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The American Hero Essay

2265 words - 10 pages

The American Hero Every child has fantasy's of being a super hero and leaping tall buildings in a single bound or staring death in the face everyday and somehow finding a way to escape. All of these imaginative thoughts have been derived from the past literary works by the great writers of the early American literary period. These early writers entered society into a world of action and adventure, where one can see spectacular events unfolding through the eyes of a notorious man of courage and feel as though they are defending there country or saving the woman they love. Though the modern heroes are much more popular than classic American heroes, the modern hero has rooted from these ...view middle of the document...

In these novels, Cooper introduces Natty Bumppo, the central character, who embodies the spirit of the frontier in The Deerslayer, The Prairie, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, and The Pioneers." (Groliers) Over the years Natty Bumppo has been looked up to by many because of his bravery, honesty, and his will to help people in a time of need. Readers have watched grow and mature as though they were with him the whole time. "In The Deerslayer, Natty is seen as and idealized youth. Natty is later seen wondering through the forest and lonely waters and is confronted by hunters, Indians, and the hostile Europeans" (Groliers NP). This is an example of Natty encountering physical danger. This wilderness scout is the first of his kind in American literature and was seen nowhere before by the American readers. This novel allowed the readers to enter a world where they could relive the Revolutionary War, Indian wars, and battles on the frontier. After The Deer Slayer, Natty Bumppo is seen in The Last of the Mohicans. In this novel, Natty is called Hawkeye because of his ties to the Mohicans. Indians of this time were looked upon as savages, "but Natty has taken unto himself the best of both civilization and so-called savagery" (Cliff Notes 11). Because he made peace with the Indians, he had a mysterious and dangerous quality in the eyes of the reader. In this novel Natty has many close native companions to join him in his endeavors on the frontier. "During the French and Indian Wars, The Legendary woodsman, Natty Bumppo, is know by another famous alias's, The Pathfinder. His companions in this story is his adoptive Indian father, Chingachgook and the beautiful, Mabel Dunham. They become involved in an attempt to rescue a besieged British fort where he faces danger many times." (Eonline) "The last novel of the Leatherstocking Tales Natty appears in is The Prairie. Here Natty is viewed as a decrepit, old man. This is when the hero everyone once loved and admired becomes weak and helpless. As he is lying on his death bed many people from far and wide come to pay their respects to the honorable Natty Bumppo" (American Experience 194-202). The past friends and war partners that are with him in his time of dying include, Indians from different tribes are there along side their enemy, the white man. The white men who are there are members of the U.S. Army. Both the natives and the officers stand side by side and show great respect to Natty the remainder of his long and notorious life. Throughout the many adventures of Natty Bumppo, he always had many of the same characteristics. He always made the right decisions as he was either getting himself out of a dangerous situation, or debating if something is just or wrong. This quality always gave the reader confidence in Natty. Even if people would not agree with his decision in the first place, Cooper always had a way of presenting the story to where the...

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