Which statement is a central idea of the way to rainy mountain?
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N. Scott Momaday’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Way to Rainy Mountain was published in 1969. It tells the story of Momaday’s Kiowa ancestors from their ancient origins in Montana to their final war and surrender to the US Cavalry at Fort Sill, as well as their eventual resettlement near Rainy Mountain, Oklahoma.
The Way to Rainy Mountain is a 1969 book that combines history, mythology, and poetic memoir. It follows author N. Scott Momaday on his quest to learn more about his Kiowa heritage and identity. The journey is told in three voices: the ancestral voice, which uses oral traditions and myths to speak about the Kiowa; the second voice, which is a historical commentary; and the third voice, which is Momaday’s poetic memoir of his experiences. The origins, values, rituals, morality, and disputes of the Kiowa are all taught by all three speakers. The journey described in this book not only helps Momaday better understand his ancestors, but it also educates him about the Kiowa tribe’s past. Some users, however, have complained that the text’s uniqueness makes it difficult to follow. Others find it easier to understand if each voice is read in order rather than alternating from one to the next as the book is written. The Way to Rainy Mountain remains an introduction to Kiowa culture and a starting point for conversations about what constitutes a people’s history.
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Although The Way to Rainy Mountain is primarily a story about the Kiowa migration, it is also a story about stories. Momaday stresses the value of storytelling as a Kiowa survival method in the book, and he ponders the ability of language to not only reflect, but also to function in the world—for Momaday, words can inspire emotions, build magic, and they are often strong…
The Way to Rainy Mountain is a nontraditional history of the Kiowa people, combining recorded “factual” history with tribal mythology and personal reminiscence. In the context of most works of written history, which respect objectivity and facts while dismissing ideas contained in storytelling and myth, this is a shocking and radical option. Momaday, on the other hand, writes, “The…
Momaday’s presentation of the Kiowa migration story is nonlinear: he tells the same story twice, goes forward and backward in time, and enables ends and beginnings to blend together. Rainy Mountain is a challenge to the conventional linear narratives that form most Western histories—narratives characterized by a simple beginning, middle, and end, linked by cause and effect, and anchored by a single point of view…
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The ThemeTracker below shows where the theme of Origins, Linearity, and Circularity occurs in each chapter of The Way to Rainy Mountain, as well as how prominent it is. To read the Summary & Analysis for any chapter, simply click or tap on it.
In some ways, then, the journey to Rainy Mountain is primarily the tale of an idea, namely, man’s concept of himself, and it has a long and necessary existence in language. It has deteriorated over time due to the verbal tradition by which it has been maintained. What’s left is a jumble of myths, folklore, lore, and hearsay, as well as the concept itself, which is as vital and full as it’s ever been. That is the wonder.
The buffalo was the Sun Dance’s central and sacrificial victim, as it was the animal symbol of the sun. The Kiowa people’s will was broken when the wild herds were destroyed; there was nothing to keep them going in spirit. But these are merely idle reminiscences, the commonplace anguish of human history. During the meantime, there was a lot of excitement, nobility, and fulfillment.
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The white frontier armies that occupied the plains were despotic, and the Kiowas were treated even worse, perhaps because their language was so foreign to white men. As a result, the tribe’s religious practices were suppressed, and the civilization was under siege.
There’s no denying how depressing the book’s conclusion is. Momaday draws attention to the utter silence of his grandmother’s absence as he recalls how vibrant she was. Formerly a hive of activity and merriment, the house now stands as a relic of a bygone era. The death of his grandmother signifies the end of the Kiowa way of life.
Many, if not all, world religions have a pilgrimage, either a mandatory pilgrimage or a people group’s relocation to a distant place, such as the Exodus tale. This was the beginning of the Kiowas’ journey from Yellowstone to Rainy Mountain, Oklahoma. This parallels Momaday’s own personal journey of self-discovery and cultural rediscovery. He is willingly accompanying his ancestors’ spirit on their holy journey to Rainy Mountain.