‘The Last of the Mohicans’ – Book Review

What is The Last of the Mohicans about?

The Last of the Mohicans is a historical novel written by J. Fenimore Cooper. The story is set during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). This war was fought between Britain and France, with the assistance of their native allies. The Last of the Mohicans describes some of the events of this war. It also portrays frontier life in the American colonies.

Where is The Last of the Mohicans set?

The novel is mostly set in North America (around the present day state of New York, USA). But the story does take the reader up towards Canada as the narrative develops. Think the area around Lake George and Fort William Henry. Fort William Henry’s museum looks really awesome by the way! Cooper’s descriptions of the American landscape are among the most memorable features of this book. He really manages to bring the scenery to life in a way which you don’t see much in modern literature.

Who is The Last of the Mohicans about?

The book is about two distinct categories of people. The first group are white colonial soldiers and a couple of their family members. The second are Native Americans. This second group are split between numerous tribes and families. The most notable Native American tribes in the book are the Mohicans or Delawares, the Lenape and the Huron or Wyandot. The last group are also referred to as Iroquois. The colonial group is more simply split between British and French.

Who are the main characters in The Last of the Mohicans?

-Major Duncan Heyward, a young officer in the Royal Americans.
-Colonel Munro, commander of the British garrison of Fort William Henry.
-Hawkeye, a British scout and sharpshooter.
-Chingachgook, a Native American chief and the eldest surviving Mohican.
-Uncas, Chingachgook’s son and the only other survivor of the Mohican tribe.
-Magua, a Huron ex-chief with a grudge against Colonel Munro.
-Cora Munro, Colonel Munro’s eldest daughter.
-Alice Munro, the colonel’s younger daughter and object of Major Heyward’s affections.

What happens in The Last of the Mohicans?

The plot of this novel covers various aspects of frontier life. War is one element. This includes Western warfare, armies lining up opposite each other to do battle, and Native American warfare. The latter involves fighting in small bands in the forest and keeping behind cover. Peaceful exploits are another element. Characters fall in love and suffer losses, but are also forced to survive in an inhospitable landscape. The narrative is full of action from beginning to end and characters are well-developed.

Why is The Last of the Mohicans so good?

The Last of the Mohicans is a great novel because it really encompasses all aspects of life in colonial North America. War, survival, hunting, tracking and raiding are combined with aspects of everyday life. This makes the book both believable and engrossing. It brings the combination of normal life and exciting adventure which was unique to the frontier into the reader’s home.

Should you read The Last of the Mohicans?

You should definitely read this book. It is very high up on my list of top historical novels, and is a must-read for anyone with an interest in American history. There are also relevant social issues contained in the narrative. Gender and race controversy is present throughout the novel within the characters’ opinions of each other.

The Last of the Mohicans film

Here is a video of one of the best scenes from the The Last of the Mohicans film. This movie came nowhere near doing justice to the novel. But it is still a great film to watch.

Joe Malpas


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