There are a many literate books which manifest similarities and differences in many aspects. These contrasting features include the plot, the thematic concerns, the structure of the story line and their common language. This is what makes literature an important area that is interesting to learn. The following essay contains contrasting features that the two stories manifest. The first story ‘Cold Mountain’ is about a soldier on his way back home after completing the civil war. On his journey he comes across interesting characters some of which are very interesting to learn about. The soldier named Inman has a lover and the focus is her struggle to live. The two stories are similar in their synopsis and the themes as it shall be seen later. Many scholars today have described Cold Mountain as a modern work that resembles the ancient Odyssey.
The most important characteristic in our two stories is how the civil wars end the two heroes at the end. In the first story (Cold Mountain), the main character Inman left the cold war because he is tired and bored of killing people. However, in the case of the other story (Odyssey), the main character Odysseus, is comes homes after successfully winning the war. The main difference between the two stories is that of different cultures depicted in the story lines. There is a clash between the protagonist and antagonist in the two stories. The two protagonists are later killed by the antagonists without any reasonable grounds. Inman is killed by home guard for the mere reason of leaving the army while Poseidon (god of the sea) kills Odysseus for a false reason that he left the armed forces (Polk 12).
The other characters in the two stories are Ada and Penelope, Ada is the wife of Inman while the latter is the wife of Odysseus. The two manifest a lot of contrasting features that bring a lot of differences in the stories. Ada was left by his husband who went to fight in the civil war and that weakens her very much. After she becomes weak and she cannot manage to conquer the bad omen that faces her household. She is not able to keep the farm in the right conditions and fight the instabilities that face her. She is a very lazy woman who is unable to care for her physical needs and even she cannot function as herself again. On the other hand Penelope is able to care for her family and protect it from all dangers. She bravely awaits her husband to return from the war.
According to (Polk 78), the main thematic concern manifested in the two stories is the tow wifes waiting their loved husbands to return from war. This greatly portrays that there is love as an important factor depicted in the two stories. The woman in the Cold Mountain courageously waits for her husband to arrive and is seen to be filled with hope that he will return after the war. She believes that there is no love lost between her and her distant husband. The woman in Odyssey has lost hope in her life and has lost control of her ego. She is lost in love and cannot forgive herself for who she is. She has lost the vitality which keeps life moving. She has become a victim of circumstances and cannot control what life offers her. She is unable to twist her fate and she does not live a worthy life (Constatino 34).
The death of the two protagonists is very contrasting to their love life. Inman dies before having a child with Ada. He dies before meeting her wife and is unable to complete his family cycle. His death is very significant and almost changes the life of his wife Ada who becomes more hopeless and even loses the strength to move on with life. In the other story Odysseus finishes his campaigns successfully and returns to unite with his wife of whom they live happily and are able to sire children before his death. Cold Mountain ends with a good end and that is death of Inman. It gives a way for the woman to have her own children and this is clearly manifested in how she bears a daughter after the death of her dear husband (Fox 45).
In order to win the love of his wife Odysseus had to win a number of suitors who wanted her also. This was essential and it was the main guarantee for him to win his union with his wife. In Odysseus, Penelope the woman had not psychological attachment and uniting factor with the other men and so she becomes relieved when they were taken away from her life. In the Cold Mountain, Ada was not quite happy with the return of her husband because she had started to rely on the support and care of a man named Ruby. This brought conflict between the two suitors. Inman had to do a lot in order to win the love of his future wife and this brought controversies between the two (Holmer 56).
The biggest theme manifested in the two stories is the love for home. Many people regard home to be the best place that one can be and this is clearly manifested by how the two characters have the desire and passion for home. Every one needs to go home to meet their wife and seek peace and solace that they are not able to get in the war. The Cold Mountain story is closely centered on the intimate goal to reach home and make his family happy is what drives Inman to leave his job. It is said that when Inman thinks about his wife and home he wins the fight. In the other hand the desire for Ada to finally settle down with his husband is more of an emotional thing than it is physical. This desire also enables them to bring out the theme of endurance. Enduring with harsh conditions makes Inman to move on with life and his desire for him to reach home is unstoppable (Smith 234).
The theme of relationships is quite depicted in the story. There is the relationship if Ida and his wife. There is also the relationship of Penelope and Odyssey .This two stories depict that relationships do not change with time. Although there is difference in culture, the relationships do not change with time. Man has the desire to keep his relationship with his wife band longs to have an everlasting relationship. The danger of being alone in solute is feared in the two stories and that is an area where there is a close relationship. The war is a main factor that transforms their lives and changes their emotional wellbeing but it this not a factor that changes their desire to live a fulfilling life (Polk 239).
The tone in the two stories is a fulfilling to the fact that life is not a bed of roses and in order for one to achieve their dream, they have to sweat and work for it. For one to accomplish his goals there are many challenges that they face on the way and even prevent them from achieving their dreams. Although there is a sadistic tone at the end all is not lost. Love for instance is not lost; it thrives under all circumstances (Constatino 98).
In conclusion, one can notice that the two stories have the same storyline and the synopsis is similar and it seems that the two stories are closely related. In fact that is the reason why many writers say that the Cold Mountain is today’s cousin of Odyssey. They synopsis of the two stories is the same although they might depict a difference in their beginning. The characters are similar and the lessons that they bring forth are similar. In order to excuse the difference between the two stories one can notice that the two stories were written in different times when people had different lifestyles and culture. Modern culture is what brings out the difference in the story lines of many past stories. Readers of the two stories can without any reasonable doubt the two stories and can be able to see that history is doomed to repeat itself. The events that happen in the stories can without question tell person that there is chronological repetition of events. This repetition is what makes the two stories similar.
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