Re: 4 themes of LOTM book

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Posted by Gayle on April 08, 1999 at 11:25:50:

In Reply to: Re: 4 themes of LOTM book posted by DQ on April 05, 1999 at 16:19:33:

DQ wrote:
: One theme I selected is that even though Heyward, Hawkeye, Chingachgook, and Uncas are very different culturally and physically, they could put that aside and work together towards the common cause of rescuing the girls and tracking down Magua.

Hi, DQ!

That's an excellent choice. The willingness or unwillingness of people to work together toward a common end in spite of their differences is a theme Cooper focused on throughout all five books of The Leatherstocking Tales. In LOTM you can see it in Webb's refusal to send men and supplies to Munro; in Magua's cooperation with Montcalm; in the semi-truce between the Iroquois and Delaware camps, each of which held one of the sisters captive toward the end of the book, and in a number of other examples.

However, focusing on the four characters you named, what are you planning to highlight as the particular differences among them that you see as obstacles to their working together (other than the fact that Hawkeye thought Heyward was a real nerd for trusting Magua to guide him in the first place)?

One of the major reasons Hawkeye was willing to help Heyward is a bit obscure because the story behind it is actually covered in another of the books in the set, but this may be of some help to you: In Hawkeye's first conversation with Heyward (Chapter 4) he refers to a Major Effingham of the 60th Regiment (Royal Americans). Before Hawkeye was adopted by the Delawares, he had been raised as a servant in the household of Major Effingham. As an orphaned child he developed a case of hero worship for the Major, and throughout his life he considered himself honored by his attachment to that officer. Thus, when Heyward identified himself as an officer of the 60th, Hawkeye automatically volunteered his services. (There are five "Hawkeye" books in The Leatherstocking Tales series - "The Deerslayer", "Last of the Mohicans", "The Pathfinder", "The Pioneers", and "The Prairie". The details on Major Effingham and his mentorship of Hawkeye are contained in "The Pioneers", which you fully intend to read in the near future, right?


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