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The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper




Hawkeye, the protagonist of the novel, goes by several names: Natty Bumppo, La Longue Carabine (The Long Rifle), the scout, and Hawkeye. Hawkeye stars in several of Cooper’s novels, which are known collectively as the Leatherstocking Tales. Hawkeye’s chief strength is adaptability. He adapts to the difficulties of the frontier and bridges the divide between white and Indian cultures. A hybrid, Hawkeye identifies himself by his white race and his Indian social world, in which his closest friends are the Mohicans Chingachgook and Uncas.

Hawkeye’s hybrid background breeds both productive alliances and disturbingly racist convictions. On one hand, Hawkeye cherishes individuality and makes judgments without regard to race. He cherishes Chingachgook for his value as an individual, not for a superficial multiculturalism fashionably ahead of its time. On the other hand, Hawkeye demonstrates an almost obsessive investment in his own “genuine” whiteness. Also, while Hawkeye supports interracial friendship between men, he objects to interracial sexual desire between men and women. Because of his contradictory opinions, the protagonist of The Last of the Mohicans embodies nineteenth-century America’s ambivalence about race and nature. Hawkeye’s most racist views predict the cultural warfare around the issue of race that continues to haunt the United States.

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What is Hawkeye’s chief strength?
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Hawkeye QUIZ

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The role of religion according to James Fenimore Cooper

by SeekJesus, April 20, 2014

I am sad to see that here it is indirectly and wrongly suggested that Cooper diminishes the role of religion, or that he regards it as a "useless" in the wilderness. You're not being fair to Cooper since he is not using the character of David Garmout to criticize the role of religion in general. To assume such interpretation would be to neglect Cooper’s own position towards religion.
It's worth stating that James Fenimore Cooper was actually a religious man, and not only the great support he gave to his Episcopal Church is a testimon


5 out of 7 people found this helpful

Wrong sister

by disinterestedspectator, January 15, 2017

It is Cora, not Alice, that looks at the Indian with "mixed admiration and repulsion" at the end of the first chapter.

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