Re: The Last of the Mohicans, The Sequel?????

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Posted by Gayle on October 04, 1999 at 19:45:05:

In Reply to: The Last of the Mohicans, The Sequel????? posted by Karrie Wendt on October 04, 1999 at 14:23:45:

: In my "History to 1865" class, my Fabu instructor has given us,( his students), the opportunity to view "The Last of the Mohicans". Upon completion of the video, he has given us a take home quiz with four questions about the movie.
: #1 According to the movie, what caused the American Revolution?
: #2 According to the movie, what are the main characteristics of "The Frontier"? What role does the Frontier play in the movie?
: #3 Compare Hawkeye and Magua. Are they stereotypes? What are the
: strengths and/or weaknesses in the characterization of each?
: #4 What happens next? What is "The Rest of the Story"?

: Well, I only wish that I had Mr. Cooper here to swap ideas with. My teacher is an excellant teacher, (and I think he wants the ideas so maybe he can collaborate with one of us and write a sequel), and I do like the idea of a take home quiz.

: This movie was an excellant portrayal of the way the U.S. was back then. I was taken in by it's realistic qualities. I am glad I am not Alice, but would give my eye teeth to have been Madeline Stowe!

: I thank everyone who has taken out the time for this website. It is a privilege to take part in this event.

: I remain, Karrie Wendt

Dear Karrie,

At first I was not going to respond to this post, since I thought it was a put-on. However, as a serious student of James Fenimore Cooper and the history of the 1700s, I would like to make a couple of points about the movie and the subject of sequels.

1. Although the Massacre at Fort William Henry was magnificently portrayed in the movie, as were the roles played by Montcalm and Webb in bringing it about, the rest of the movie is pure Hollywood and bears little resemblance to the 1700s Cooper described (writing in the early 1800s) or to his novel. To learn about history, you must read history books, and preferably ones written by people who lived within 50 years of the events described. Otherwise, you are subject to history as viewed through the changed perceptions of modern thinking.

2. If your teacher envisions himself writing a sequel to movie, it has already been done several times and is always self-defeating as a pretense at an "historical" novel. It can only be a 1990s sequel to a 1990s movie. On the other hand, if he were to write a sequel to the Cooper novel, that has already been done, too, by Cooper himself, so there isn't much one could say.

All in all, love the movie for itself - it is grand, and it is Hollywood at its most qualitative! But don't confuse it with either Cooper's writing or the "realities" of the frontier. And please study some actual history books about the frontier during the French and Indian Wars.


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