The Last of the Mohicans: The Frontier Changing Characters

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When Mr. James Fenimore Cooper started writing his books, he was writing them in the American Romanticism era. This means that his books most likely reflected values found in this era. The book The Last of the Mohicans had many of these characteristics. We find him writing about nature, music and God in this story, all characteristics of this era. Mr. Cooper also uses the characteristic of the common man becoming a hero in this story many times. He shows some new aspects of family on the frontier. The interracial love between Uncas and Cora was a new aspect to many people in that age. He also shows Hawkeye almost seeming to become Uncas’s father figure after the disappearance of his father. The authors in the Romanticist era also wrote about change in peoples’ thoughts and actions also.

The unsettled frontier made changes in peoples lives and opinions in how they would live and think the rest of their lives. Some of the characters of The Last of the Mohicans story experienced this same change. There were some of these characters that resisted firmly against that changes. Gamut is one of the characters which was the most changed throughout this story.

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When we first encounter Gamut he is very theological, and pronounced in his feelings about nature, God, and music. He continues to be the weaker in spirit and in strength of all the men throughout the novel. Near the end of the book though, we begin to see David show some signs of bravery, courage, and valor. When he was found with the sisters at the massacre after their leaving the fort. To help in the only way he could, he played his pipe with all his might and skill, and almost assuredly saved his, and the sisters lives. When Uncas and his band charge after the Hurans to rescue Cora. David wishes to join the warriors band even though he wishes not to kill as he states in this excerpt. “Now, I have journeyed far, and sojourned much in good and evil with the maiden ye seek; and though not a man of war, with my loins girded and my sword sharpened, yet would I gladly strike a blow in her behalf.” The fact that he even wanted to go into battle with them is a clear sign that his character had evolved.

So how did the changes that Mr. Cooper gave to David reflect the characteristics of American Romanticism? David in the books holds nature in very high regard in his life. He also adores God and music as he progresses throughout the story. David is a man who also is seen very often reciting poetry, usually to Alice. He is a normal man in the beginning of the story, but as he progresses he wants to go and help rescue Cora, so we see how a fairly normal man can become one of the heroes in the end.

A character who also changes in the story is the main hero of Uncas. Uncas is the Indian who in the beginning of the story, seems rather indifferent about the whole trip he must take. Uncas seems like he only wants to return the girls and go back to his peaceful life in the woods. As he travels along and gets more acquainted with Cora its becomes apparent that he begins to fancy Cora and that she feels the same. By the end of the story Uncas is determined beyond reason to go and save the captured Cora. He leads his Indian friends into battle and they struggle against the evil Magua and his gang. He even ends up giving his life in the effort for Cora’s freedom. It is very obvious that Uncas had changed very much throughout the entire story.

So, did Uncas’s change reflect the values of American romanticism? Uncas’s love for nature was evident and he obtained a gentler spirit also. The Romanticist era also dealt a lot with feelings of emotion. Uncas shows his emotion when he raises his battle cry to stir the soldiers to rescue Cora. Uncas also came up from being a somewhat normal man to becoming the main hero in this novel another trait often seen in Romanticism.

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