Chapter

Chapter Two: Cooper's Death Song

Geoffrey Sanborn

in Whipscars and Tattoos

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751693
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894819 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751693.003.0002
Chapter Two: Cooper's Death Song

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Chapter Two argues that Cooper drew heavily on descriptions of Te Ara in his characterization of Magua, the so-called villain of The Last of the Mohicans. According to the chapter, if one reads Cooper's representation of Magua in relation to the representations of Te Ara, it becomes easier to see that the most important opposition in Cooper's work is not between “civilization” and “savagery” but between chiefs and commoners—between the “higher” type of people, whether white or non-white, and everyone arrayed beneath them. Despite his evidently sincere Christian faith, Cooper repeatedly encourages his readers to admire the self-admiring and respect the self-respecting, to support and preserve the existence of a world whose generative principle is pride.

Keywords: Cooper; Last of the Mohicans; Magua; Maori

Chapter.  16413 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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