Last of the Mohicans

Character list:

  • Hawkeye, also called Nathaniel, adopted Mohican
  • Uncas, his Mohican brother
  • Chingachgook, their Mohican fathe
  • Cora Munro,  stronger, darker-haired sister
  • Alice Munro, weaker, blonde sister
  • Colonel Munro, also called “the Gray Hair,”
  • Magua, Native American scout for British;
    Lies and says he’s Mohawk; is actually Huron
  • General Montcalm, the French general
  • John Cameron, and family, friends of the Mohicans
  • Jack Winthrop, civilian militia ‘leader’
  • the Sachem, leader of the Huron Indians

The video presents a Romantic or idealized view of early America. Author James Fenimore Cooper wrote about the French and Indian War in 1826, more than 65 years after it had ended, comparable to writing about WWII today. He use the war as a backdrop for scenes of greatness: great courage, great treachery, and great love.

Your task is to select one aspect of the film and trace how that aspect has been presented as better than it really was. Choose one of the topics listed below:

  • Native Americans (esp. beliefs, abilities)
  • Colonial America (esp. attitudes of colonialists)
  • Women (Compare / contrast Alice & Cora. How might both seem unrealistic?)
  • Duncan (esp. love for Cora)
  • Natural beauty of America (All those forests and no bears?

As you watch the video, make a list of details that you suspect have been idealized or made unrealistically better than they were.  When the video is finished, your task will be to consider what purpose Cooper might have had in romanticizing America’s past.

Characters and plot points will be on the final exam.