The Last of the Mohicans is a historical novel by James Fennimore Cooper. The story took place in 18th century North America during the French and Indian War, where a white man adopted by the last members of a dying tribe called the Mohicans unwittingly becomes the protector of the two daughters of a British colonel, who have been targeted by Magua, a sadistic and vengeful Huron warrior who has dedicated his life to destroying the girls ' father for a past injustice. The main characters in this story are Hawkeye and Magua- the hero and the villain. Hawkeye, the protagonist of the novel, goes by several names: Natty Bumppo, La Longue Carabine (The Long Rifle), the scout, and Hawkeye. Magua, however, an Indian of the Huron tribe, plays the crafty villain to Hawkeye’s rugged hero.
Hawkeye’s chief strength is adaptability. He adapts to the difficulties of the frontier and bridges the divide between white and Indian cultures. A hybrid, Hawkeye identifies himself by his white race and his Indian social world, in which his closest friends are the Mohicans Chingachgook and Uncas. His hybrid background breeds both productive alliances and disturbingly racist convictions. On one hand, Hawkeye cherishes individuality and makes judgments without regard to race. He cherishes Chingachgook for his value as an individual, not for a superficial multiculturalism fashionably ahead of its time. On the other hand, Hawkeye demonstrates an almost obsessive investment in his own “genuine” whiteness. Also, while Hawkeye supports interracial friendship between men, he objects to interracial sexual desire between men and women. Because of his contradictory opinions, the...
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...n chief and a warrior, but when he was twenty years old he took to drink (provided by the whites) and the Hurons expelled him from their tribe. He was then adopted by the Mohawks, and became an ally of the English. But when Colonel Munro found that he had been drinking, Magua was given a public whipping. At the beginning of the novel, Magua is employed as a “runner,” responsible for guiding the party of Heyward and the two young women on a path to Fort Edward. But he leads them into a trap instead. After his treachery is exposed, he escapes, and is then involved in a deadly struggle with his enemies. In order to gain revenge on Munro for having him whipped, he kidnaps Cora and tries to make her his wife. Often Magua seems close to triumph, especially when the Delawares give him permission to depart with Cora. But Magua is finally killed by a rifle shot from Hawkeye.
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