Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
The Last of the Mohicans, written by James Fenimore Cooper, does not have a traditional plot structure, as the plot revolves around action. None of the characters are developed, for the tale is action-oriented.
In this novel, Cooper brings in his two favorite characters from the Leatherstocking tales, Natty Bumppo (Hawkeye) and Chingachgook, to play major roles in the book. However, both these characters are merely a part of the adventure saga and do not have the plot revolving around them. Uncas, the man after whom the book is named, also fits into the story as part of the action, though, again, he is not the center of the tale. Although the characters are brave and virtuous, they are not epic heroes, but ordinary mortals involved in an adventure saga. Action is the essence of the novel and the characters are merely incidental.
There are three progressive series of action or "chases" in the novel. The first starts almost from the Chapter 1 and builds through Chapter 11. The protagonists discover Magua's treachery and make a desperate attempt to escape from him and his associates. Cora, Alice and Duncan are captured, however. The climax of this chase takes place in Chapter 11, when Hawkeye and Uncas begin their rescue. This is followed by a period of strange calm. The second progressive action encompasses Magua's capture of Cora and Alice in Chapter 17 and continues through Chapter 25, when Alice is rescued. Peace takes place in Chapter 26. Chapter 27 deals again with the kidnapping of Cora, which leads to the climax in Chapter 32, in which both Cora and Uncas die. This definitively concludes the action.