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A Noble Savage In The Last Of The Mohicans By James Fenimore Cooper

1002 words - 4 pages

“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. These young women had found themselves in a dangerous situation during the French and Indian war. As the war played out, Hawkeye and his Indian brother and father guided these girls to the safety of their father; all the while a love story takes place between Hawkeye and one of the ladies. Hawkeye, in The Last of the Mohicans is a great illustration of an ideal hero and noble savage because of the way that he speaks and acts throughout this unique adventure.
The ideal hero is one that does the right thing during a situation no matter the consequence. Doing what is moral when it comes down to it even though the result may be against a certain regulation is of noble savages characteristics. The simple goodness that comes from the uncivilized being of one when not encompassed in civilization also illustrates the traits of a gentle barbarian. A noble savage is one of various attributes. Some of these qualities being a killer and a peacemaker, a loner and a lover, and a barbaric man of his word. Hawkeye embodies all of these uncanny but yet atrocious traits.
Every hero has a fierce side, almost savage like. Hawkeye shows this trait through his voice and actions when he demands that the British hold true to their word and let persons go back to their homes and protect them from attack during the war. “Anyone fomenting or advocating the leaving of Fort William Henry will be hung for sedition. Anyone actually CAUGHT leaving will be shot for desertion. Now my decision is final. Get out!” And only after the British declared the people were not to leave did Hawkeye assist them in escaping. He did what was ethical knowing that he was going to be punished for it just like he does in many other instances, contributing to the idea that he is hero-like.
A noble savage, as said before, has many aspects. One being violent like and another, noble like. Throughout this original “romance” Hawkeye falls in love with Cora, one of the sisters he is taking to her father, and she with him. When the Herons attacked the group of British soldiers the girls were with Hawkeye swooped in, protected the daughters, and offered to take them to safety. As they journeyed to the British commander, the girls’ father, Hawkeye held true to his word, like a gentleman, and kept his...

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