Posted by MMMMarcia on March 05, 2000 at 11:00:05:
In Reply to: Book Club - The Deerslayer posted by Gayle on March 05, 2000 at 09:09:41:
Well now, I can't resist! I didn't read The Deerslayer as part of this discussion group, or with an eye to analyzing it later, and some time (more than a year) has passed since I finished it, so my recollections could be a bit foggy...BUT...as I seem to remember my impressions while reading, they were very close to what Kate is saying. I never felt that Judith really loved anyone but Hawkeye, though that "love" didn't have much of a chance to develop. I think she realized that her attraction to the other "gentleman" was a shallow one, and I thought she saw in Deerslayer a simple honesty and integrity that was missing in most of the men she knew. She was learning to value that very much. I think she really WANTED a man who had those qualities and who would treasure the woman he finally grew to love, and I think she hoped against all odds that Hawkeye would see the possibility of a real relationship growing between them.
As for Deerslayer, himself, my feeling was he was just too callow and unformed yet to think beyond discovering himself. He seemed to have a very naive idea of femininity and no clue whatsoever about love. But I could see the conflict in his mind of residing in two worlds while not totally belonging to either one. Cooper seems to set him up so that we will want to know how or IF he ever resolves that conflict, especially as regards finding a mate. I found myself wondering if he had met Judith Hutter at a different point in his life, would things have taken another turn? He needed a great deal more wisdom than he was displaying in Deerslayer to understand what she was offering him, and appreciate the fact that it probably could have worked. I honestly think there was more to Judith than pretty clothes, even if she hadn't totally discovered everything about herself, either.
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