The Last Of The Mohicans Essay

The Last Of The Mohicans Essay

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The Last of the Mohicans was written in 1826 by James Fenimore Cooper. Cooper was born September 15, 1789 in Burlington, New Jersey. Born the son of a wealthy judge, his family moved to Cooperstown, New York when he was just a year old. The town was named in his father's honor. Cooper was raised and received his early education in Cooperstown, where he was introduced into influential social circles. At the age of thirteen, he was sent to Yale University to study. He was expelled from the school for continuous pranks including putting a donkey on a professor's chair and exploding gunpowder on the campus. After he left Yale, he spent two years as a merchant marine before joining the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy, his father was killed by a political adversary and Cooper inherited a large estate. In 1811, he married Susan DeLancey, who was the daughter of a wealthy family, and he left the Navy to settle down as a gentleman. Cooper's business ventures were unsuccessful and he gave up his life in the country, moving to New York City to become a writer. It is rumored that after reading a novel, he commented to his wife that he could do a better job, and she challenged him to do so, beginning his career as a writer.
Cooper's first novel, Precaution, written in 1820, was unsuccessful, but the following year Cooper gained fame with The Spy, a historical romance novel about the American Revolution. He then wrote several novels of sea adventures before writing the Leather-Stocking Tales, a five book collection, including The Last of the Mohicans, about the North American frontier. In 1826, Cooper left the United States and spent eight years in Europe where he continued his success and wrote novels about medieval Europe, democracy and polit...


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...which was a predominant social issue in the early 1800's, played a central role in this novel. Cooper uses the friendship of Hawkeye to Uncas and Chingachgook to suggest that people of different races can successfully interact and become friends. In contrast, the attraction that Cora held toward Uncas was portrayed as taboo, showing the societal aversion to interracial marriage. Even among the Indians the animosity between the Mohicans and the Hurons displays a resistance to intermixing different cultures.
In writing the Last of the Mohicans, James Cooper successfully created a fictional novel integrating both historical facts from the time frame of the novel and current societal problems from the time of the writing. The story was not intended to be wholly historically accurate, but was successful in giving the reader a general feel for the atmosphere of the times.

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