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The structure of N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain is unique.Discuss your...

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jasmine12 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:55 AM via web

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The structure of N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain is unique.

Discuss your feelings about the structure — what you liked about it and what you didn't like about it (in both cases, explain why).

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 9, 2009 at 1:01 AM (Answer #1)

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Your question is subjective, since it calls for your own feelings, but it might be helpful for you to begin by reviewing the structure of the story. First of all, Momaday's piece is a nonfiction narrative written in first person; he is recounting his personal journey when he returned to his grandmother's home after her death, the place where he grew up.

During the course of his narrative, he includes many passages of exposition. He takes several "time-outs" from the story of going home to tell the reader of his grandmother's life and the history of the Kiowa people. (Part of the Kiowa history he recounts is a Kiowa legend about the formation of the Big Dipper.)

Momaday's narrative begins with a beautiful description of the land near Rainy Mountain, then his journey is told in chronological order with the episodes of exposition interrupting the order of the story. It ends with his visit to his grandmother's grave. Within his narrative, Momaday succeeds in telling three stories: the story of his own journey, the story of his grandmother's life, and the story of his Kiowa people. 


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