Re: A Strong Alice

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Posted by Kathy S on August 08, 1998 at 11:25:19:

Rich, in answer to you point about the seeming lack of fortitude Alice presented at Massacre Valley, I just don't agree. Both women ran and huddled. Cora used the gun(was it the one she had put in her pocket earier?), and she bashed the Indian who grabbed Alice. So she gets high marks for defending Alice.

I find it interesting that when Cora is about to get her throat slit, she behaves just like the "timid" Alice. She doesn't move, scream, try to wriggle free. Just sits and hopes her protector, Hawkeye, will get to her in time.

More than Uncas, Cora is Alice's protector. That this is her job. She is Alice's surrogate mother. Cora's character is revealed partly in her devotion to Alice, This motherly side softens her sometimes pushy demeanor.

It always helps in a crisis if people can "do something". It makes one feel less helpless in the face of adversity. Cora always has something to do, take care of Alice. This role brings out her strength and softness at the same time.

One more point about Alice. I believe that Cora and Colonel Munro were guilty of overprotecting Alice. She was sheltered and kept in the dark, time and time again. She asks her father a direct question, "What will happen here, Papa". He evades the question. Cora tells Hawkeye to "say nothing to Alice". Seems there was a pattern of treating her like a child. Alice really did not know what was happening most of time. And the people she loved the most were dishonest with her. So rather than thinking of Alice as weak and lacking fortitude, how about the possibility that Cora was controlling and overbearing? Just another way of looking at the very loving relationship between the sisters.

Kathy S

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