How is narrative intrusion used in Cold Mountain?

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Narrative intrusion is used similarly for all the characters of Cold Mountain. The narrator stops the action in the story to give us background information on Ada, Inman and Ruby. This background information we are given, such as Ada's sheltered upbringing and Ruby's neglectful one, lends most of the character development in the novel and helps the reader understand why the characters react the way they do and make the choices that they make. Many of the flashbacks explain the relationship of Ada and Inman. This is very important when you consider that the entire book is based on this relationship; however, only at the very end of the novel does the reader see them together. They are apart the bulk of the novel and their choices and thoughts are led by their feelings toward one another. The reader gets glimpses of their relationship through these intrusions and cannot really understand the character's motivations until they have seen the history of the relationship unfold.

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