Clash Between Romanticism And Realism In Cold Mountain

768 words - 3 pages

In the film Cold Mountain, based on the book by the same title by Charles Frazier, the lives of a farmer, Inman, and a city girl, Ada, are told by showing their personal journeys as each comes to live in a world--unfamiliar. Inman and Ada fall in love after meeting each other, but Inman goes off to fight for the Confederacy just as their love begins. Ada learns to live in the country while Inman is at war and when he comes back they have one last moment together before tragedy happens. Romanticism and Realism clash because Romanticism involves a more idealized life that focuses on the individual and his or her emotions, but Realism involves accepting what happens and dealing with it accordingly. Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier, addresses the conflict of Romanticism and Realism through symbolism, characters, and imagery.
First of all, symbolism depicts the conflict of Romanticism and Realism throughout the film. The Agrarians and the Agrarian lifestyle are Romanticized in the film as seen through Ada’s attempts to support herself in Cold Mountain after her father dies and deal with her emotions about Inman. The Industrialists and the Industrial lifestyle establish the Realism in the film that clashes with the Romanticized Agrarian lifestyle. For example, the crows Ada sees in the well symbolize Realism clashing with Romanticism. When Ada witnesses the silhouette of Inman and crows flying around him, her idea of the two of them being together after the war collides with the harsh reality that Inman’s chances of living are unlikely. Another example of symbolism occurs when Inman and the Reverend use the saw they find to cut up a cow that lies in a river dead. This symbolizes how the Industrial lifestyle gradually saws away at the Agrarian lifestyle that many people live.
In addition, the characters in Cold Mountain exemplify the clash between Romanticism and Realism through their interactions with one another and their personal journeys. Inman’s Agrarian lifestyle and nature comes into conflict with the lifestyle of an Industrial soldier. While at war he focuses on his entire unit and the altogether well-being of the unit instead of what he feels and desires to do. He goes from being able to live...

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