By Martin Barker
How media models of Cooper's vintage frontier novel have perpetuated the parable of "America."
Read Online or Download The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth (Studies in Popular Culture) PDF
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Extra info for The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth (Studies in Popular Culture)
When Hawkeye and his companions meet up with Heyward's party, it is quickly revealed that Magua had been leading them into a Huron (or "Mingo") trap. Magua flees to join his waiting Indians, and Hawkeye agrees to try to save the travelers. They hurry to the river, get rid of their horses, and hide in an island cave. Magua's Hurons track them, and skirmishes take place until all the defenders' powder is used up. Desperate, Hawkeye, Chingachgook, and Uncas agree to Cora's plea that they should leave to replenish their weapons, and then return to rescue the others.
This is another major thread in the story, and is used quite deliberately both as an erotic device and to express a dread of miscegenation. It is most sensationally exploited in the episodes where Magua tries to take Cora as his squaw. Take, for example, the scene in the Delaware camp in which she gives her reaction to the idea: [Tamenund:] "A great warrior takes thee to wife. " More subtly, yet more revealingly, Cora is also attracted to Uncas. Possibly this is because her "black blood" signifies her affinity with Indians.
Page 5 question: Just what is it about this storythis not-quite-frontier story of Nathaniel Bumppo, alias Hawkeye, 1 and his two friends Chingachgook and Uncasthat has given it a staying power and a pull that have made people return to it again and again? It isn't alone in this, of course. There are other classic stories that have been adapted and reused even more than Mohicans. . where? " Mohicans is a myth, in the sense that it presents symbolically rich characters in a landscape, whose adventures and eventual tragic conclusion are also rich in symbols.