The Way to Rainy Mountain | Study Guide

N. Scott Momaday

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The Way to Rainy Mountain | Chapter 7 : The Setting Out | Summary



In the short first paragraph, the story of the boy continues. The boy had kept the ring that had killed his mother. The child threw it in the air. It hit him and split him in two, and then there were two children. The historical paragraph, also very short, notes Mammedaty (the author's grandfather) owned horses, and the Kiowa "owned the greatest number of horses per person" of all the tribes in the Great Plains. In the personal recollection paragraph, the author talks about a time he went swimming. He saw his reflection, but "a frog leaped from the bank, breaking the image apart."


In this segment, the connection between the ancestral voice and the other two paragraphs is less clear. The connection between a child being divided into twins and the Kiowa people's number of horses is vague at best. Similarly, the recollection of the frog shattering the reflection image is also not explicitly tied into the tale. However, the frog breaks his reflection apart, in the same way the ring breaks the boy apart, and the boy in the story and the author are both playing alone when this happens. Nonetheless, here, for the first time, the three individual voices seem at odds, rather than fluid as in the earlier portions of the text.

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