Quote 3

A Mingo is a Mingo, and God having made him so, neither the Mohawks nor any other tribe can alter him.

Hawkeye expresses this belief in essential identity in Chapter IV when waiting to meet the Indian Magua. When he learns that Magua is a Huron, Hawkeye immediately pronounces Magua a bad man. Though Hawkeye previously praised individuality, here he assigns characteristics to an unknown man based on his race and sect. Hawkeye makes this judgment before meeting the Indian, basing the judgment on prejudice, not experience. Cooper seems to criticize Hawkeye’s prejudice, but at the same time he endorses it. After all, the narrative proves Hawkeye right both in his general and his specific prejudices. The Hurons are the villains of the novel, and Magua is the evilest villain of them all. It turns out that Hawkeye should suspect Magua of skullduggery, for as early as Chapter IV he has deceived Heyward and the Munro daughters. Cooper condemns Hawkeye’s racism, but he also writes the plot that justifies that racism.