Posted by Gayle on July 29, 1998 at 14:54:36:
In Reply to: Re:Hawkeye's Extended Family posted by Rebecca on July 29, 1998 at 13:03:42:
: I am still not completely through the book, but of course I know the ending.. Yes, it was Hetty Hutter who was implying that Deerslayer and the Hutter family are related. However it isn't quite clear in which way...
: I don't quite remember your question regarding Judith Hutter anymore.Soooo, please ask me again..
Still struggling through it, huh? Good girl!
The reason I want your ideas on the relationship is that, after the character analysis I did on Natty Bumppo, I went back into The Deerslayer for a totally different reason and, for the first time, focused in on the inordinate amount of time Cooper devotes to the reading of the letters and description of the effects in Thomas Hutter's trunk. A big deal is made out of the fact that the last name of Judith's mother is cut out of all the letters, and then as she reads the letters, Judith gives each one to Natty to hold. Being illiterate, of course, he can not even recognize the handwriting even if he were beginning to put together some suspicions about Judith's mother's identity in his mind. Cooper makes such a point of setting us up here, that I started putting some stuff together and wondering if the mother whose handwriting Natty was incapable of recognizing was his own mother, and Judith Hutter (the mother of Judith in the book) was Natty's sister, not dead as supposed, but disgraced and self-exiled from the family . Could his sister's situation have been the reason Natty is so inordinately obsessed with moral looseness?
Also, there is mention of a brother. The brother is stated to be dead, but his story is never told, and Cooper does not indicate that the brother was buried in the lake with the mother Judith. Put that together with the experience Natty relates when the dueling pistol blows up in his hand. He tells Judith that the same thing happened to him with the first rifle he ever had, and though he didn't come off as well as he did this time, HE LIVED THROUGH IT. Could it be that the "brother" was not the brother of Judith and Hetty, but was their mother's brother - Natty? Could it be that his sister Judith had left home by that time and although she heard her brother had been seriously injured, never knew that he had survived because she had exiled herself from the family by that time.
Judith the Elder's children (Judith and Hetty) would have been nieces rather than cousins (the LOTM question), but maybe we're getting closer.
What do you think?
Gayle (pant, pant - screeching to a breathless halt)
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