Re: Dear Mohicanland Trekker...Uncas/ Natty

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Posted by Gayle on November 06, 1999 at 17:37:55:

In Reply to: Re: Dear Mohicanland Trekker...Uncas/ Natty posted by Dana S. on November 06, 1999 at 15:59:16:

: :
: : : : I just wonder how easy it would have been for a prime and proper lady from England to just lay down on the ground and sleep.

: : :
: : : Hello all,
: : : My first thought when watching that scene was, what about chiggers, or poison ivy? Or "bugs" or snakes?
: : : Chris

: :
: : The circumstances being what they were, her only other choice was to stand up all night. What surprises me is that, while in the book, Hawkeye and Uncas positively competed with each other to construct warm and comfortable beds of grass and branches and leaves for Cora and Alice, both in the caves at Glenns and in the blockhouse by the spring, in the movie neither Alice nor Cora were attended to at all when it came time to find a bed. The first concern of all the men in the book was to see that the "gentle ones" were as protected as possible, and that the rigors of the situation should not wear too harshly on them. Cora I could see making do, but I found it hard to believe that even she didn't make a bed of some sort for Alice - and even more surprising that Alice didn't whine about it.

: : Gayle

: The caves at Glenns is where Uncas prepared their food, wasn't it? If I remember rightly, that's where Uncas was first described as noble. At this point in the book, I thought of Uncas as being very gentle and tender. Did Uncas take the place of Natty, since Natty had morphed into Hawkeye.

: I thought this gentle side of Uncas came across well in the movie, even though the situations in which the tenderness was shown were different.

: Dana S.

That's a GOOD question about Uncas taking the place of Natty, since Natty had morphed into Hawkeye. I'm going to kind of roll with my thinking here, so just bear with me.

My sense is that (and we're talking about the book characters here) yes, Uncas was as gentle and innocent as Natty had been in "The Deerslayer". In "The Last of The Mohicans", the fifteen intervening years had hardened Natty. He was still true to manly duty, in that he attended assiduously to all the necessities for the females who were under his care, but he no longer had SENTIMENTS for anyone other than Chingachgook and Uncas.

In "The Last of The Mohicans", Hawkeye saw himself as a sort of adoptive uncle or godfather to his best friend's son, but even in his role as mentor and teacher of Uncas, he no longer displayed the tenderness or compassion of his younger years. He was patronizing and sarcastic and critical of the boy's mistakes, even though he made some really serious and almost fatal mistakes himself, while Uncas displayed remarkable self-discipline, patience and sagacity (even moreso than Natty had displayed at the Glimmerglass). I find it strange that Cooper sandwiched in a personality change like that for Hawkeye between his gentleness in "The Deerslayer" and his ultimate domestic cravings and vulnerability in "The Pathfinder". Still, I suppose, when you think of it, the 1750s were a nasty decade to live through, and Hawkeye was reflecting (I think) very realistic behavior for a man in his circumstances.


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