Last of the Mohicans
By: James Fenimore Cooper
During the 18th century French and Indian War, two sisters, Cora and Alice, set out to visit their father, Colonel Munro who's fort is under attack by the French army. The sisters are led by Major Duncan Hayward and a Huron Indian named Magua. The party encounters a white scout named Hawkeye, and two Mohicans named Chinhachgook and Uncas. They see Magua as a traitor due to his Indian heritage, and they try to capture him, but he escapes. Magua's Huron allies attack the party later the next day, capturing the two girls and their guide. Magna says he will free Alice for Cora's hand in marriage. Cora refuses him and the reader finds out that she loves Uncas. Hawkeye and the Mohicans rescue the girls after attacking and killing all of the Hurons except Magua. The girls reunite with their father at his fort later on their journey.
After a few days, Munro is faced with surrendering his fort. Hayward reveals that he wants to marry Alice, and Munro says that Cora is part African American. After the surrender, the French's Indian allies slaughter the English soldiers retreating from the fort, and Magua recaptures the two girls and a traveling companion, Gamut. Hayward, Munro, and the Mohicans follow Magua and learn that he has sent Alice to a Huron camp and Cora to a Delware camp. The group rescues Alice under disguise, and Heyward admits his love for her. The group then attempts to rescue Cora, but Magua has tricked the Delaware camp into thinking Hawkeye's group are enemies. Uncas reveals to the camp that he has lineage at the Delaware camp and demands that his friends be released, but Magua leaves with Cora and a battle erupts. The Hurons are defeated, but Cora is killed by a Huron. Uncas is stabbed by Magua, and Magua plummets to his death as he tries to escape. Cora and Unca's burial follows, and Unca is declared the last warrior of the Mohicans.
Interracial relationships: The book revolves around the difficulties of surpassing racial boundaries through Cora and Unca's love that ends in tragedy, and Cora and Magua's forced relationship that ends in tragedy and anger. But Cooper also explores mixed racial friendships through Hawkeye, a white man, and Chingachgook, a Mohican Indian's longterm bond.
Human relationship with nature: Throughout the book the Indians are described as having a closer bond with their environment as opposed to the Europeans. Nature serves as a difficulty in the book for the battles and survival of the characters on their journeys due to its unpredictability, and the area becomes extremely difficult for the Europeans to navigate and manage as they struggle through the foreign and unsettled land.
Destruction of culture: The near extinction of the Mohican tribe is evident throughout the entire book, as the culture and history of the powerful tribe is in danger of completely disappearing with the lives of the last few warriors. Cultural destruction also comes with the colonization of the land by the white settlers and their influence upon the natives and their land. The Europeans bring religion, alcohol, and persecution in their wake, bestowing foreign concepts and ideals upon the natives, causing the Indian cultures to suffer as the tribes experience instances of acculturation from the settlers.
Scene of the last battle over Cora's life in the Delaware camp and the funeral: crucial because of it's final and bloodstained ending to the story. Also, the ending lines where Tamenund calls Uncas the last of the Mohican tribe, stating, "I have lived to see the last warrior of the wise race of the Mohicans" are important because it references the title, and it provides closure for the story with a melancholy tone and suggestion of the power and fitness that was the Mohican tribe.
Second key scene: The author introduces Hawkeye and Chingachgook, immediately contrasting their appearances, thus introducing the theme of interracial friendships. The two men are also contrasted with what they are wearing. Though both men are hunters, Hawkeye wears a hunting shirt, a skin cap, and buckskin leggings; he carries a long rifle and a knife. Chingachgook is almost naked and covered in war-paint with a short rifle and tomahawk. These appearances display the extent of English influence, but Chingachgook still retains his native culture.They are lamenting how they came to inhabit the same land, thus providing background to the story and the characters.
Last of the Mohicans directed by Michael Mann (1992): The movie was well-made with good casting choices. The scenery and setting of the forest and nearby settlements were good elements to the story. The dialogue, while slow at some points, provided subtle humor and interesting interactions among the characters in the movie. The movie touches upon the history and events occurring in the time period, such as the French and Indian War. This movie has everything from adventure to war, romance, and drama. The score of the film didn't completely coincide with the events happening on screen. For example, during certain fast-paced scenes, the music in the background remained slow and steady. Also the relationships between the character of Hawkeye and Cora is different in the movie than it is portrayed in the book. They do not engage in intercourse in the book, and Cooper portrays their relationship as more of father and daughter.
New interpretation about the War in Afghanistan.
Setting: Afghanistan, 2013
Characters: Afghanistan sisters Adella and Camila
U.S. troop leader: Holmstead
Afghan refugee: Maahir (takes place of Magua)
Band of lone travelers: Hawthorn, Chaghcharan, and Uriah
Two young afghan girls, Adella and Camila, are spared by U.S. troops when the troops raid a small town. They travel with the army as they befriend the troop leader, Holmstead, who agrees to take them to their father across the desert. The group gets lost along the way and they come upon an Afghan refugee by the name of Maahir who agrees to help them on their journey. They cross paths with a band of lone travelers who are the last survivors of their hometown which was destroyed in a bombing. The travelers go by the names of Hawthorne, Chaghcharan, and Uriah who immediately accuse Maahir of deception and trickery because he led the failed attack on U.S. troop in the town of Kandahar.
Maahir captures Adella and Camila, and wishes for Camila's hand in marriage and information on the U.S. military plans for oncoming attacks. The band of travelers rescues the girls, and they make it to their father in the tiny town of Kabel that is under siege by the U.S. army. The town falls to the U.S. troops, and Maahir recaptures the girls in the midst of all of the chaos and rubble. The band of travelers follow Maahir and learn that he has sent Camila and Adella to two separate refugee shelters. The group rescues Adella, but when the group attempts to rescue Camila, they find that Maahir has tricked the camp into thinking Hawthorn's group are U.S. army spies. Uriah reveals to the refugee camp that he once lived in the same town of the refugees that was lost in bombings. They accept him, but Maahir escapes with Camila and his fellow enemy Afghans, and a battle erupts. Camila is killed by an enemy, Uriah is shot by Maahir, and Maahir plummets to his death as he tries to escape. Camila and Uriah's burial follows, and Uriah is declared the last descendent of his Afghan lineage in the town that was lost to battle.
Hawthorne: Michael Fassbender, with an American accent
Second Choice: Ewan McGregor, with an American Accent
Appearance: Long matted hair, beard, dirty face and clothes. Wears a green linen shirt with creme colored pants (both dirty and well-worn).
Personality and skills: Knowledgeable, athletic, skilled with guns and combat. Blunt, honest, and short-tempered at times.
Main scene: Hawthorne and his band of travelers encounter the U.S. troops leading Camila and Adella. This introduction conveys the usual friendship between the Afghan men and Hawthorne in such a time and place of turmoil and hostility between the two cultures.
Hawthorne will wear green linen shirt with long sleeves, and creme colored pants. He will appear dirty and weather beaten from traveling. His western clothes will contrast the traditional Afghan clothing, displaying the cultural differences and barriers between the companions.
Camila and Adella will wear traditional Afghanistan garments that are long flowy wraps with simple sandals and head scarves to shield them from the sun. Camila will wear blue and white, and Adella light pink.
Afghanistan: hostile and vast desert, demolished towns, villages crawling with refugees and U.S. troops. This inhospitable and confusing environment will capture the essence of the difficulties the foreigners faced in indian territory in the original story.