Re: Mohicans

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Posted by Gayle on March 24, 1999 at 12:57:23:

In Reply to: Re: Mohicans posted by Pat on March 24, 1999 at 12:46:22:

: : : : : What is the proper name of the person who is believed to be the last
: : : : : Mohican??

: : : And, of course, if you are referring to the Michael Mann movie, rather than the books, Chingachgook refers to HIMSELF as the last of the Mohicans.

: : : MMMMarcia

: : I don't remember that specifically, but why would he do that? He wasn't a man who overlooked the existence of his son, certainly. I wonder - was that a slip on the part of the script writers? On the other hand, once Uncas was dead, yes, Chingachgook was the last. When did his reference to himself as the last come?

: : Gayle

: Ken, Marcia, Rich and Gayle,

: I always felt that Chingachgook was lamenting the fact that not only his family ended with the death of his son, but his entire tribe ended, also. He was left alone on this earth - the last of his people. To me it is a metaphor for the destruction of an entire race of people - the American Indian. When Chingachgook refers to himself as "the last of the Mohicians" it is sad on the human level because of the loss of his beloved son. It is catastrophic on a larger scale because of the loss of his tribe and, on an even larger scale, the decimation of a race of people. To me, it is the sadist moment of the movie and what it was all about.
: Did anyone else feel this way or am I treading water alone?
: Pat


I agree with you that that sentiment is the essence of both the book and the movie. Cooper did not, I believe, have any sense that the Mohican Tribe would continue to exist in any form, since he was unaware of what may have happened to descendants as they were pushed out by colonialization. Therefore his concept of Last of the Mohicans carries more of a sense of final doom than the future actually bore out. Nonetheless, to all intents and purposes, none of the Indian tribes survived in the grand and original forms, so he was sort of prophetic after all. Mann had the advantage of knowing that, genetically at least, descendants of the Mohican tribe still survive, but the impact of the idea is still there, and he used it well in the movie.


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