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MonkeyNotes-The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
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OVERALL ANALYSES

CHARACTERS

Hawkeye or Natty Bumppo

Hawkeye has been the hero of several of James Fenimore Cooper's books, The Pathfinder and The Deerslayer included. In The Last of the Mohicans, the relationship between Hawkeye and Chingachgook form the crux of the book.

His physical description aptly paints a picture of the man. He is well muscled, tan and sunburnt, with a "quick, keen, and restless" eye and an "expression of sturdy honesty." Hawkeye is extremely brave and practical. Every time the Indians capture the women, he, along with the Mohicans, is there to rescue them.

A keen admirer of Indian skills and intelligence, Hawkeye is nonetheless very loyal to England and the Queen. An excellent tracker, he is almost as good as the Indians with his keen senses of sight and hearing. An adroit hunter, he has no problems finding food and is not fussy about what he eats. His friendship with the Mohicans, as well as with Duncan, is strong and unbreakable. When his friends are in peril, he rushes to their aid without giving any thought to his own safety.

He greatly admires Chingachgook and listens to everything that he says with keen interest. Indeed, he shares an almost magical rapport with him. He praises and admires Uncas, whom he regards as almost a son. For his skills as a fighter and a hunter he is known as La Longue Carabine -- The Long Rifle -- among the Indians.


Chingachgook

He is a very wise and philosophic man belonging to the Mohican tribe. He is the father of Uncas. His knowledge of history, especially that of the conquest of the white man in America, is extensive. He is proud of his Indian heritage and is scornful of the whites. An expert hunter and tracker, he can identify animals by their footmarks or Indians by their hair tufts.

Chingachgook is stoic and is calm even when facing death. He is a man of action but also a shrewd strategist. He does not rush into battle but thinks carefully before he acts. The group always relies on his word of advice. He is also looked at with awe and respect.

He and Hawkeye are like two sides of a coin. Though they disagree on occasion, they have an unbreakable bond. Chingachgook knows he can depend on Hawkeye and vice versa. When in battle his calm yet musical voice steadies the nerves of the group.

Chingachgook is proud of his son Uncas, who, as he says, is the "last of the Mohicans." When Uncas dies in the battle, he mourns his death silently. He breaks down in the end and is consoled by Hawkeye, who reassures him that he will always be there for him.

Uncas

He is the son of Chingachgook and the last of the Mohicans. Uncas is a young warrior who is very graceful and unrestrained in his attitudes and movements. His features are high and haughty, and his dark and fearless eyes are extremely calm and alert.

Uncas is an expert hunter. No prey ever escapes his arrows or knife. An even more adroit tracker, he is able to get the scent of Magua and the Hurons even on a cold trail. He is extremely chivalrous, coming to the assistance of Cora and Alice whenever they are in trouble. Though he is drawn to Cora, he does not say anything to her. The women are safe with him, as he never makes any frightening or threatening gestures.

Uncas is noble warrior who is a keen fighter and strategist. His forays in battle help the group several times. An alert guard, he can sense intruders from a great distance. His heroism outplays every other character in the book. He has great respect for his father, waiting to speak until he has his permission.

His death is as courageous and dignified as his life. He gives away his life to rescue Cora. Hawkeye mourns especially hard his death for he feels that a warrior like Uncas is seen only once in a lifetime.

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