The Last of the Mohicans: Life, Race, and Human Relations

Topics: Wyandot, Character, Mahican Pages: 4 (1578 words) Published: November 20, 2006
The major theme of Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans in relation to the allegoric nature of the novel's climax and to its denouement is the lesson of revenge. The antagonist of the novel, Magua, was a former soldier in Munro's army. During that time his taste for whisky, or "firewater", causes him to be punished by a brutal horsewhipping and he looses his dignity. This dent to the pride of Magua sets him on the path of the declared vengeance towards Colonel Munro and his bloodline in his two daughters. Cooper brings the reader down the twisted path of revenge with Magua. It will be up to the fortitude of two daughters and two sons to outlast Magua's lust for retribution. The children of Colonel Monro and Chingachgook, the noble Mohican father, strive at every attempt to serve notice to Magua that revenge is never a straight line.

The protagonist of the novel is no single person, but rather a group of the good characters consisting of a British Major Duncan, the frontier scout Hawkeye, the British daughters Cora and younger Alice, Uncas, Chingachgook, and David. Each of these characters proved throughout the novel to be brave and loyal to each other. The antagonist, Magua, wishes to capture Munro's daughters and make Cora his wife in order to fulfill his revenge on the man that has previously mistreated him. Unfortunately for Magua, the protagonists had formed their tight nit group and fought off him and the Huron tribe with courage and triumph. Because of the protagonist's efforts and success, Magua's plan of revenge on Colonel Munro is continually ruined, and therefore they too became a mission of Magua's vengeance.

The climax of The Last of the Mohicans occurs in Chapter 32. After a fierce battle in which the protagonists and the Delawares defeat Magua and the Hurons, Magua and two of his men escape with Cora and are tracked to the edge of a cliff. When Cora refuses to continue on and with revenge still running hot through his blood, Magua...
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