novel’s frontier hero, he is a woodsman, hunter, and scout. Hawkeye
is the hero’s adopted name; his real name is Natty Bumppo. A famous
marksman, Hawkeye carries a rifle named Killdeer and has earned the
frontier nickname La Longue Carabine, or The Long Rifle. Hawkeye
moves more comfortably in the forest than in civilization. His closest
bonds are with Indians, particularly Chingachgook and Uncas, but
he frequently asserts that he has no Indian blood. As a cultural
hybrid—a character who mixes elements of different cultures—Hawkeye
provides a link between Indians and whites.
in-depth analysis of Hawkeye.
novel’s villain, he is a cunning Huron nicknamed Le Renard Subtil,
or the Subtle Fox. Once a chief among his people, Magua was driven
from his tribe for drunkenness. Because the English Colonel Munro enforced
this humiliating punishment, Magua possesses a burning desire for
retaliation against him.
in-depth analysis of Magua.
Major Duncan Heyward
- A young American colonist from the South who has
risen to the rank of major in the English army. Courageous, well-meaning,
and noble, Heyward often finds himself out of place in the forest,
thwarted by his lack of knowledge about the frontier and Indian relations.
Heyward’s unfamiliarity with the land sometimes creates problems
for Hawkeye, the dexterous woodsman and leader.
in-depth analysis of Major Duncan Heyward.
son, he is the youngest and last member of the Indian tribe known
as the Mohicans. A noble, proud, self-possessed young man, Uncas
falls in love with Cora Munro and suffers tragic consequences for
desiring a forbidden interracial coupling. Noble Uncas thwarts the
evil Magua’s desire to marry Cora. Uncas also functions as Hawkeye’s
adopted brother and learns about leadership from Hawkeye.
in-depth analysis of Uncas.
father, he is one of the two surviving members of the Mohican tribe.
An old friend of Hawkeye, Chingachgook is also known as Le Gros Serpent—The
Great Snake—because of his crafty intelligence.
young Calvinist attempting to carry Christianity to the frontier
through the power of his song. Ridiculously out of place in the
wilderness, Gamut is the subject of Hawkeye’s frequent mockery.
Gamut matures into Hawkeye’s helpful ally, frequently supplying
him with important information.
Munro’s eldest daughter, a solemn girl with a noble bearing. Cora’s
dark complexion derives from her mother’s “Negro” background. Cora
attracts the love of the Mohican warrior Uncas and seems to return his
feelings cautiously. She suffers the tragic fate of the sentimental
in-depth analysis of Cora Munro.
Munro’s younger daughter by his Scottish second wife, and Cora’s
half-sister. Girlish and young, she tends to faint at stressful
moments. Alice and Heyward love each other. Alice’s blonde hair,
fair skin, and weakness make her a conventional counterpart to the
racially mixed and fiery Cora.
commander of the British forces at Fort William Henry and father
of Cora and Alice. As a young man, Munro traveled to the West Indies,
where he married a woman of “Negro” descent, Cora’s mother. When
Munro’s first wife died, he returned to Scotland and married his
childhood sweetheart, who later gave birth to Alice. Although Munro
is a massive, powerful man, circumstances in the war eventually leave
him withdrawn and ineffectual.
- Marquis Louis Joseph de Saint-Veran, known as Montcalm,
is the commander of the French forces fighting against England during
the French and Indian War. He enlists the aid and knowledge of Indian tribes
to help his French forces navigate the unfamiliar forest combat
setting. After capturing Fort William Henry, though, he is powerless
to prevent the Indian massacre of the English troops.
commander of the British forces at Fort Edward.