Re: Maddy vs Cora - Some Roving Reflections and Then Some!

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Posted by Ilse on October 02, 1998 at 17:09:05:

In Reply to: Re: Maddy vs Cora - Some Roving Reflections and Then Some! posted by MMMMarcia on October 02, 1998 at 16:36:54:

: Then Gayle wrote:
: : This begets a quizzical train of thought on my part - - the whole story of LOTM ( book and movie alike) deal with the two sisters, British-bred and delicately raised as they can be, being escorted through the mountains and forests from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry. The New York terrain through which they traveled was just as rigorous, if not more so, than the movie set location, yet in the 1700s, it was not uncommon for gentlewomen to make trips like that. Is it possible that a modern Hollywood belle is more delicate and pampered than the stereotypical British, elite, fainting, blushing, vapors-ridden lady of the 1700s? Have we really Come-a-Long-Way-Baby? On the other hand, Cooper may have used a bucketful of literary license, since anyone who had been raised as Cora was would not have had the physical stamina she portrayed in the book (or the movie for that matter). Nonetheless, I think she would have made the effort. Of course, helicopters weren't an option.

: >>Interesting points to ponder, Gayle. I have a theory that people were physically stronger in those days than they are today. You kinda had to be tough to survive, even if you were a well-bred gentlewoman. First you had to survive all the myriad untreatable illnesses of infancy and childhood, thus building up immunities to various diseases. Then there's the fact that life was just a lot air conditioning, no central heating in winter, no cars to take you hither and yon...even gentlewomen traveled largely by coach (an uncomfortable, tedious and exhausting ordeal) or horseback, which takes a good bit of strength. Of course, a woman of Cora's station in life would not have had to do all her laundry by hand or chop wood, pluck chickens, butcher pigs, iron clothes with flatirons heated in the fire, and bake bread from scratch every day, but had she found herself penniless at some point, those chores would have become part of her existence. I could be wrong, but I think people in those days were made of much sturdier stuff than we might realize. Those who weren't didn't survive long. The weak would have succumbed to illness or thrown themselves from a handy clifftop. Cora was young, strong, and determined, and even though her life in England had never demanded such rigors of her, she was well-equipped to handle them, I believe.

: Just my thoughts, for what they're worth. And BTW, if you should run into the Bee Holder, you might mention that he has been given his reading by that Sassy he just going to ignore it??? And what about Sassy's payment??? Tsk.

: MMMMarcia

Hi Gayle and Marcia,

This is bordering on a topic that has interested me for a long time. Why the big difference between the two sisters? Why would Alice be so fragile, and Cora be so strong, if growing up together. This is so as well as in the book as in the movie. I have been thinking about the impications of Cora being of mixed blood. This topic is sadly ignored in the movie, and I think it is although very subtle in the book, it is also very important. Now, as far as I know, over here, they mostly put it down to the fact that the attraction between Cora and Uncas (again, ver subtly in the book) could not have happened, in that time, if Cora would have been "pure white". But I also wonder if that is, in the book, the reason why Cora is so different from her sister. Maybe she had to battle prejudice a long time before that; maybe she would have learned to defend herself?

Just brainstorming?

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