Posted by Kathy S on August 08, 1998 at 11:55:14:
Having read Cooper's novel, and finding so little about the relationships between the main characters to be the same as Mann's portrayal of these characters, I don't find it useful to use Cooper's writings in explaing the relationships we see in the film.
His book helped me a lot in understanding the massacre and some of the historical background. But Mann seemed to lift the characters out of the Cooper book and rewrite their story completely. There was no romance in the book, aside from Duncan's desire to marry Alice. But that was only explored in a dialogue between Duncan and Colonel Munro. Hawkeye's relationship with Chingachgook was not one of father and son, but comrades. Duncan and Hawkeye were not adversarial, especially as the novel progresses. Except for Cora and Alice, none of the bonds of the main characters was the same as what I saw in the film. The women were written as almost ethereal beings, referred to as "gentle ones". Made me sick at times.
For these reasons, I never use Cooper's writings as a basis for understanding Alice, or any of the others for that matter. I noticed from previous postings that many of you find the comparisons between the novel and film useful, but the characters seem like entirely different people to me, only the names are the same. And the story unfolds very differently, as well. Anyone else agree?
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