What are some characteristics of Hawkeye from The Last of the Mohicans?

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In The Last of the Mohicans, Hawkeye is the quintessential American hero. He is the precursor to the figure of the cowboy or even the private eye of hardboiled detective fiction in that he occupies a liminal social space between law and lawlessness. He belongs neither to the wilderness...

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In The Last of the Mohicans, Hawkeye is the quintessential American hero. He is the precursor to the figure of the cowboy or even the private eye of hardboiled detective fiction in that he occupies a liminal social space between law and lawlessness. He belongs neither to the wilderness nor civilization entirely and can go between both, though he is predisposed toward the former.

Hawkeye is an expert marksman. He can survive in the wilderness alone and is able to hunt and cook for himself. He can track both animals and people.

While Hawkeye can work with other people, he is at heart a loner. He never shows any romantic or sexual interest in women, so it can be assumed he does not plan on raising a family like most people in the so-called civilized world do.

When it comes to relations with the Native Americans, Hawkeye is complicated. He respects certain native traditions, such as preferring oral to written knowledge, and yet he insists that natives and white people cannot ever intermix or live together. When Cora and Uncas die and Munro claims that one day they shall all meet again as equals in heaven in spite of racial differences, Hawkeyes sneers at this:

"To tell them this," he said, "would be to tell them that the snows come not in the winter, or that the sun shines fiercest when the trees are stripped of their leaves."

So even though Hawkeye is different from the other European characters, separating himself from certain traditions of white culture, he still holds certain racist ideals which link him very firmly to them.

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Hawkeye is the hero of the book The Last of the Mohicans. He has the ability to live in the wilderness and eschew the trappings of white culture, although he is a white man.

Hawkeye uses tactics acquired from the Indians, but his family taught him to shoot, and he is an excellent marksman, outdoorsman, and frontiersman. He knows everything about tracking animals and people, building a fire, cooking, skinning animals, and perfect frontier dress for that period. He is also skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

To Hawkeye, you don't own land anymore than you own the sky. He cares not for education, relying instead on the wilderness and forest, which are some of his teachers.

His best friends and companions, Chingachgook and Uncas, are Indian. He rejects some of the ways of the white man such as book writing, preferring the oral tradition where witnesses may correct details of accounts given in person. On the other hand, Hawkeye and Chingachgook pride themselves on being unmixed men. What makes Hawkeye a unique character is the fact that he is a white man who is said to take counsel in the Mohicans' customs. He is also known for his marksmanship, which earns him the title of the "longue carabine."

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Throughout The Last of the Mohicans Hawkeye is characterized as a man existing between two worlds. He is neither part of the white culture he was born into, nor is he part of the Native American world, like his constant companions Uncas and Chingachgook. Instead, he is the quintessential American frontiersman, living apart from the typical societal norms of his time. He is described as "a man without a cross," meaning he was not part of Christian society. As he repeats throughout the story, he has no allegiance to the English, but he is not a Mohican either. He is a purely independent man loyal only to himself and his closest friends.

Unlike the other Europeans in the story, Hawkeye is completely at home in the wilderness. He is confident in his tracking and survival skills. He rejects the trappings of white society and has no respect for military protocol or traditional education. However, he is virtuous and frequently risks his life to protect the vulnerable. This is true in this book with his safeguarding of the Munro women, but also true in the other books in the Leatherstocking Tales.

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Hawkeye is portrayed as the ideal American frontiersman. He is brave, skillful, and rugged, but he is also civilized. He makes a point throughout the book of reminding everyone that he is not an Indian by blood, demonstrating a racial consciousness that would have been typical of his time, and certainly of James Fenimore Cooper's nineteenth century. His role throughout the book is that of a guide, but he also protects the Munro sisters. He is very close to Chingachgook, who considers him essentially as family. Cooper describes his physical characteristics in Hawkey's first appearance in the book:

The frame of the white man...was like that of one who had known hardships and exertion from his earliest youth. The eye of the hunter, or scout...was small, quick, keen, and restless, roving while he spoke...his countenance was not only without guile, but...charged with an expression of sturdy honesty.

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