Characters that Most Influenced Inman in Cold Mountain Essay

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The novel Cold Mountain is about two peoples’ independent journeys through different struggles and situations at the same time. One of these people is Inman, an injured soldier who is trying to find his way home after deserting from the fighting. He meets a lot of strange people along the way. Some of them help and some of them hinder. However, they all teach him something about himself, or something that he can relate to himself. There are some characters that are more significant in this respect than others and they have more of an actual influence on Inman’s journey.

One of these characters is Veasey, the preacher. Inman meets him when he catches the preacher trying to throw a drugged, pregnant girl into the ‘Deep River’. Inman saves
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however, he “snared” them in a trap and sold them to the Home Guard. The Home Guard are soldiers who were hired to catch deserters and, either kill them or imprison them. This group of Home Guard had Inman, Veasey and other prisoners all tied to each other in a chain. They are pulled along for several days in the opposite direction to the direction in which Inman was originally headed. “He watched all the westward miles he had accomplished start coming unspooled.” After a while, the Home Guard decide, “you pack of shit are just wasting our time”. They then open fire on the prisoners. Veasey, while trying to save himself, gets in the way of the bullet that should have delivered a fatal shot to Inman. This is ironic because all of the times that Inman tried to get rid of Veasey and he just kept on coming back. Also, all of the times that Veasey could have got Inman killed because of his selfishness, and yet in the end, he saves Inman’s life through an act of complete selfishness. Inman survives the ordeal with the Home Guard and continues on his journey.

Next, Inman meets an old woman who lives with a herd of goats. She takes him into her “little rust-coloured caravan” and feeds him. This obviously affects Inman’s odyssey by helping him to regain his physical strength for the continuation of his journey. The goat woman however affects Inman in more ways than just this. Inman, upon arriving, looks around her camp

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