Momaday does indeed use a unique structure to convey the story of his grandmother Aho and to explore the history of his ancestors, the Kiowa people. The Way to Rainy Mountain is not a book that consists of a single continuous narrative from beginning to end, as most books do. It contains poetry, prose, brief folktales, factual accounts, and personal experiences, all tied to the native history. It toggles between more formal writing and casual conversational style. Here is the pattern it follows:
- “Headwaters” (poem, written in third person)
Prologue (told in third person, more formal)
- Introduction (told in first person)
- The Setting Out; The Going On; The Closing In (twenty-four chapters labeled I–XXIV, made up generally of three paragraphs each).
- First paragraph of the chapters: A traditional Kiowa tale or piece of tribal history OR Bits of Momaday’s genealogy and family tree (told in third person).
- Second paragraph of the chapters: Facts and details about the subject of the tale (told...
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