Posted by Tim on December 28, 2000 at 16:34:41:
In Reply to: Re: The Major's sacrifice posted by Bill R on December 28, 2000 at 14:51:09:
: : : It strikes me in one sense that the Major's sacrifice was not just for Cora, but for her sister Alice, and Hawkeye. As the Huron Chief could have easily have decided to have burned Alice. She is in once sense ungrateful for the Major's sacrifice. He gave his life not just for Cora, but he would have done it for Alice with out doubt. Why? chivalry. Then, Alice goes and throws herself off a cliff. I could be wrong, but committing suicide does seem a tad ungrateful after someone roasted alive for you.
: : : Regards
: : : Ben
: : Hello, Ben!
: : Hmmm.... I never thought of that Duncan gave himself for Alice, too. And I believe no one ever considered this, either. Hmmm. Yes, having been brought up with the tenets of chivalry.... hmmm. It's possible, though I am still convinced that his primary concern was Cora. Though if it had been Alice alone... yes, he would have done the same thing. True.
: : Have a Happy New Year!
: Hi Ben,
: The much misunderstood phrase spoken by the Major just as he is being led away tells it all. No, he didn't say, "my corns hurt sir" as some humorously understood him to say. He said, in fact, "My compliments sir, take her and go". The important word being "her" not "them". That makes it pretty clear that his intent was to save Cora from the fire. Essentially, the sachem had just spared everyone BUT Cora (must have come as a bloody shock to HER you might imagine!) and Cora was the Major's love interest. In the book, Alice (really Cora in the book - they were switched) is portrayed as rather fey i.e. a slice short of a full loaf. Given the horrors she had seen and experienced it is understandable that somebody already "on the edge" might go over the edge both figuratively and literally. :)
: Bill R
That's interesting; I havent read the book. That would be a good project for me.
I realize we're talking about fictional characters here, but I would speculate that Major Duncan understod that even if he negotiated the freedom of the whole lot of them it was not going to be over. They were all a long way from home and he himself did not posess the skills to get them back. Hawkeye had the only chance of overcoming Magua and the wilderness that was ahead of them. I think his heart would of been with Cora, natually, but I believe Duncan was considering many things. He had a more complicated personality and stronger character when it came down to it.
Also, for the record. Everyone, the British, the French, the Huron, and most likely the Mohican too, were all up to some nasty business. Magua was a bad guy not because he was Huron. He was bad because he was "ate up" with racial hatred and he could not get enough revenge. Hey, that's the same thing that still goes on today - what do ya know!
Peace you guys,
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