James Fenimore Cooper lived in a time of Indians, prejudice, and the Great Frontier. Many people of his time did not understand the ways of the Indians and frontier life, so they created a taboo and stereotypical view that Indians were brutal, lesser people and that the frontier life was for savages. Back then the ideal life was not that of a woodsman but that of a sociable noble, with high honor and values. Though Cooper shared some of the same values and ideas, he held an admiration for the frontier, wilderness and the woodsman. It seemed as though he believed in white supremacy to an extent but at the same time held a view of awe and respect for Native Americans. This ambivalence towards racism between Whites and Indians is shown numerously throughout the book and it is also apparent that Cooper held responsibility, determination, honor, and courage in high regard. Cooper showed his belief in the superiority of the white race through mainly through the characters of Alice and Duncan. Right away Cooper shows how Alice, the younger of the two Munro daughters, feels about Indians in this quote. "Not a voice was heard among them; but a slight exclamation proceeded from the younger of the females, as the Indian runner glided by her, unexpectedly
her veil also was allowed to open its folds, and betrayed an indescribable look of pity, admiration, and horror, as her dark eye followed the easy motions of the savage"(8-9). He is showing that Alice is repulsed but Magua and feels that the Indian is lesser than her, or as he calls Magua a "savage" as he does a lot with the Indians in the book. At the beginning of the book Cooper portrays Duncan as the cliché courageous British gentleman who is with the girls not just for company but to protect them from the savage Indians that will kill them without second thought. But his agreement of with white supremacy and view on honor is greatest show at the surrender of Fort William Henry. The French let the British...
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