Re: Cooper and Mohican/Lenape/Inuit Beliefs

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Posted by Gayle on October 05, 1998 at 14:11:23:

In Reply to: Re: Cooper and Mohican/Lenape/Inuit Beliefs posted by Kathy s on October 04, 1998 at 20:57:33:

Kathy wrote:

: Thanks, Gayle. I think you just provided the impetus I've needed to read the whole Leatherstocking Series. So Cooper killed off Hawkeye!

Hi, Kathy!
Actually, as the history of The Leatherstocking Tales goes, Cooper invented Natty Bumppo in the first book he wrote and killed him off in the second one. Cooper himself said he had no intention of continuing on with the character, but Natty proved so fascinating to the readers, that Cooper went back and wrote about his youth and middle age in The Deerslayer, LOTM and The Pathfinder. However, I have a serious problem with this explanation. In the first two books written, The Pioneers and The Prairie, (when Natty was an old man) all sorts of references are made to characters and events that occurred in the other three books, which hadn't been written yet! I firmly believe Cooper had Natty Bumppo and every detail of his life well mapped out well before he ever started to write The Pioneers (the first written in the series). Believe me, there are myriads of complicated, subtle details to be dovetailed in as the five books accumulate the life of The Leatherstocking, and Cooper never misses a stroke! You will be amazed by the time you finish all five books at the intricacy of the completed patterns.

: And thanks for the info on how Cooper handled the Great Change. Do you think Michael Mann's Hawkeye would have been buried facing West? I think "our" Hawkeye embraced Mohican culture so completely that he would have been insulted to be buried as a white. Just my opinion.

To be perfectly honest, I don't have a clue how Michael Mann would have handled it. Don't get me going on what Mann did to the Cooper characters. However, if the DDL Hawkeye married Cora Munro, he would have had to give up his Mohican culture and reassimilate into the white world. On the other hand, if Cora had left her place in the British social stratum to live the life of a hunter's wife, one might think the Mohican customs would prevail. We are never told which one of them gives up his/her identity at the end of the movie to make the Ever After happy.

:Now I must know EVERYTHING. I guess I'll just have read the books in order. I did read Last of the Mohicans, and enjoyed it for the most part. But, I have come to the conclusion it was a mistake to start in the middle of the series. Back to the beginning. I will try to banish DDL from my psyche, and welcome Chatty Natty with open arms and mind.

Don't banish DDL from your psyche. Frankly, he makes a perfectly good Hawkeye from a visual perspective. He certainly works for me and MMMarcia!


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