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The Way to Rainy Mountain

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by

Aris Moya

on 18 January 2013

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Transcript of The Way to Rainy Mountain

The Way to Rainy Mountain N. Scott Momaday “ At a distance in July or August the steaming foliage seems almost to writhe in fire, Great green and yellow grasshoppers are everywhere in the tall grass, popping up like corn to sting the fresh, and tortoises crawl about on the red earth, going nowhere in the plenty of time. Loneliness is an aspect of the land. All things in the plain are isolate; there is no confusion of objects in the eye, but one hill or one tree or one man. To look upon that landscape in the early morning, with the sun at your back, is to lose the sense of proportion. Your imagination comes to life, and this, you think, is where Creation was begun.” Summary In “The Way to Rainy Mountain”, the author describes the area in which his ancestors, the Kiowas, lived. They lived in a part of Oklahoma that was sacred to them (Rainy Mountain). Momaday returns back to his origin for his grandmother's funeral. He realizes the loss of life in that area. The loss of his Grandmother provokes him to do more research about his heritage. Momaday gives examples of old myths and legends that have been passed down amongst generations. They tell about Kiowa traditions, beliefs, morals, conflicts which help to describe the author’s identity and his ancestors. He talks about how their freedom was taken away by the Cavalry and how they weren't able to express themselves freely after the invasion. They lost their sense of personal religion and folklore. The author mourns the loss of his grandmother and of his culture. Style and Tone The tone throughout the story is bittersweet. Momaday laments his ancestral history. He remembers the life that they lived, but then he remembers how everything got taken away from them.
“The windows are black and opaque; you imagine there is nothing within, and indeed there are many ghosts, bones given up to the land.”
"The Way to Rainy Mountain" is a memoir. The story is written from his perspective about his and his family's experiences. He uses short stories and imagery to describe the feeling of loneliness and absence from the loss of his ancestors and their traditions. “The walls have closed in upon my grandmother’s house.” He uses the house to represent life and the emptiness in his life now that his grandmother is gone. “Eight children were there at play, seven sisters and their brother. Suddenly the boy was struck dumb; he trembled and began to run upon his hands and feet. His fingers became claws, and his body was covered with fur. Directly there was a bear where the boy had been. The sisters were terrified; they ran, and the bear after them. They came to the stump of a great tree, and the tree spoke to them. It bade them to climb upon it, and as they did so it began to rise into the air. The bear came to kill them, but they were just beyond its reach. It reared against the tree and scored the bark all around with its claws. The seven sisters were borne into the sky, and they became the stars of the Big Dipper.”
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