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The Last Of The Mohicans

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The Last of the Mohicans

The book Last of the Mohicans is based on a novel by James Fenimore Cooper, and revolves around a clan of Native Americans called the Mohicans. The main characters are Hawkeye, his adopted father Chingachgook, and his adopted brother Uncas. Chingachgook, and his son Uncas, are the last of the Mohican tribe or blood line. The movie is also based on these three characters. The era that both stories take place in is the 18th century during the seven years war between Britain and France. The movie is a romance torn between war and race. The Mohicans along with Hawkeye try to save the daughters of a British colonel, but the conflict arises when Magua of the Hurons attempts to kill the Mohicans and kidnap the two girls. There is also conflict between the relationships of all the characters. The villain in both stories is the same and his name is Magua, who is from the Huron tribe. In the book Magua wants revenge against Col. Munro, by trying to marry one of daughters and hurt his pride, but in the movie he wants and does kill Munro. Magua also begins to feel sympathy for Cora the colonel's daughter, but in the movie he has no compassion or feelings for her, but remains brutal until the end. It is revealed in the book that Cora Munro, the Colonel's daughter had a black mother and therefore this tempts her to become involved with the Mohican Uncas, however there is no such reference to this in the movie and you are left to guess why they have become affectionate towards each other. The book explores a lot of racial issues involving the white race and the Indian race during a time when racism was probably at its height. The book portrays that Hawkeye may not have the expertise of his counterparts in the forest, but in the movie he definitely is just as knowledgeable as Uncas and his father. The book also appears to make the enemy, who are the Hurons seem almost stupid and foolish as Heywood poses as a French doctor to fool them. The book is full of historical events, which makes it seem less of a romantic than the movie.

In the opening scene of the movie Hawkeye and his Mohican friends are seen hunting an elk, which is killed by Hawkeye and his long rifle, but in the book they do not want the gunfire to be heard so the elk is shot with an arrow. The bonding between these three is established immediately in both stories. When Hawkeye is trying to save the Colonels daughter they all retreat to a hideout behind a waterfall, and this also happens in the movie, but the scene is later after Fort William Henry surrenders to the French, so it appears the scenes are in reverse order. The battle scene that occurs at this cave does not happen in the movie. There is no battle at the cave in the movie only the capture of Alice and Cora Munro. Major Heywood is saved by a single shot from Hawkeye in the book, but in the movie he is killed by a single shot from Hawkeye as he is being burned at the stake by Magua.

The soundtrack is amazing since it is a constant string instrument complimented by a beating drum that plays throughout much of the exciting forest scenes, including the movie's final, climactic running battle between Hawkey and the Hurons. One thing the makers of the movie attempted to keep was the vision portrayed in the book of sweeping landscapes, gigantic trees, dark forests, crashing waterfalls, and other impressive features of nature. However, once again I think the film presented this better than the book did, due to the fact that film presents such features in a more vivid, more appealing way than pages of descriptive passage, but since we are used to being presented these features in a graphic, immediate way, rather than allowing our imaginations to come up with pictures from the narrative of the book.. The landscape and nature play a significant role in both the book and the film through defining the characters such as Hawkeye who seems to be one with the forest with enormous skills, while Major Heyward seems to be totally unfamiliar with the terrain and this makes him seem incompetent. There seems to be the intersecting of races in the book and also the movie, such as a white woman falling in love with an Indian, and then a white man, who lives as an Indian.

Hawkeye and his companions cross paths with two female characters Cora Munro and her sister Alice as the women are being escorted by Major Duncan Hayward to their father at the front lines. Their characters differed somewhat from the book in which Cora is much braver and less delicate than her sister, Alice, and for this she is punished in that she dies in the end. In the novel Cooper makes it apparent that women should remain and



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