James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans Essay

James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans Essay

Length: 1777 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans


The French and Indian War of the eighteenth century had uniquely complex qualities, matched by the gravity of its outcome. The myriad of cultures involved the French, Canadian, American, English, Algonquians, and Iroquois whom make this era fascinating. The multi-ethnic element made it a war built upon fragile alliances, often undermined by factional disputes and shifting fortunes. Violent as it was, its battlefields encompassed some of the most beautiful country to be found anywhere. Its richness in diverse cultures, the severity of its bloody violence, and the beauty of its landscape, all combine to make this an era with great depth of interest. It is entertaining and educational to witness a re-enactment event of a historical film and novel called The Last of the Mohicans.

In the wake of the 1992 debates about Columbus, the discovery of the Americas, and whether terms such as 'holocaust', 'genocide', and 'racism' should be applied to what happened to Native Americans, Michael Mann's film remake of James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans continues a process of historical erasure or forgetting that Cooper and his contemporaries began. The sentimental racism expressed in Cooper's novel involves the ideas of the auto-genocide of 'savagery' and the inevitable extinction of all Native Americans. Though Mann purported to take great pains in his film to be historically accurate, the film is only accurate in relation to trivial details. It thoroughly scrambles major aspects of Cooper's text, including converting the ageing Natty Bumppo into a young sex symbol (Daniel Day-Lewis). More importantly, the film completely erases Cooper's sentimental racism by, for instance, turning Chingachgook rather than his son, Uncas, into the 'last' of his tribe, and thereby overlooking the motif of the futureless child central to that racism. But in eliminating Cooper's racism, the film in a sense perfects the novel, because the sentimentalism that softened the racism was already a form of erasure or forgetting.

Reading the novel, The Last of the Mohicans, I was actually able to appreciate Cooper’s work, as it was interesting and very different from the movie. While it is true that he is long-winded and very shallowly treats character development, I think that the original work does merit its study. I found that ...


... middle of paper ...


...nd political correctness. There are no dialogs to speak of, no historical, anthropological, geographic, political, social, explanations or orientation. So you don’t learn much about world history from their conversations and dialogue. What you do grasp about the history of this period is by soaking in the environment, traditions, rules, surroundings, behaviors, clothing, and styles of living.

The movie and novel of The Last of the Mohicans are both great representations of the French and Indian War as they are attempts to resurrect and redefine the American hero. There was an emphasis on the concept that no man has dominion over another. The novel and film both have strong and weak parts that help us understand and to learn the styles and ways of this time period. They are both great tools for learning about modern world history in their own ways about war and tragedy. The Last of the Mohicans is a bold and stirring story that will always be very memorable adventure years to come.

Bibliography

The Last of the Mohicans. Produced by Michael Mann. 1 hour 54 minutes. 1992.
Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans. Albany: State University of New
York Press, 1983.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans Essay

- James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans The French and Indian War of the eighteenth century had uniquely complex qualities, matched by the gravity of its outcome. The myriad of cultures involved the French, Canadian, American, English, Algonquians, and Iroquois whom make this era fascinating. The multi-ethnic element made it a war built upon fragile alliances, often undermined by factional disputes and shifting fortunes. Violent as it was, its battlefields encompassed some of the most beautiful country to be found anywhere....   [tags: Last Mohicans James Cooper Essays]

Term Papers
1777 words (5.1 pages)

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper Essay

- Mohican Research Paper I believe that “The Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper is the first “great” American novel because it created such a lasting effect in the United States. It shows many ideas and topics that we talk about now such as gender roles, racism, and heroes. It is the first novel in a freely American setting that actually “hits” these topics and involves them in the writing. This, although it was written such a long time ago, is significant in American cultural history because of those topics....   [tags: research paper, topic and historical analysis]

Term Papers
1080 words (3.1 pages)

The Last Of The Mohicans By James Fenimore Cooper Essay

- James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, The Last of the Mohicans, has stood the test of time due to its cunning confrontation of the issues of race in American society. Immediately from the Author’s Introduction, Cooper readily describes the Native American in an admirable light, unable to be extinguished by the prejudices of many of his readers. “In war, he is daring, boastful, cunning, ruthless, self-denying, and self-devoted; in peace, just, generous, hospitable, revengeful, superstitious, modest, and commonly chaste” (Introduction)....   [tags: Gender, Masculinity, Femininity, Man]

Term Papers
926 words (2.6 pages)

Travesty Hits the Mohicans in James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans

- The Last of the Mohicans written by James Fenimore Cooper was part of Cooper’s Leather Stocking Series. Cooper, born in 1789, through his writings detailed frontier life during the 1700’s. The Last of the Mohicans brought to life the troubles Native Americans were facing during the early years of colonization by Europeans. Taking place during the Seven Year War, the story describes the hardships of two Native Americans, Uncus and Chingachgook, and one white man who was adopted by Chingachgook, Hawkeye....   [tags: native americans, films, movies]

Term Papers
733 words (2.1 pages)

Sexual and Maternal Instincts in James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans

- Cora Munro's Sexual and Maternal Instincts in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans Cora Munro's relationship with her younger, fairer sister Alice demonstrates a distinct mother-daughter pattern that manifests itself in every interaction between the two women. Throughout James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, the character of Cora continuously hides her sister's face in her bosom as an indication of undying protection from the ravages of the American frontier. Alice depends on Cora as her champion and defender but, most unmistakably as a mother figure....   [tags: The Last of the Mohicans]

Free Essays
660 words (1.9 pages)

A Noble Savage in The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper Essay

- “Chingachgook told me, don't try to understand them; and don't try to make them understand you. For they are a breed apart and make no sense”, explains the first American hero in The Last of the Mohicans. James Fenimore Cooper's objective during this novel was to portray the first American hero to the English man. To do so he created a white man by the name of Hawkeye; adopted by the last of the Mohican Indian tribe, Hawkeye was very resourceful and intelligent. His sharp mind was eventually needed to rescue two ladies by the names of Alice and Cora....   [tags: helor, love, war, savage, adventure]

Term Papers
810 words (2.3 pages)

Michael Mann's Movie Version of James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans

- Michael Mann's Movie Version of James Fenimore Cooper's “Last of the Mohicans” The 1992 movie version of James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans" was directed by Michael Mann and starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Steven Waddington, Russell Means and Eric Schweig. As an epic about human conflict, the movie addresses all the necessary elements of social, political and spiritual concern required for such a production; however, the grandiose spectacle of Hollywood film making abilities cannot mask the stereotypical Native American imagery blatantly portrayed in this movie....   [tags: Films Movies Last Mohicans Essays]

Term Papers
863 words (2.5 pages)

Stereotypes of Native Americans in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last Mohicans

- Portrayal of Native Americans in Last of the Mohicans and Stereotypes of Native Americans Introduction James Fenimore Cooper wrote the novel Last of the Mohicans. James Fenimore Cooper had a remarkably boring, wealthy existence. His parents were shrewd and ambitious, easily acquiring money and power. Thus he was exposed early on to the finer pleasures of life. The Last of the Mohicans takes place in the midst of the French-Indian war. Specifically, it focuses on one battle in a war that lasted for many years....   [tags: indian, pioneers, disney]

Term Papers
1417 words (4 pages)

James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans: Book and Movie Essay

- James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans: Book and Movie   The book Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper was very different from the movie Last of the Mohicans in terms of the storyline. However, I feel that the producer and director of this movie did a good job of preserving Cooper's original vision of the classic American man surviving in the wilderness, while possibly presenting it better than the book originally did and in a more believable fashion to a late twentieth century reader....   [tags: Movie Film comparison compare contrast]

Term Papers
1154 words (3.3 pages)

The Last Of The Mohicans Essay

- 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....   [tags: James Fenimore Cooper]

Term Papers
1386 words (4 pages)