Last of the Mohicans James Fennimore Cooper Term Paper

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Last of the Mohicans

Duncan's choice of Cora over Alice shows the paradigm of male/female relationships during the time depicted in the novel.

What role does nature play in the novel?

Nature in the novel is essentially regarded from two diverse viewpoints: that of the colonialists and that of the natives. For the colonialists, coming from an industrialized and urbanized setting, nature presents challenges and dangers. Mountains and lakes prove time- and energy consuming as the armies advance in the land. As such, nature is personified, and plays the role of an additional character in the book. It is an almost conscious force, seeking to block progress for the colonists.

The same natural force is an ally to the Native Americans depicted in the book. A fundamental understanding of natural processes give the natives an advantage over the colonists. This also places them in a position to take advantage of colonialist trust. Although all natives are indeed not trustworthy, many prove themselves honest and friendly.

Question 2: What is the importance of Christianity to the characters in the novel?

Christianity is the religion represented by the white colonists. While there are frequent references to this religion, the authenticity of actual belief raises some doubt. The identity of the white colonists seems infused in Christianity as it is in their country of origin. It is a distant reality, of little use when facing the challenges of the new country. The only representative of true devotion to Christianity is David, the somewhat laughable singer of Psalms. Later however the author demonstrates through this very character that true power can be found through devotion, and David is elevated from absurdity to heroism. The role of the Christian religion is then to demonstrate the dichotomy between white and native philosophy, as well as to show that true spirituality can unify…

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