Analysis of The Last of the Mohicans

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CONTRASTS AND CONFLICTS IN THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS In James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, everything is structured as a double, with the massacre of Fort William Henry standing eerily in the middle of the chapters. The first part of the novel is set within the confines of civilization, the second part in situated in the world of the Indians. The characters also have mirrored opposites. The "good" and "bad" Indian, the …

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…the Easterner's or missionary's sentimentalizing of the Vanishing American, and the Westerner's or Indian fighter's cynical contempt for the savage." By organizing his narratives around two Indian atrocities - microcosmically, Magua's abduction of Cora and Alice; macroscopically, the slaughter at Fort William Henry - Cooper is able to grant the Indian's sense of wronged innocence and at the same time present the Indian's revenge as compromising their claims to justice and perhaps even to survival.