Scientific Prose Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By magui
Words 3959
Pages 16
The Last of The Mohicans: Theme Analysis

Theme Analysis
Culture Clash
In the wilderness of upper New York, two cultures clash—white Eurocentric culture and native Indian culture. Ample evidence is given in the novel of the destruction caused to the Indians by the coming of the whites—Hawkeye himself acknowledges that this is so. The reason that Magua was driven from the Hurons, for example, was because the whites introduced the Indians to alcohol, and he fell victim to it. The savagery of the conflict between whites and Indians is apparent in numerous incidents. The two races do not understand each other’s ways, even though they make many alliances with each other according to what they believe is in their best interest.
Generally speaking, Hawkeye, Heyward, and David Gamut, each in his different way, represent the values of white civilization. Heyward represents the military ideal; David represents the sect of Protestantism known as Calvinism. Hawkeye is a more complex case because he in a sense lives in both worlds, Indian and white, and has great respect for some of the Indian ways. Although he thinks Indians other than Delawares and Mohicans are liars and “varlets,” he acknowledges the validity of their religion and respects many of their customs.
However, Hawkeye still sees a wide gulf between the ways of the “Mingo” and those of the white man. He believes that whites have a more enlightened set of values, inspired by Christianity, although he is not an especially religious man. He claims that it is because he is white that he does not kill Magua when in Chapter XXV he has the Huron chief at his mercy. He gives the same reason for not killing the Indian medicine man from whom he steals the bearskin. Revenge, Hawkeye claims, is an Indian practice. However, the reader is left in no doubt that Hawkeye has killed on numerous occasions. He says that there is…...

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