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The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper




Magua, an Indian of the Huron tribe, plays the crafty villain to Hawkeye’s rugged hero. Because of his exile by Colonel Munro, Magua seeks revenge. He does not want to do bodily harm to Munro but wants to bruise the colonel’s psyche. Magua has a keen understanding of whites’ prejudices, and he knows that threatening to marry the colonel’s daughter will terrify Colonel Monroe. Magua’s threat to marry a white woman plays on white men’s fears of interracial marriage. When Magua kidnaps Cora, the threat of physical violence or rape hangs in the air, although no one ever speaks of it. Whereas the interracial attraction between Uncas and Cora strikes us as sweet and promising for happier race relations in the future, the violent unwanted advances of Magua to Cora show an exaggerated fulfillment of white men’s fears. However, while anger originally motivates Magua, affection eventually characterizes his feelings for Cora. He refuses to harm her, even when in one instance his actions put himself in danger. Magua’s psychology becomes slightly more complicated by the end of the novel, when sympathy tempers his evil.

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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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