Re: Mr. Squeaky Clean

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Posted by Gayle on August 19, 1998 at 12:16:09:

In Reply to: Re: Mr. Squeaky Clean posted by JC on August 19, 1998 at 11:04:14:

: : I therefore say he is not the "total hero" just as Magua is not the "total villain", as some of you think. I think that we should reexamine his words at the Huron Village. His loyalties are suspect, and his words, which infected our minds against Magua, were twisted.

: Victoria,
: I wasn't in on this conversation, but what you are saying makes a lot of sense to me. Especially when you tie it in with what Gayle and Elaine and the others were saying yesterday about Cooper's Hawkeye and how he always made the reference of being "a man without a cross". I think it was Gayle that said he didn't want to be put in the position where he would have to choose between his friends and his own race (if I understood what Gayle was saying correctly!) If this is true, Hawkeye and Magua are not so different.

: JC

JC and Victoria,

We're getting into really muddy waters here. This is another of our rounds in which we're interpreting fiction which is an interpretation of a revision of somebody else's fiction. However, on the "man without a cross" issue, you've made an interesting point about Mann's Hawkeye and Magua not being so different.

Both Cooper characters were exiled from their own tribes, so to speak. Magua had been exiled by his tribe for treachery, while Hawkeye exiled himself from society in general because he couldn't make sense of so-called "civilization". However, it takes the context of the entire Leatherstocking saga to define Cooper's Hawkeye, while Mann's Hawkeye must be presented and given a context of his own in a single 2-hour movie

My take on the Mann Hawkeye is that he is a more modern, and therefore less fastidious hero. Also, there seem to be some contradictions in him which Mann may or may not have intended. I think the best thing is just to take him as a romantic hero of an exciting adventure story and not try to ascribe to him social or political characteristics which a 2-hour movie cannot begin to accomodate. Love him at face value.


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