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During the 19th century, one central idea of concern for many American writers was the identity of the American hero. Of the many writers, James Fenimore Cooper believed that stereotypical American hero should be “nature man,” a man of wilderness. By creating Natty Bumppo, a character who was at one with nature, Cooper tried to shape the readers conceptions of what nature and wilderness meant to them. During this time, Nathaniel Hawthorne created another type of American hero in his short story “, The Birthmark”; Aylmer who was at one with science shaped different conceptions of nature to the readers. By looking at how each man was shaped in his mind by nature, his reaction to the nature, and the consequence of the choice he makes, readers can see why the two American heroes greatly contrasted in shaping readers’ mind about nature.

Since Cooper was a serious nature writer, he was also very interested in writing about frontiers. By setting the characters in the New York wilderness and using the frontier idea as the core of the story, Cooper creates a great American hero type: the wilderness and frontier man. Cooper’s story, The Pioneers takes place at the settlement of Templeton in central New York, some fifty miles west of Albany. Cooper creates his characters and places them at Templeton located in New York’s vast plain to start their own settlement. However, even before all these characters settles in this vast land, there was “a hunter who was among the earliest white settlers on the frontier and was already a kind of relic at the start of the novel” (987); his name is Natty Bumppo who represented a perfect man associated with nature. When Natty was a wilderness scout in the British colony of New York at the time of French and Indian War, he met Chingachgook, a Native American, and this influenced Natty Bumppo a lot as it showed often in his life: his cabin of logs was “built against the foot of a rock, and bearing the marks of a tenant” (991) and when...
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