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The Deerslayer

By | Jan. 2013
Page 1 of 3
5-7
AP Junior English
1/10/13
The Deerslayer
“The Deerslayer,” the first novel in the “Leatherstocking Tales” chronologically, yet it was the last one written by James Fenimore Cooper. “The Deerslayer”, also known as “The First War-Path”, is a masterpiece of suspense, adventure, and romance crafted by James Cooper in his later years. The tales of Natty Bumppo, more commonly known as Deerslayer or Leatherstocking, considered by many to be some of the earliest true American novels.

Occurring during the early 1740 is as the wars between the French and Indians kindled, the story of Natty Bumppo begins. Lake Otsego, known by the characters as Lake Glimmerglass, in upstate New York is the home of the events that transpire in our tale. Described by Deerslayer as “A broad sheet of water, so placid and lipid that it resembled a bed of pure mountain atmosphere, compressed into a setting of hills and woods,” (pg 28). Glimmerglass measured at a length of almost three leagues and an irregular breadth of a half or more. The lake containing indented bays and many low projecting points broke the margin surrounding it. From a quarter mile into the lake from the closest coast stands the home of Tom Hutter, also known as Floating Tom, the Musket Castle. The castle built on a long and narrow shoal, which extended in a north to south direction for a few hundred yards, is only reachable by cone. The forest that surrounds the lake is luscious, dark, rich, and mysterious.

Natty Bumppo a paleface, a white person, who from an early age was raised in the ways of the Delaware Indians. Deerslayer, Natty, has high morals which he tributes to his gifts and nature. The extents of his morals are displayed when he had a chance to kill a deer and he does not. When confronted by Hurry Harry on why he did not kill the deer, Deerslayer responds with “I may be a slayer, it’s true, but I’m no slaughterer” (pg 49), even though Natty received his name, Deerslayer, form his ability to hunt with a...

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