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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.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Last of the Mohicans!