Re: Loving the Deerslayer

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Posted by Gayle on November 25, 1999 at 17:03:21:

In Reply to: Loving the Deerslayer posted by Collin on November 25, 1999 at 10:12:35:

: Greetings to all,
: I am really enjoying The Deerslayer. I've just started chapter 8. Where is everyone else in the story; what portion is coming-up for discussion. Ayesha and I are about to head out the door for Thanksgiving weekend, so I'll check back on Monday regarding the timing of any dialog.

: Collin

Hi Collin!

Interesting that you should post, and glad that you did. Chris and I just got through exchanging E-mail puzzlement over the fact that, though The Deerslayer is supposedly the penultimate in masculine adventure hero stories, it seems to be garnering interest from only female readers. It will be a definite advantage to have some male perspective on the book, so if you are reading along with us, that is GREAT!

We pulled off a bit, since we expected the DVD release to generate a lot of interest and conversation. I think everybody's mind was so focused in anticipation of what it would bring that nothing else kept our interest for a while there. However, now that we have The Deerslayer well underway, we do need to pick it up and move it along.

Let's see - - first a brief recap:

Henry March and Natty Bumppo have arrived at Otsego Lake. They have explored Muskrat Castle and then set out for the southern end of the lake to find the Hutter family.

They located the Hutters secreted on the ark at the mouth of the Susquehanna, made the acquaintance of Judith (the love interest and moral problem), Hetty (a pretty sharp observer in spite of her characterization as mentally deficient), and Thomas Hutter (a thorough miscreant, but with strangely redeeming tenderness toward his daughters).

In a sudden and chaotic set-to with a Huron war party, the group displayed some rough and ready frontier ingenuity and got themselves safely back to the Castle. Harry and Hutter decided to retrieve the canoes they had stashed on the shore, to prevent the Hurons from getting them, and since they were going to be out and about anyway, decided to make the most of their time by taking a few scalps in the process. Here's where we see Natty setting himself up for his first touch of hypocrisy, as he sermonizes about the un-Christian act of scalping and refuses to participate.

Hutter and Harry get themselves captured, and Natty is left to get the extra canoes back to the Castle and to protect the Hutter girls from attack. With the implied role of Hero of the Book firmly established, he promptly lays himself down in the canoe and goes to sleep and lets himself and the two other canoes float up the lake to within reach of a Huron warrior waiting on the north shore.

We now are spectators to Natty Bumppo's defining moment of fame, in which he wins his manhood by killing a human being for the first time, but doing it in a thoroughly Christian manner - and the world gains HAWKEYE.

So, Collin and all our Deerslayer readers - please add your ideas here. To what extent have the characters captured your interest, and do we have any potential heros or heroines here?

The next chapters will bring us Hist O Hist (Uncas's mother), Chingachgook, and an expanded look at Hetty Hutter, who may just turn out to be sharper than Cooper has led us to believe.


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