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The Last of the Mohicans

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title  The Last of the Mohicans

author  James Fenimore Cooper

type of work  Novel

genre  Sentimental novel, adventure novel, frontier romance

language  English

time and place written  1826, Europe

date of first publication  1826

publisher  Carey & Lea of Philadelphia

narrator  Anonymous

point of view Third person. The narrator follows the actions of several characters at once, especially during combat scenes. He describes characters objectively but periodically makes reference to his own writing.

tone  Ornate, solemn, sentimental, occasionally poetic

tense  Past

setting (time)  Several days from late July to mid-August 1757, during the French and Indian War

setting (place)  The American wilderness frontier in what will become New York State .

protagonist  Hawkeye

major conflict  The English battle the French and their Indian allies; Uncas helps his English friends resist Magua and the Hurons.

rising action  Magua captures Cora and Alice, beginning a series of adventures for the English characters, who try to rescue the women.

climax  Uncas triumphs over Magua in the Delaware council of Tamenund in Chapter XXX.

falling action  Magua dies; Cora and Uncas are torn apart.

themes  The consequences of interracial love and friendship; literal and metaphorical nature; the role of religion in the wilderness; the changing idea of family

motifs  Hybridity; disguise; inheritance

symbols  Hawkeye; “the last of the Mohicans”

foreshadowing  Cora’s unexpected attraction to Magua in Chapter I; Magua’s deceit in Chapter I; Chingachgook’s reference to Uncas as the “last of the Mohicans” in Chapter II.