Re: Magua, the Warrior's Warrior

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Posted by Elaine on July 31, 1998 at 15:43:21:

In Reply to: Re: Magua, the Warrior's Warrior posted by Victoria on July 31, 1998 at 13:01:17:

Dearest Frontier Ally and co-conspirator,

": Sometimes heros have selfish motivations.(Look at Hawkeye.) As for his 'betrayal'of his brothers the Mohawks, which must have been in the book, he was still a Huron in his heart, true to his original people. Boone was captured by the Shawnee, who adopted him (without torture) and lived with them for a time before eventually escaping and fighting with them later."

True. Sometimes heroes do have selfish motives. It is the deed that matters, not the anticipated gain. From the standpoint of a literal definition, Magua would *in deed* meet the requirements of a hero. "-distinguished for exceptional courage, fortitude, or bold enterprise" Yes, Magua certainly would fit such a description. Then, so too would Ghengis Khan!

Howsever, as Gayle and Natty would cry out, we are analyzing our Magua from a literary angle, in which case, he's out. He is not the protagonist or central character of LOTM. He is a supporting player, however important he is, in the plot. His betrayal was dishonorable, and I dare say, very unusual. The Mohawk rarely lost an adopted member to their former people. They were very, very thorough in recreating their captives into true Mohawks ... mind, body, and soul. The ex-captive, newly Mohawk typically thought of themselves as Mohawk and returning to their former homes was not a common mindset.
Magua left for reasons other than loyalty to the Huron. He had a burning hatred, a powerful desire to exact revenge upon those he saw as having done him wrong. He was a Mingo on a mission!!!! Woe to all who got in his way. Magua did pass himself off as a Mohawk guide willing to enter into His Majesty's service.
Boone was different. He never really accepted himself as a Shawnee but played along, intending to flee when the time was right.

": >>>There was already trouble in Huronia. If that could not be recognized that it really was the main danger to the common good then it was high time it was brought to their attention. They had been sitting on the fence for way too long. The question had an answer and Magua knew what it was."

But again, Magua wasn't acting for the benefit of his people. He was serving his own interest. Trouble in Huronia could of course be traced back to the Iroquoian "dispersal" ... They made a stand with the French and stuck to it. I don't know if you could call that sitting on the fence. Everyone needed and courted allies during those fine turbulent years of colonialism. I don't think Magua was offering answers or a wake up call. He was not a Pontiac or Tecumseh. He was a bitter man willing to bring down bloodshed on his people if need be, to obtain his most coveted achievement. Revenge.

": >>>Both Sachems and war leaders held their place only as long as they were sucessful in their leadership and adequate response to perceived needs. If Magua believed their response to the danger they were in was lacking he had a right to challange it. (If he had been Shawnee his scorn would have been accompanied by a universally understood backward salute.) If they are not ready to see the truth then he would recruit elsewhere (to add to the football team that followed him around.) and prepare for the mother of all fights."

This is all true. I do not disagree with your scenario. However, Magua was not responding to a danger, nor was he challenging the Sachem for the common good. He wanted the Sachem to bless his actions and share in his glory.

": >>>I would argue that he was an intellegent, formidable and worthy opponent (antagonist), and not the villain. "

Ah! A cheap shot. I already corrected my inexcusable, reprehensible, criminal miswording in a follow-up. But, thank you nonetheless!
Yes, intelligent, formidable, and worthy opponent (antagonist) ... And in literary lingo, a villain.

": : Not a dang lawyer? I know, but you'd be very good.

: >>>The Ally McBeel of the frontier? "

Sure, why not? Frontier Ally saves Mingo's backside and sues Yangeese Hawkeye for damages!

": : Elaine
: : (Who is known to be a Huron-phile)

: Your partner in crime,
: Victoria"

It is an honor to wreak havoc in the wilderness with you! Get those bon fires lit ...


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