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Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher: A Masterpiece of Western Fiction - EPUB Download



Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher: A Classic Novel of the American Frontier




Introduction




If you are looking for a novel that captures the essence of the American frontier, you should read Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher. This novel tells the story of Sam Minard, a trapper who lives in the Rocky Mountains in the early 19th century. Sam faces many dangers and adventures as he seeks revenge for his Indian wife's death at the hands of Blackfeet warriors. Along the way, he meets various characters who represent different aspects of the frontier society, such as Indians, traders, settlers, outlaws, soldiers, missionaries, and explorers.




mountain man vardis fisher epub download



Mountain Man was first published in 1965 and is considered one of Fisher's best works. Fisher was a prolific writer who wrote more than 30 novels and several non-fiction books. He was also a historian and a professor who taught at various universities. He was born in Idaho in 1895 and died in Utah in 1968. He had a deep interest in the history and culture of the American west, especially the fur trade era.


Mountain Man is widely regarded as a classic novel of the American frontier. It has been praised for its historical accuracy, realism, symbolism, and literary impact. It has also inspired a popular movie adaptation starring Robert Redford. If you want to read this novel, you can download it in epub format from this link:


https://archive.org/details/mountainman00fish


The Plot of Mountain Man




The plot of Mountain Man follows Sam Minard's life as a trapper in the Rocky Mountains from 1827 to 1833. Sam is a young man who leaves his home in Missouri to seek freedom and adventure in the west. He joins a group of trappers led by Henry Fraeb, a veteran mountain man. Sam learns the skills and secrets of trapping beavers and living in the wilderness. He also learns the languages and customs of the various Indian tribes he encounters, such as the Crows, the Shoshones, the Flatheads, and the Blackfeet.


Sam falls in love with a Crow woman named Swan and marries her according to the Indian tradition. They build a cabin near the Yellowstone River and live happily for a while. However, their happiness is shattered when a band of Blackfeet warriors attack their cabin and kill Swan. Sam survives the attack and vows to avenge his wife's death. He becomes obsessed with killing every Blackfeet he sees. He also becomes known as "Crow Killer" by both whites and Indians.


Sam's quest for vengeance leads him to face many dangers and challenges in the wilderness. He fights with bears, wolves, cougars, and other animals. He survives blizzards, floods, fires, and avalanches. He escapes from hostile Indians, robbers, and bounty hunters. He also meets many friends and foes along the way, such as Jim Bridger, Jedediah Smith, William Sublette, Joseph Meek, Hugh Glass, Tom Fitzpatrick, Kit Carson, John Colter, Jim Beckwourth, and many others. Some of them help him, some of them betray him, and some of them challenge him.


The novel ends with Sam finding peace and redemption after saving a widow named Kate Bowden from a group of outlaws. Sam realizes that he has killed enough Blackfeet to satisfy his revenge and that he still has some humanity left in him. He decides to settle down with Kate and start a new life.


The Themes of Mountain Man




Mountain Man explores several themes that are relevant to the American frontier experience. Some of these themes are:



  • The clash of cultures: The novel shows how Sam adapts to the Indian way of life and how he respects their beliefs and traditions. He also shows how he faces the hostility and prejudice of the white settlers who view him as a savage and a traitor. The novel portrays the conflicts and misunderstandings that arise between different cultures in the west.



  • The nature of violence: The novel depicts the brutal and bloody reality of the frontier life. It shows how Sam becomes a ruthless killer who does not hesitate to take lives for his revenge or survival. It also shows how he struggles with his conscience and humanity as he questions his actions and motives. The novel examines the effects of violence on the individual and the society.



  • The meaning of freedom: The novel illustrates how Sam values his independence and solitude as a mountain man. He enjoys the freedom of roaming the wilderness and living by his own rules. He also rejects the constraints and obligations of civilization and religion. However, he also learns that freedom comes with a price and that it can be lonely and dangerous. The novel explores the paradoxes and challenges of freedom in the west.



The Style of Mountain Man




Mountain Man is written in a simple and straightforward style that reflects Fisher's background as a historian and a professor. Fisher did extensive research on the historical facts and details of the fur trade era. He used primary sources such as journals, letters, reports, maps, and documents to create an authentic and accurate picture of the frontier life. He also consulted secondary sources such as books, articles, biographies, and histories to enrich his narrative.


Fisher also wrote with realism and honesty. He did not romanticize or glorify the frontier life or the mountain man character. He portrayed them as they were: harsh, dangerous, cruel, lonely, adventurous, heroic, tragic, noble, flawed, human. He did not shy away from showing the violence, suffering, death, disease, hunger, cold, pain, fear, greed, lust, hate, love, joy, sorrow that were part of the frontier experience.


Fisher also used symbolism to convey deeper meanings and messages in his novel. He used the mountain man as a symbol of the American spirit and identity. The mountain man represents the ideals of freedom, individualism, courage, self-reliance, independence that are associated with America. He also represents the contradictions and conflicts that are inherent in America: between civilization and wilderness; between culture and nature; between law and violence; between order and chaos; between progress and preservation.


The Influence of Mountain Man




Mountain Man has had a significant influence on literature, cinema, and culture. Some examples of its influence are:



The literary impact: Mountain Man influenced other writers and genres of western fiction. It is considered one of the best examples of the mountain man novel, a subgenre that focuses on the lives and adventures of fur trappers in the American west. Some of the writers who followed Fisher's footsteps include A.B. Guthrie Jr., Win Blevins, Terry C. Johnston, and Richard S. Wheeler. Fisher also inspired writers who explored other aspects of the frontier experience, such as Wallace Stegner, Bernard DeVoto, Ivan Doig, and Cormac McCarthy. - The cinematic adaptation: Mountain Man inspired the movie Jeremiah Johnson starring Robert Redford and directed by Sydney Pollack. The movie was released in 1972 and was a critical and commercial success. It is widely regarded as one of the best western movies ever made. The movie follows the general plot of the novel, but makes some changes and additions to suit the cinematic medium. For example, the movie introduces a character named Del Gue, a fellow trapper who becomes Sam's friend and ally. The movie also emphasizes the theme of survival and adaptation in the wilderness more than the theme of revenge and violence. - The cultural legacy: Mountain Man reflects the American values and myths of the west. It portrays the mountain man as a heroic figure who embodies the ideals of freedom, individualism, courage, self-reliance, and independence. It also shows the challenges and conflicts that arise from these ideals, such as loneliness, danger, violence, and alienation. The novel also explores the complex relationships between different cultures in the west, such as whites, Indians, Mexicans, French, British, and others. The novel offers a realistic and nuanced view of the frontier history and society. Conclusion




In conclusion, Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher is a classic novel of the American frontier that deserves to be read by anyone interested in the history and culture of the west. It tells the story of Sam Minard, a trapper who seeks revenge for his Indian wife's death at the hands of Blackfeet warriors. It depicts the harsh realities and dangers of the frontier life with historical accuracy and realism. It also explores the themes of freedom, violence, culture clash, and American identity with symbolism and literary impact. It has influenced other writers and genres of western fiction, as well as a popular movie adaptation starring Robert Redford.


If you want to read this novel, you can download it in epub format from this link:


https://archive.org/details/mountainman00fish


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher and their answers:



  • Q: Is Mountain Man based on a true story?



  • A: Mountain Man is based on the life of John Johnson (also known as John Johnston or Liver-Eating Johnson), a real mountain man who lived in the Rocky Mountains from 1847 to 1900. He was famous for killing many Blackfeet Indians to avenge his Indian wife's death. He also ate their livers as a sign of contempt. Fisher used Johnson's life as a source of inspiration for his novel, but he also changed some details and added some fictional elements.



  • Q: How did Vardis Fisher research for his novel?



  • A: Vardis Fisher was a historian and a professor who had a deep interest in the history and culture of the American west. He did extensive research on the historical facts and details of the fur trade era. He used primary sources such as journals, letters, reports, maps, and documents to create an authentic and accurate picture of the frontier life. He also consulted secondary sources such as books, articles, biographies, and histories to enrich his narrative.



  • Q: What are some other novels by Vardis Fisher?



  • A: Vardis Fisher wrote more than 30 novels and several non-fiction books. Some of his other novels include Children of God, Toilers of the Hills, Darkness and the Deep, Passions Spin the Plot, Orphans in Gethsemane, and The Mothers. He also wrote a 12-volume series of novels called The Testament of Man, which depicts the history of humans from cavemen to civilization.



  • Q: What are some other movies or books that are similar to Mountain Man?



  • A: Some other movies or books that are similar to Mountain Man are The Revenant, The Big Sky, The Last of the Mohicans, Dances with Wolves, Lonesome Dove, Blood Meridian, and The Sisters Brothers.



  • Q: How can I learn more about the mountain man culture and history?



  • A: If you want to learn more about the mountain man culture and history, you can visit some museums, historical sites, or festivals that celebrate the fur trade era. For example, you can visit the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale, Wyoming; the Fort Bridger State Historic Site in Fort Bridger, Wyoming; the Fort Hall Replica in Pocatello, Idaho; or the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous in various locations in the west. You can also read some books or articles that provide more information and insights on the mountain man life. For example, you can read Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson by Raymond W. Thorp and Robert Bunker; The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West by LeRoy R. Hafen; or The Fur Trade Revisited: Selected Papers of the Sixth North American Fur Trade Conference, Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1991 by Jennifer S.H. Brown et al.



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