Role of Religion in the Wilderness: James Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans

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Freedom of Religion – Freedom from Religion

In the midst of his already successful career, Sigmund Freud decided to finally dedicate a book of his to religion, referring to the subject as a phenomena faced by the scientific community. This new work, Totem and Taboo, blew society off its feet, ultimately expanding the reaches of debates and intellectual studies. From the beginning, Freud argues that there exists a parallel between the archaic man and the contemporary compulsive. Both these types of people, he argues, exhibit neurotic behavior, and so the parallel between the two is sound. Freud argues that we should be able to determine the cause of religion the same way we determine the cause of neurosis. He believes, since all neuroses stem from childhood experiences, that the origins of this compulsive behavior we call religion should also be attributed to some childhood experiences of the human race, too. Freudian thought has been dominant since he became well known. In Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, religion becomes entirely evident as a major part of the novel, but the role it specifically plays is what we should question. Therefore, I argue that Freud’s approach to an inborn sense of religion and the role it plays exists in The Last of the Mohicans, in that the role religion plays in the wilderness manifests itself in the form of an untouchable truth, an innate sense of being, and most importantly, something that cannot and should not be tampered with.

James Cooper is a popular American writer. By 1851, he became one of the most famous writers in the world. After achieving initial success, he moved to Europe for about seven years, where he continued to write impactful books. The Last of the Mohicans was written in 182...

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...eleased David Gamut because they heard his religious singing and genuinely thought he was insane (Cooper, Chapter 22).

This, once again, lends support to Freud’s idea that religion’s beginnings are inborn and stem from early on in life, since now, later in life, the wilderness has no tolerance for Gamut’s religious beliefs, particularly because the wilderness was brought up and left alone for years with no religious affiliation or dominance. So The Last of the Mohicans explores both sides of Freud’s Totem and Taboo, and it single-handedly proves that religion’s role in the wilderness isn’t inborn, and so it becomes difficult to convert the wilderness inhabitants because that’s not how they were initially brought up.

Works Cited

Cooper, James F. The Last of the Mohicans. New ed. Vol. 1. New York: Stringer and

Townsend, 1854. Print.

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