Evangelizing the Indians under Manifest Destiny in Cooper’s <i>The Oak Openings</i>

Albert H. Tricomi

in Missionary Positions

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035451
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039640 | DOI:
Evangelizing the Indians under Manifest Destiny in Cooper’s The Oak Openings

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James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Oak Openings is examined thoroughly in this chapter. The novel looks at the fictional missionary life of Parson Amen. The novel, which was written during the Mexican War, rejuvenates the Puritan myth of American exceptionalism by illustrating an expansionist nation untrammeled by Europe's vices. The novel mainly explores the theme of beneficial Christianity in the conversion of the American Indian. The basic binary leading The Oak Openings is that of savagery versus civilization.

Keywords: James Fenimore Cooper; The Oak Openings; Parson Amen; Mexican War; Puritan myth; expansionist nation; Christianity; American Indian; savagery; civilization

Chapter.  8777 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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