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The Last of the Mohicans

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.