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The Difference In The Mix: "The Last Of The Mohicans" By James Fenimore Cooper

1637 words - 7 pages

In The Last of the Mohicans, a book by James Fenimore Cooper written in 1826 has as part of its plot a kidnapping of two pioneer women. The story is set during the French and Indian War, this book archives the annihilation of the colonial garrison at Fort William Henry. This book is representative of the doomed future of the Indians, and yet, at the same time it tries to find justification for their doom. Although this book is considered Gothic and Romantic, it also exemplifies the extinction of not just the Indians, but of any sort of mix with the Indians or African Americans. This example can be found in the characters of the two sisters that are kidnapped in the story, Cora and Alice. If one of the themes of this book is conflict and the answer to these conflicts is death then death is considered a symbolism or motif of this book. The solution, offered by Cooper in the conflict from cultures mixing, is to eliminate them as well. The death of Cora probably symbolizes the possible ending of hybrids, while glorifying the image of hope in preserving the life of Cora's sister, Alice, the fully white breaded female, Cooper on the one hand; gets rid of Cora, the hybrid.The name of the title of the book and the chronic account of the Uncas suggest the ending of the culture caused by impending white domination of the land (Cooper 3-7). Prior to the release of this book and after it's release there was a historical removal of the Indians by then President Jackson during the 1820's and 1830's (Edmunds 1).The author mirrors those problems but goes further in introducing the two sisters that happen to be in the middle of this plot and find a central focus to the message the author wants to covey-the end is near-for the Indians and quite possibly the hybrids as well.Cora and Alice are the two sisters that bring a symbolism of frontier culture and what place they had in that society. They both share the same white father but the difference between them is not just that their mothers are different but on how the possible message the author to wants to send to America about the way the face of the frontier will change. Cora, who is hybrid, and conceivably the new face of the frontier, is half white and half black. She is actually the elder of the two sisters. Alice, in contrast, the younger sister, is white. The fact that in the story Cora, the hybrid, dies and Alice, the white girl, lives illustrates the possible image of America the author of this book wants to send to his readers. Not only does he feels that the Indians will die out but also any offspring that may have come out of physical contact with the whites (Cooper 11-17)Cora is described as having raven-haired. She is the reverse of Alice. She has dark eyes and dark hair, "The tresses of this lady were shining and black, like the plumage of the raven" (F. Cooper 12.) Cora is independent and shows great audacity when confronted with danger. She repeatedly comforts her weaker sister. Cora is the only...

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