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Last Of The Mohicans was a action packed novel that leaves readers
wanting more. James Fennimore Cooper did a wonderful job at recreating the
era of this story. This novel is a romantic story based in the leather-stocking
region of New York. The main character Hawk-eye is a free spirited white
man raised by Chingachgook a Mohican. Hawk-eye was traveling through
the woods when he came upon Cora and unexpectedly fell in love with her.
Throughout the novel Last of The Mohicans Hawk-eye continuously went
against his principles to stay and protect his love Cora Munro.
Hawk-eye was a very independent person who when asked if he called
himself a loyal subject of His Majesty answered, I do not call myself subject
to much at all. 21 This shows how he does not want to commit himself to
any cause other than that of he and his family. He refuses to go fight with the
British militia against the French, despite the pressure from the British
generals. In fact Hawk-eye was so opposed to the war that he was headed
west where there was no war. Duncan was shocked when he heard this so he
asked him There is a war going on in the east. How is it that you are headed
west? 52 Hawk-eye retorted, Well you face north and real
sudden-like, turn left. 52 This is an example of strong principals of
Hawk-eye, because he stays away from the war despite the constant pressure
from people. So when Hawk-eye falls in love with Cora and commits himself
to saving her life which means being involved in the war it is a huge shock to
When Hawk-eye, Uncas (his brother), and Chingachgook were
traveling through the forest headed west, they came across the ambush of
Cora, Elizabeth (her sister), Duncan Heyward, and the British soldiers
escorting them. Magua the Huron scout leading the group was a traitor, and
set up the girls to be killed.
However he was unsuccessful because Hawk-eye and his family came to the
aid of the girls. He saved the girls and Duncan from the attack, but didn t
want to help them get the rest of the way to the fort where they were headed
because it meant involvement in the war. After having one look at Cora he
suddenly changed his mind about escorting them to Fort William Henry.
Cora: What are you looking at, sir? 57 Hawk-eye: I m looking at you
Miss. 57 It was very evident at this time that Hawk-eye was in love with
Hawk-eye demised a plan that would throw the Huron Indians off their
trail, but Duncan was reluctant to accept the plan. How do we know we can
trust you, you won t even fight on the side of the British. 67 Hawk-eye
replied in a sarcastic manner, Duncan, someday you and I are going to have
a serious disagreement.
On their way to the fort they stopped by Hawk-eye s friend John s
house to check on his family and spend the night. When they arrived they
were shocked to find the house burned and the people murdered. Hawk-eye:
It was the Huron s, I know it! 85 Duncan: You don t know that, it could
have been a random attack. 85 Hawk-eye could tell from the evidence the
attackers left behind, who it was that committed this awful crime, Duncan just
didn t understand. Hawk-eye wanted to bury the dead but in fear for Cora s
life didn t because he knew if he did that the Huron would pick up on their
trail and finish the task of killing the Munro sisters before they ever reached
the safety of the fort.
When they got to the fort, Hawk-eye informed General Munro of the
gruesome deeds done by the Huron Indians and begged for the release of the
militia so they could go and protect their families from the Indian attacks.
General Munro refused because he and Duncan both agreed there wasn t
to prove this was at all related to the war and nothing other than A random
act of savages! 93 General Munro. Hawk-eye was disturbed by this decision
and called this English policy tyrannical. At this time it was evident that
Hawk-eye s love for Cora was no longer one way, she was obviously in love
with him and wasn t afraid to show it. After Duncan made this remark about
the colonials, And who empowered these colonials to pass judgment on
England s policies and to come and go without so much as by your
leave ! 96 Cora was quick to defend: They do not live their lives by your
leave ! They hack it out of the wilderness with their own two hands, burying
their children along the way! 96 Duncan quickly picked up on her love for
hawk-eye: You are only defending him because you have
become infatuated with him! 97 Cora responded in a stern manner:
Duncanyou are a man with few admirable qualities, but taken as a whole, I
was wrong to have thought so highly of you. 98
Meanwhile Hawk-eye took matters into his own hands. He
helped his friends escape from the fort to save their land and their families.
When he did this he knew the crime of sedition was punishable by death and
the only way not to get caught was to leave but he didn t because he wanted
to stay with Cora. Cora: They are going to hang you. Why didn t you leave
when you had the chance? 121 Hawk-eye replied: Because what I am
interested in is right here. 121 This was a very dramatic point in the novel
because when he says this it confirms his love for her, as he has never said it
out loud before.
After the battle is over the fort is surrendered to the French. The
British soldiers were retreating and were attacked by Magua and his Huron
warriors. Again he was after the Munro sisters but despite the fact that
Hawk-eye was shackled he still over came Magua and the warriors and
led Duncan, the girls, his father,
and his brother Uncas to safety. However they weren t safe for long, the
Huron s found them. The men had no choice but to escape because they had
no chance to win this battle. Hawk-eye told Cora to surrender and submit
peacefully and she wouldn t be harmed. No, you submit, do you hear? You
be strong, you survive… You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find
you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you. I will
find you! 145 This just shows how he has dedicated his whole life to her and
her to him and only after knowing each other for a few days.
He eventually gets her back but only after a dispute with the
Huron chief and Duncan giving his life to save the sisters. Uncas tries to
rescue Elizabeth from slavery but dies trying. Chingachgook kills the Savage
that killed Uncas but not before Elizabeth takes her own life. This was a
tragic ending to a tragic story.
Cooper is credited by some as creating the first true romantic saga based in
America. He truly did a wonderful job at creating characters anyone can
admire like Hawk-eye, Cora, Chingachgook , Uncas, and Elizabeth and at
creating characters to despise such as Magua and the other savages. In the
end it is very ironic how a independent person like Hawk-eye falls in love
with a women and risks his own life just to save her life.
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