The Last of the Mohicans

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

The Last of the Mohicans is a classic story set in the 1700's. During this time, the war between the French and English is raging, complicated by an additional contention between the Mohican Indians and the Huron Indians. The location is in the area of Lake George in the Hudson Valley, somewhere between New York and Canada. The theme is a conflict between civilization and savagery, each being personified in both the whites, the Indians, and in nature itself. The author seems to be showing the truth of human nature: that there is a fine line between acting in a civilized manner and giving in to the primitive urge to totally destroy other human beings. The ruggedness of the region provided a similar conflict with man. At times, it was beautiful, sheltering, protecting, and nourishing the characters with food and water. At other times, it was obviously wild and untamed bringing danger and aiding in destruction.

There were many prominent characters in the book. These include Chingachgook and his son, Uncas, who are the last remaining Mohicans and the protagonists of the story. Another was Hawk-eye, who is a white man raised from birth by Chingachgook. Major Duncan Hayward is an officer with the English military who is assigned to transport two sisters from Fort Edward to their father at Fort William Henry. The antagonist, or dominant enemy, of the story was Magua, a Huron Indian who was a leader of his people and was driven by the traditional savagery of his tribe.

The story begins with Major Hayward preparing to carry out his orders to transport Alice and Cora Monroe to their father, General Monroe, at Fort William Henry. In order to make the journey safely he hired a guide familiar with the area to lead...