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The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper

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Cora Munro

Cora Munro

The raven-haired daughter of Colonel Munro, Cora literally embodies the novel’s ambivalent opinion about mixed race. She is part “Negro,” a racial heritage portrayed as both unobjectionable and a cause for vitriolic defensiveness in her father. She becomes entangled with the Indian Uncas, a romantic complication portrayed both as passionate and natural and as doomed to failure. Dark and stoic in comparison to her sister Alice’s blonde girlishness, Cora is not the stereotypical nineteenth-century sentimental heroine. Though she carries the weight of the sentimental novel, she also provides the impetus for the adventure narrative, since her capture by Magua necessitates rescue missions. Cora brings together the adventure story’s warfare and intrigue and the sentimental novel’s romance and loss. With Cora, Cooper makes two genres intersect, creating the frontier romance.

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