Uncas changes more than any other character over the course of the novel. He pushes the limits of interracial relationships, moving beyond Hawkeye’s same-sex interracial friendships and falling in love with Cora, a white woman. Whereas Cooper values interracial friendship between men, he presents interracial sexuality as difficult and perhaps always doomed. In the end, Uncas is punished for his taboo desires, perhaps because Cooper thinks he should be punished, or perhaps because Cooper wants to show that Uncas’s close-minded society will punish racial mixing. Hawkeye becomes a father figure for Uncas, and Uncas eventually becomes a natural leader of men by combining the skill of Hawkeye with the spirituality of a revered Indian leader.