Re: Duncan's sacrifice -It was Love, Indeed

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Posted by Gayle on August 09, 2000 at 19:27:39:

In Reply to: Re: Duncan's sacrifice -It was Love, Indeed posted by Kate on August 09, 2000 at 17:58:19:

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: : : : : : : : Has anyone else wondered if Duncan's sacrifice was totally selfless? I mean, he never translated Nathaniel's request to be traded and I often wondered what would have happened if the Indians did not think a British Officer was a good enough trade and Cora would have died. I mean he took a big chance considering Nathaniel was saying that his death was a "great honor to the Huron". Part of me thought that maybe he simply could not tolerate being "bested" by Nathaniel again and part of me thought that he just knew that Cora loved Nathaniel and he loved Cora so much he wanted her to just be happy and live. Again, part of me thought that maybe he felt his chances of being accepted in a trade were better than Nathaniel's which was kind of arrogant. Anyway I totally love the whole scene especially "My compliments Sir, take her and get out". Wondered if anyone else felt unsure as to what motivated Duncan...arrogance or love...

: : : : : : : Hi!

: : : : : : : This is one of my favorite scenes in the film. I believe he made the offer out of love; time was short, he did not really have the time time stop and consider every aspect of hte situation, he figured Cora would be well taken care of by Hawkeye, and of course he knew she loved him, perhaps if there had been more time, he might have paused to think that Hawkeye's chances of being accepted for the flames, was as good as his own, and he might have translated Hawkeye's offer just to raise the stakes in Cora's favor; but as I've said time was grieveously short and situation extremely fluid, he did the best thing he could do under the circumstances to save her from such a terrible end.
: : : : : : : And yes, when he said ... my compliments... sir...! ooooohhhhhh!!!!! one of the best scenes ever in film-dom, and what a badge of honor for the collective, good, human soul!
: : : : : : : And do men like him exist only in the movies?
: : : : : : : That is the next question.

: : : : : : : Vita

: : : : : : Yep.
: : : : : : Dana S.

: : : : :
: : : : : ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

: : : : : Well now Dana - I would never have marked YOU down as a cynic!! Dear dear me, what is the world coming to? Are you sure that your Bryan wouldn't leap onto your BBQ with the bangers and burgers??!!

: : : : : HM

: : : : "Bangers" wouldn't, by any chance, be hotdogs, would they? How appropriate.

: : : : Yep, Bryan sure would barby for his babe, but I SERIOUSLY doubt he would throw me into the arms of a Hawkeye-type before he took the dive.

: : : : Dana S.

: : : ~~~~~~~~~~~

: : : Yes, sorry, forgot for a moment that nobody else around here is English!! Bangers are sausages! And occasionally fireworks!

: : ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

: : I'm kinda late getting in on this discussion, but my impression was that Duncan felt he had nothing more to live for anyway. Cora had told him frankly that she could never love him, and he saw his rival about to walk off with her, leaving him desolate and heartsick. The fort had been lost to Montcalm. Colonel Munro and Alice were dead, so Duncan had not been able to salvage any honor, either personal or military, from his command. All in all, what did he have to live for, from his point of view?. He might as well go out with the last gesture of courage and honor he could make. There's a Sidney Carten in every country.

: : Gayle

: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

: Ahhhhh! Sidney Carton!! I LOVE that book!! And I believe you're right, Gayle. Sidney and Duncan share qualities which these days seem quite extraordinary!! Is honour regarded as highly these days, as it was in the 1700's? Hmmmm, ANOTHER moral question begging an answer!

: Kate.


Well, Sidney and Duncan shared the common martyr's death while yielding their love to a man that the love would have married anyway, but I think there is a difference in their approach to the whole thing. Duncan had been a worthy and decorated officer with a respected family and a background of useful contribution to his country, while Sidney was basically a reprobate. Although Duncan probably harbored a load of guilt for his inability to salvage anything from the Fort William Henry disaster and surrounding circumstances, Sidney had a whole lifetime to make up for. In the current circumstances, Duncan overlooked his value, while Sidney gave a very honest assessment when he said his final sacrifice was the best thing he had ever done.

It was easier for Duncan in the book. Munro died of grief two months after the Massacre, but Duncan did marry the girl of his dreams (Alice), and he never felt any guilt for Uncas's or Cora's deaths or for any lack of leadership or direction he might have provided in the seige of the Fort. He was a much less worthy character in the book than in the movie, but he was the only one who came out on top. The contrast between Cooper's Duncan and Mann's Duncan is really an interesting study in character treatment.


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