The Last of the Mohicans Analysis

  • The Last of the Mohicans is written from a third-person limited point of view, with the narrator relating the action of the novel without giving readers any insight into the thoughts and feelings of the characters. This point of view makes for thrilling, fast-paced storytelling but leaves little room for character development.
  • The Last of the Mohicans is the second book in James Fenimore Cooper's series of five adventure novels, the Leatherstocking Tales. Its hero, Natty Bumppo or "Hawkeye," appears in all five books. Hawkeye is a frontier scout and a tracker who travels with his best friend, Chingachgook, a Mohican chief.
  • The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 was published in 1826, almost seventy years after the events of the novel take place. The main action is set during the French and Indian War, which lasted from 1754 to 1763. Though classified as a historical novel, the book isn't entirely accurate, and Cooper took some liberties with the historical facts.

Analysis

Point of View
The Last of the Mohicans is told from a third-person limited point of view. The narration of the story explains the events and actions of the novel, but does not give insight into the characters' thoughts or motivations. The only way to gain this information is by interpreting what the dramatis personae do and say. This perspective is further limited by the centrality of Hawkeye to the narrative. With very few exceptions, Cooper limits the scope of the narration to events that directly involve Hawkeye.

At the beginning of the story, the narration and point of view follow first David Gamut, then the Munro sisters and Major Heyward. Cooper shifts the story to introduce Hawkeye, Chingachgook, and Uncas, only to lead them to the party consisting of Heyward, the Munro sisters, Gamut, and Magua. From that point, there is a minimum of interruptions of the point of view directly involving Hawkeye.

The point of view shifts to the Munro sisters and Heyward when they are captured by the Huron Indians, and follows them until they are to be killed by their captors. Once Hawkeye and the Mohicans effect their rescue, the narrative once again follows them, until the capitulation of Fort Henry to the French. At that point, during the ensuing battle between the Hurons and the English, Cooper once again focuses on the Munro sisters and Gamut as they are led away by Magua. The story then moves to Hawkeye, Colonel Munro, and Heyward as they follow the sisters and their abductor. There are only a few shifts of scene to keep the reader informed as to their fate, while Cooper mostly gives the story over to the events and actions of Hawkeye and his party.

The Historical...

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