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

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

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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. This was the last and most important conflict over French and British possessions in North America. Unlike the earlier wars, which began in Europe and spread to America, this struggle broke out solely in America in 1754, and was not settled until 1763. For this reason, Indian involvement in the conflict was incredibly high. This book depicts the battle of Fort William Henry and adds the fictional kidnapping of two white pioneering sisters (whites were often kidnapped by Native Americans in Cooper's novels). Cooper knew few Indians, so he drew on a Moravian missionary's account of two opposing tribes; the Delawares and the "Mingos." Although this characterization was filled with inaccuracies, the dual image of the opposing tribes allowed Cooper to create a lasting image of the Indian that became a part of the American consciousness for almost two centuries. This book was actually made into a movie in 1992, and did very well at the box office. Of all of Coopers books, this is by far the most famous. Cooper here tells the story of the stolid colonial scout Hawkeye, who, with his two Indian companions Chingachgook and his son Uncas, stumble on a party of British soldiers conducting two fair maidens to their father, the command...


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...n a bit of a glamorous image as Pocahontas has been depicted as a beautiful, free spirited, brave and independent girl. Pocahontas is known, primarily because she became the hero of Euro-Americans as the "good Indian", one who saved the life of a white man. Not only is the "good Indian/bad Indian theme" inevitably given new life by Disney, but the history, as recorded by the English themselves, is badly falsified in the name of entertainment. Bibliography http://cougar.ucdavis.edu/nas/varese/nas191/Marie/home.html http://mytwobeadsworth.com/NAreclaimhollyimage.html http://www.academon.com/lib/paper/5846.html http://www.indiancountry.com/article/2565 http://www.free-termpapers.com/tp/30/mlo89.shtml http://www.uwm.edu/Library/special/exhibits/clastext/clspg135.htm http://www.powhatan.org/pocc.html http://nativenet.uthscsa.edu/alison-thesis/relation.html

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