Momaday chose a travel narrative for the introduction to The Way to Rainy Mountain. Why did he choose the journey motif to structure this exploration of his cultural past? What roles do place and landscape play in Momaday's physical and metaphorical journeys?
The combination of physical separation from and return to his ancestral home is crucial to Momaday’s exploration of life as a journey. The physical aspects of the journey are as significant as the internal aspects because his Native culture identifies spiritual content within landscape features. This cultural characteristic was one element from which he became detached in living away from Oklahoma. As his grandmother embodies Kiowa culture, her grave represents how one life’s end generates another’s rebirth.