Last of the mohicans background information

  • James Fenimore Cooper!
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  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper: | Books.

Don't get me wrong. This novel is kind of a mess. Parts of it are so ridiculous Hawkeye disguising himself as a bear that it almost can't be taken seriously. But to balance it out, other parts of the plot are so intriguing and ahead-of-their-time that these flaws can be forgiven.

The Last of the Mohicans as a Historical Novel

The novel's mightiest contribution to American Literature though is the character of Hawkeye or Leatherstocking, Pathfinder, Long Rifle, Natty Bumppo, or whatever name you choose to call him. He is the first American frontiersman character--the tough and savvy loner that influenced everyone from Josey Wales to Han Solo. I have found that the adventure of the story really appeals to students who enjoy the outdoors and a little action in their literature! Thanks for creating resources like this! I have been using the majority of your mythology scripts for 3 years.

I hope you continue to make U. S History related scripts in the future. Creative English Teacher. Log in or Create account. I believe the answer is yes, the historical context matters, and the key lies in the nexus of two very different and seemingly incommensurable historical facts: 1 Anglo-Americans were the victims of the massacre at Fort William Henry; and 2 they were the victors in the larger war. No one would reasonably expect an early nineteenth-century novelist to understand the full significance of an eighteenth-century war that professional historians would not flesh out until the beginning of the twenty-first century.

But Cooper was certainly on the right track. In the opening pages of The Last of the Mohicans , Cooper anticipates the importance of victimization, and sets the stage for the geopolitical transformation that the victory will produce. Anglo-American victimization plays an important role in The Last of the Mohicans. He understood that frontier areas were extremely vulnerable. Cooper was historically correct. Victimization was a central trope in the Anglo-American understanding of the French and Indian War, particularly in middle colonies like New York and Pennsylvania.

As an important chapter in a larger horror story, the massacre at Fort William Henry exemplified the perilous character of life on the frontier and the incredible barbarity of the native people.

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First reported by survivors, news of the August 10th massacre was quickly picked up by urban newspapers, emphasizing and often exaggerating the gory details. By the late s, the white frontier population of the most vulnerable middle colonies, especially Pennsylvania, had been decimated, with streams of survivors heading east for safety, bearing horror tales that replicated what happened at Fort William Henry over and over again.

Newspapers and pamphlets, poems and plays, and sermons and speeches were filled with grisly tales about victims of scalping and horrific torture.

About The Last of the Mohicans

It is hard to overstate the magnitude of the contagion of fear, dread, and panic that spread throughout the land. Victory made the implementation of this mandate possible. In , the Peace of Paris ended the larger war. With a stroke of the pen, to borrow a well worn but apt phrase, North America changed. American Indians shared power with the British and the French, skillfully manipulating both European colonizers to meet their own political, economic, and military needs.

In this arrangement, Anglo-American westward expansion was out of the question. The British tried unsuccessfully to stem the tide of colonial westward migration by reworking Indian alliances. With the British exit after the Revolution, there was little motivation for the leaders of the new republic to curry favor with the Indians. Lacking European allies, the position of the Indians became untenable. During the first years of colonization, Anglo-America had been confined to a narrow strip of the continent within a few hundred miles of the Atlantic coast.

Less than a century after the war ended, Anglo-America was firmly entrenched along the Pacific coast. The irresistible westward movement of Anglo-America was the legacy of the French and Indian War victory, and it was a disaster for Native America. The tragic aftermath was the product of the combination of victory and victimization.

In twenty-first century scholarship, it has become axiomatic that the immediate context for The Last of the Mohicans was the national debate over Indian removal. While this is not altogether wrong, it is misleading. In the mids, when the novel was written, Indian removal was a heated topic in Congress and public discourse. In The Making of Racial Sentiment , Ezra Tawil gets around this problem by arguing that in frontier literature in the s, American Indians are racial stand-ins for the other racially-despised group, African Americans.

If racism toward Indians in Cooper and other frontier novelists is just as much about racism toward blacks, then, according to Tawil, the onus on racial mixing with Indians speaks to the onus on mixing with blacks, and the fear of Indian warfare is just as much about the nightmare of slave rebellion.

Cooper did need the subterfuge of frontier novels such as The Last of the Mohicans to discuss African-American slaves, racial mixing with blacks, and the prospect of slave uprising. Notions is written as the first person narrative of a European traveler. By encouraging Magua and other people like him to drink and follow French culture, the French colonizers were displacing those tribal people from their community.

The Last of the Mohicans is published

This problem of displacement Magua faced is historically true. With the on rush and onset of the Europeans on the frontier, many examples of violence increased. Consequently, native tribes began to divide themselves. They were not only divided but there also grew an intense hostility between them. The last of the Mohicans narrates the hostile battle between Huron and Mohicans.

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This battle between Huron and Mohicans tribe is a colonially motivated tribal conflict masterminded by the European. The conflict led to the problem of tribal demise. The problem of tribal demise is a historically true fact. The novel The Last of the Mohicans captures this historical reality by slowly building the background theme of tribal demise. At that time when civilization rushed to the frontier violence began to erupt increasingly.

In the representation of this violence Cooper expressed the breadth of his knowledge regarding the native tribe's art of fighting. The name of the weapon by which Hawkeye fights against obstacles is named tomahawk. In real life also tribal American fought with that weapon. Hence there is the expression of historical reality concerning Cooper's representation of tribal warfare.

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