The Last of the Mohicans

by: James Fenimore Cooper

Suggested Essay Topics

1. The Native Americans in Cooper’s novel seem either entirely good (Uncas and Chingachgook) or entirely evil (Magua and most of the Hurons). Are there any believable Indian characters in the novel? Is Cooper guilty of invoking racial stereotypes in his portrayal of Indians?

2. Compare and contrast the father-son relationship of Chingachgook and Uncas with the father-daughter relationship of Munro and his daughters.

3. In what way is Hawkeye the hero of the book? As the hero, why isn’t Hawkeye involved in either of the novel’s love stories?

4. Discuss three examples of the clash between races or cultures. What do the three examples show about Cooper’s views on racism?

5. The nineteenth-century language of the novel can seem excessively formal and elaborate to modern readers. Do you think the novel’s language interferes with the excitement of its story? Why or why not?