Activity Description

If your clan chooses this activity to complete in conjunction with your reading of Cold Mountain, you will be asked to involve yourselves personally with the novel itself.  Clan members will become dream analysts in this activity, creating, documenting, describing, organizing, and interpreting the dreams of your clan and from Cold Mountain.  If you are prepared to do a lot of creative and literary thinking, and arenít afraid of opening up a little to the rest of your clan, then this activity is for you!


Throughout the ages, mankind has been mystified and obsessed with dreams.  Ancient cultures developed complex mythical worlds from the dreams of their people and set apart priests and monks to interpret them.  The Western canon of The Old Testament of The Bible presents dreams as symbolic or literal messages from God, and religions like Buddhism view perfect happiness as coming from a dream-like state called Nirvana.  Virtually no culture exists that doesnít have a fascination with dreams.  All of these traditions place a great amount of importance on them, making it no surprise that dreams still carry significant weight in our own cultural identity today.

All art forms, including literature, cannot be separated from the culture that they developed in: because dreams are so important in all cultures, they are also important in all of literature.  It is helpful for any reader to recognize common themes and symbols in dreams in literature, how authors use dreams to further the plot, and how authors use dreams to draw upon cultural ideas to affect the reader.

Dreams will always enchant human beings, no matter how many studies are conducted to better scientifically understand what they are and how they work.  That is why they deserve a closer look through this activity.  Hopefully, by developing a greater understanding of dreams in literature and in Cold Mountain in particular, each individual in your clan can better understand the function of dreams in his or her own life.

Activity Directions

Your clan will be given class time each day to complete all of the tasks listed, but you might also find that you need some extra out-of-class group meetings.  Your guide will allow your clan to meet in class as much as he or she sees fit.  By the end of the unit on Cold Mountain, your clan should have completed all of the tasks listed.  The written and visual work should be turned in as a journal, and your clan video (video and journal directions are listed in the Artifacts section) will be shown to the whole class on the last day of the unit.  You will also be asked to periodically turn in clan progress reports to your guide to assure that you are staying on track.  Complete each of the pre-reading, guided reading, and post-reading tasks listed below.

Pre-Reading Tasks Click Here

Guided Reading Tasks Click Here

Post-Reading Tasks Click Here

Artifacts Due to Your Guide Click Here

Return to the Main Cold Mountain!