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The Last of the Mohicans

The recent film version of The Last of the Mohicans (1992) takes certain liberties with the original story in an attempt to create a saga far more romantic than James Fenimore Cooper would ever have imagined. The novel was part of a series of novels known collectively as "The Leatherstocking Tales," of which there are five, all produced between 1823 and 1841. The Last of the Mohicans was the second in the series in the order written, though the chronological order of the novels would be different, with the first story chronologically being the last of the five novels produced. Cooper was the first major American novelist, and his books are infused with an understanding of the colonial period, though Cooper himself was born not only after that era but after the founding of the country in 1776. Cooper was born in 1789 and died in 1851. His most popular novel was probably The Last of the Mohicans, and it has attracted the attention of filmmakers before, with a number of minor versions and an important rendition in 1936, cited in the credits to the current film. The characters of Hawkeye and Chingachcook also appeared in a television series in the late 1950s under the title Hawkeye, and there is currently another such series in syndication. Clearly, the era and the character have been had considerable appeal to readers and viewers alike. The new version also achieved a certain popularity, probably for its highly romantic pairing of Daniel Day Lewis and Madeleine Stoke, and the film also included a somewhat altered perspective on the political situation of the time.

The novel is biased in favor of the idea of the noble savage, of which Chingachcook is an authentic example while Hawkeye is the colonial example. That is, the idea of the noble savage referred originally to the Indians found in the New World, but the uneducated settlers soon became a different vision of the noble savage--untrained, by European standards uncivilized...

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The Last of the Mohicans. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:25, February 18, 2019, from