The Last of the Mohicans

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 4

The Hurons love their friends the Delawares. . . . Why should they not? They are colored by the same sun, and their just men will hunt in the same grounds after death. The redskins should be friends, and look with open eyes on the white men.

Magua speaks these words in Chapter XXVIII in an attempt to race-bait and anger the Delaware council. In the novel, racist whites often argue for unity in the face of their sneaky foes, the Indians. Here, Magua uses the same argument against the whites. He argues that the same sun shines on all Indian cultures, and Indians should unite against the untrustworthy white man. Magua turns the stereotype on its head by suggesting that the Indians, not the whites, have something to fear from a shiftless race. Cooper presents Magua’s words as nothing more than a calculated attempt to stir up the emotions of the Delawares. However, outside the world of the novel, Magua’s words take on another meaning. Cooper wrote during a time when the U.S. government carried out a policy of exterminating Native American peoples. Although Magua speaks from personal malice, the words he speaks should be heeded by all Indians who must live in fear of the conquest of their white oppressors.