Return Home Theme Icon
...ever believed that this was his country, and worth fighting for. He imagines returning to Cold Mountain and building himself a big, empty cabin where he’ll never have to use his ears... (full context)
The Quest to Return Home Theme Icon
Romance, Sexuality, and Repression Theme Icon
...of the water, and compares them to the small, timid fish in the lakes near Cold Mountain . (full context)
Chapter 4: verbs, all of them tiring
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Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Romance, Sexuality, and Repression Theme Icon
Hospitality and Quid Pro Quo Theme Icon
...a child, Ruby was always frightened of being eaten by a wild animal prowling around Cold Mountain . Cherokee women talked about evil spirits and monsters, and she was always afraid one... (full context)
Chapter 6: ashes of roses
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Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
...sky. Ada feels an overpowering sense of loneliness as she makes out the outline of Cold Mountain . She remembers something Monroe told her—the sense of loneliness is really the sense that... (full context)
Chapter 10: in place of the truth
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Romance, Sexuality, and Repression Theme Icon
...a child. The Cherokee woman told him that there was once an ancient town near Cold Mountain , called Kanuga. One day, the woman went on, a mysterious stranger came to Kanuga,... (full context)
Chapter 11: the doing of it
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...be going soon. The woman nods, and points Inman on the right path back to Cold Mountain . (full context)
Chapter 12: freewill savages
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
Hospitality and Quid Pro Quo Theme Icon
...work making molasses. In the afternoon, they sit by their barn and stare off at Cold Mountain . When they walk back to the house, they find Stobrod standing outside, looking in... (full context)
Chapter 15: a vow to bear
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
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Hospitality and Quid Pro Quo Theme Icon
...that he’s very close to home. One day, he realizes that he’s actually staring at Cold Mountain . Although Inman is overjoyed to be near the end of the journey, he also... (full context)
Chapter 18: footsteps in the snow
Isolation, Survival, and Community Theme Icon
The Quest to Return Home Theme Icon
Romance, Sexuality, and Repression Theme Icon
Inman draws closer to Cold Mountain every day. In the high altitude, it snows heavily. One day, Inman notices that the... (full context)