The Last of the Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans is a historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826. It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time. The Last of the Mohicans is widely read in American literature courses. The story takes place in 1757 during the Seven Years' War (known in America as the French and Indian War), when France and the United Kingdom battled for control of the American and Canadian colonies. During this war, the French often allied themselves with Native American tribes in order to gain an advantage over the British, with unpredictable and often tragic results. (From Wikipedia)
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The annotations in this novel will frequently reference common literary devices. Refer to the following website to refresh your memory about common literary elements and common literary techniques before you begin: (This annotation contains a link)
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up, such as "impervious"?
The author spends the beginning of Chapter 1 discussing the setting of the novel. The map below will give the reader an idea of the area between French and British possessions in the New World which were under contention: (This annotation contains an image)
All of Cooper's footnotes have been included as annotations within the text, as this one: 1 - As each nation of the Indians had its language or its dialect, they usually gave different names to the same places, though nearly all of their appellations were descriptive of the object. Thus a literal translation of the name of this beautiful sheet of water, used by the tribe that dwelt on its banks, would be "The Tail of the Lake." Lake George, as it is vulgarly, and now legally, called, forms a sort of tail to Lake Champlain, when viewed on the map. Hence, the name. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following would be a correct rewording of Cooper's observation here about the French and British armies?
2 - George Washington, who, after uselessly admonishing the European general of the danger into which he was heedlessly running, saved the remnants of the British army, on this occasion, by his decision and courage. The reputation earned by Washington in this battle was the principal cause of his being selected to command the American armies at a later day. It is a circumstance worthy of observation, that while all America rang with his well-merited reputation, his name does not occur in any European account of the battle; at least the author has searched for it without success. In this manner does the mother country absorb even the fame, under that system of rule.
A league is roughly equal to 3.5 miles, so the two forts were about 17.5 miles apart.
It seems strange that, in the middle of all of this preparation for war, there would be the presence of women in this encampment. Make a prediction about who these women might be.
Cooper goes to great lengths here to describe an unnamed character. Which of the following is a distinctive physical quality of this character?
Summarize the observations that this character makes about a particular army horse.
Although Cooper continues to describe characters in Chapter 1 without revealing names, these two women are the daughters of Colonel Munro, and they have requested to visit their father at Ft. William Henry. They are being accompanied and protected in their journey by Major Duncan Heyward.
As you continue reading this novel, you will be asked to use textual evidence to support observations about the novel. Watch the video below to learn about the use of textual evidence and inference: (This annotation contains a video)
The reader will note Cooper's use of the term "Indian" to refer to the native population in his novel. For coherence, all annotations and questions will also use the term "Indian." According to a PBS article, "[D]espite the supposed political correctness of Native American, it has not become the preferred term. 'The acceptance of Native American has not brought about the demise of Indian,' according to the fourth edition of the American Heritage Book of English Usage, published in 2000. 'Unlike Negro, which was quickly stigmatized once black became preferred, Indian never fell out of favor with a large segment of the American population.' Nor did the word Indian fall out of favor with the people it described. A 1995 Census Bureau survey that asked indigenous Americans their preferences for names (the last such survey done by the bureau) found that 49 percent preferred the term Indian, 37 percent Native American, and 3.6 percent 'some other name.' About 5 percent expressed no preference."
Which overarching theme is supported by Cora's observation in this piece of dialogue?
3 - In the state of Rhode Island there is a bay called Narragansett, so named after a powerful tribe of Indians, which formerly dwelt on its banks. Accident, or one of those unaccountable freaks which nature sometimes plays in the animal world, gave rise to a breed of horses which were once well known in America, and distinguished by their habit of pacing. Horses of this race were, and are still, in much request as saddle horses, on account of their hardiness and the ease of their movements. As they were also sure of foot, the Narragansetts were greatly sought for by females who were obliged to travel.
Here Cooper is referencing the character's hat, although it certainly was not as elaborately decorated as the example below: (This annotation contains an image)
This ungainly character is David Gamut, and his occupation in psalmody means he is a teacher and singer of religious songs.
The musical definition of the word gamut is "a complete scale of musical notes; the compass or range of a voice or instrument." The fact that the psalmist is named Gamut is an example of which literary device?
One of the many definitions of the word 'arch' is as a characteristic of those who treat others with condescension. Re-read this paragraph and note examples of Alice's use of irony and sarcasm in describing David Gamut's singing exercise.
Based on the description Cooper gives of this unseen observer, what would you infer are his intentions towards Heyward's party? Use textual evidence for support.
Cooper uses allusions to other famous works of literature to foreshadow each chapter. These lines from "An Indian at the Burial-Place of His Father" by William Cullen Bryant refer to rivers flowing through a wood; the setting of Chapter 3 also references a stream through the woods.
4 - The North American warrior caused the hair to be plucked from his whole body; a small tuft was left on the crown of his head, in order that his enemy might avail himself of it, in wrenching off the scalp in the event of his fall. The scalp was the only admissible trophy of victory. Thus, it was deemed more important to obtain the scalp than to kill the man. Some tribes lay great stress on the honor of striking a dead body. These practices have nearly disappeared among the Indians of the Atlantic states. (This annotation contains an image)
6 - The rifle of the army is short; that of the hunter is always long.
5 - The hunting-shirt is a picturesque smock-frock, being shorter, and ornamented with fringes and tassels. The colors are intended to imitate the hues of the wood, with a view to concealment. Many corps of American riflemen have been thus attired, and the dress is one of the most striking of modern times. The hunting-shirt is frequently white. (This annotation contains an image)
Hawkeye is making a case here about the acquisition of land from the native peoples. What point is he trying to make to his friend Chingachgook?
7 - The Mississippi. The scout alludes to a tradition which is very popular among the tribes of the Atlantic states. Evidence of their Asiatic origin is deduced from the circumstances, though great uncertainty hangs over the whole history of the Indians.
It might be a good time to make a T-chart to keep track of characters which have been introduced on one side and information we have about those characters on the other side. The two characters being introduced here are a Mohican warrior named Chingachgook and his white hunter friend Natty Bumppo, called Hawkeye by the natives.
The Alligewi was a very powerful Native American nation who lived on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. As the early Delaware Indians were traveling through their territory, they were suddenly attacked by the Alligewi. Forging an alliance with the Iroquois, the Delaware went to war against the powerful Alligewi who were living in fortified towns. No quarter was given, so that the Alligewi, finding that their destruction was inevitable, abandoned the country to the conquerors, and fled down the Mississippi River.
The Maquas are the Mohawk, one of the tribes of the League of Five Nations which make up the Iroquois. (This annotation contains an image)
Hawkeye is about to shoot a deer for their dinner. Why does Chingachgook stop him and reference a fight with the Maquas?
Here the Shakespearean allusion makes reference to getting revenge for an insult. Keep this in mind as you read Chapter 4.
Hawkeye uses a metaphor to describe the British soldiers that they have encountered. Which of the following phrases or sentences contains Hawkeye's metaphor?
Which of the following is NOT a method that Hawkeye says an Indian would use to know his way around the woods?
Cooper has a tendency to use long, elaborate explanations to describe rather mundane events. "The foal had taken advantage of the halt to exact the maternal contribution" simply means that the foal is drinking from its mother. (This annotation contains an image)
Which adjective best describes Heyward's emotions here, especially as developed through the use of terms such as though, if, and yet?
8 - The scene of this tale was in the 42nd degree of latitude, where the twilight is never of long continuation.
Magua's French name Le Renard Subtil means "the wily fox." How does Magua live up to his name in this section? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
In this line from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Jessica is commenting that this is the type of night which so frightened Thisbe that she ran away from the shadow of a lion, causing her lover Pyramus to kill himself because he thought the lion had eaten her. The allusion to this line seems to infer that our characters may have a frightening night ahead.
Note here the wording that Cooper uses to convey Heyward's emotions here--"utter helplessness", "pressing strait." If he had chosen NOT to add this exposition, what other clues would the reader have that Heyward is feeling desperate in this situation?
What literary device does Cooper use in this sentence to describe Alice and Cora?
What characteristics about Hawkeye are revealed by Cooper's description in the previous paragraph? Use textual evidence to support your choices.
Hawkeye is referring to the birchbark canoe in which he and Heyward's party have made their escape. As can be seen in the picture, these vessels are definitely not equipped generally to hold five people at a time. (This annotation contains an image)
9 - The principal villages of the Indians are still called "castles" by the whites of New York. "Oneida castle" is no more than a scattered hamlet; but the name is in general use.
This is an allusion to Exodus 12:12, which states, "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD."
Which of the following is an accurate observation about the Iroquois according to Hawkeye?
It's ironic that, while Alice previously berated Cora for judging their original Indian guide solely based on his looks, Alice is doing the same thing (although in a positive manner) with Uncas.
10 - In vulgar parlance the condiments of a repast are called by the American "a relish," substituting the thing for its effect. These provincial terms are frequently put in the mouths of the speakers, according to their several conditions in life. Most of them are of local use, and others quite peculiar to the particular class of men to which the character belongs. In the present instance, the scout uses the word with immediate reference to the "salt," with which his own party was so fortunate as to be provided.
11 - Glenn's Falls are on the Hudson, some forty or fifty miles above the head of tide, or that place where the river becomes navigable for sloops. The description of this picturesque and remarkable little cataract, as given by the scout, is sufficiently correct, though the application of the water to uses of civilized life has materially injured its beauties. The rocky island and the two caverns are known to every traveler, since the former sustains the pier of a bridge, which is now thrown across the river, immediately above the fall. In explanation of the taste of Hawkeye, it should be remembered that men always prize that most which is least enjoyed. Thus, in a new country, the woods and other objects, which in an old country would be maintained at great cost, are got rid of, simply with a view of "improving" as it is called.
Which of the following observations about the cultural expectations of the Mohicans is inferred in this section of the novel?
Hawkeye here describes the difference between the white custom of naming vs. the native custom, which bestows names of significance to the individual. Based on this observation, what qualities might Natty Bumppo possess as signified by his nickname "Hawkeye"?
Note that, in this passage, Hawkeye tries (in vain) to find some useful employment to which David might try his hand. In the end, he asks David to share his gift and give them a song. Alice is asked to sing along, but for once the girls agree to sing together to accompany David.
What is it that has Uncas so worried?
As you re-read this dialogue, do you think Hawkeye extends this as an invitation or as a challenge to Heyward to join Hawkeye and the Mohicans on the watch? What wording or tone helped you to make this decision?
Summarize in your own words what Hawkeye is asking Uncas to do in this passage and why it needs to be done.
What do David Gamut's actions in the previous paragraphs suggest about David's character?
Cooper is giving the reader the opportunity to observe his characters in a variety of situations, allowing the characters to develop in our minds. See the following video for more information on how an author might develop a character in a novel: (This annotation contains a video)
What do Heyward's actions in this episode with the Munro girls suggest about his feelings towards the girls?
12 - Mingo was the Delaware term of the Five Nations. Maquas was the name given them by the Dutch. The French, from their first intercourse with them, called them Iroquois.
Study carefully the painting of this scene by D C Eyles before you answer the next question. (This annotation contains an image)
Compare and contrast the scene from The Last of the Mohicans with D C Eyles' painting of the scene. Make sure to explain both the similarities AND the differences between the written scene and the painting.
Compared to Hawkeye's more forest-friendly gear, Heyward's British uniform would have "rendered him peculiarly conspicuous" indeed. (This annotation contains an image)
What DID Hawkeye's action mean to the rest of his party?
While the men seem resigned to die with dignity, Cora has a plan. She asks Hawkeye and the Mohicans to find her father and beg him to send aid. She is fully prepared to be captured and sent north (and possibly killed) by the Iroquois. Does this plan agree with the character traits you've already noted about Cora or does it contradict them?
Hollywood seems to have taken Cooper's novel as a "suggestion" for this scene. Watch the following clip from the movie version of the novel before you answer the next question: (This annotation contains a video)
Why do you think there is such a discrepancy between the novel version of this scene and the movie version? Use textual evidence from the novel and the movie as support for your answer.
What do the fish-hawk and the jay symbolize to Duncan in this passage?
Note that, even though Hawkeye and the Mohicans put themselves in unnecessary danger trying to protect Duncan and the Munro girls, Duncan still criticizes their principles, preferring to fight rather than submit to the inevitable. With which principle do you agree and why?
Which type of imagery does Cooper most rely on in this paragraph to portray the joy of the Hurons at finding Hawkeye's rifle?
La Longue Carabine in French means "The Long Rifle," a reference both to Hawkeye's long hunting rifle and his skills with the same. Apparently Heyward had heard this name uttered before without making the connection to Hawkeye during their time together.
This is the first concrete evidence the reader has of Heyward's former guide working for the enemy. Until this point, his activities (getting the group lost, running away when confronted) were suspicious, but this proves that his actions were not accidental, and he is indeed on the side of the French in this war.
How does this Shakespeare quote relate to the events which just transpired in the last chapter? Which characters' actions best support each part of the quote?
Which literary device does Cooper use in this sentence to convey the sense of betrayal felt by the Hurons?
This line seems confusing in its wording as an assurance, but Cooper seems to be conveying that the natives would often threaten to do much more than they actually carried out. This would be an assurance to the girls that, while the natives are threatening to scalp Alice, it is probable that they won't carry through with their actions.
How does Heyward imagine that the Indians' prisoners will be used by the French?
13 - It has long been a practice with the whites to conciliate the important men of the Indians by presenting medals, which are worn in the place of their own rude ornaments. Those given by the English generally bear the impression of the reigning king, and those given by the Americans that of the president.
In a desperate effort to turn Magua back to their side and delay their departure until help arrives, Heyward retells the story of their capture as if everything had been planned by Magua himself in an attempt to thwart the Huron. This would be a good time to make a T-chart, listing on one side the events as the reader had observed them previously, and on the other listing the events as they are retold here with Magua as their hero and rescuer. Does Heyward make a believable argument with this new interpretation of events?
Sir William Johnson, Anglo-Irish official of the British Empire, commanded Iroquois and colonial militia forces during the French and Indian War. (This annotation contains an image)
Which adjective best summarizes the character of Magua as described in this passage?
Notice here that Heyward is creating a stereotype of all Indians--that is, a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. What is Heyward inferring about Indians through this stereotype?
Note here Magua's sarcastic tone. Sarcasm is the use of irony to make a derogatory, scathing or witty attack on someone. For more information on the uses of irony in literature, watch the following video: (This annotation contains a video)
Here, again, Heyward is offering up stereotypes about Indians rather than facts about Magua; he is assuming that what Magua wants most is alcohol.
Make a prediction about the conversation between Magua and Cora. Why do you think he asks to speak to her?
Which of the following overarching themes is best supported by Magua?
What "means of vengeance" did Magua encourage among the Huron?
While Magua had just encouraged the Huron to get justice for their fallen brothers, he now intercedes between the Hurons and their captors. Why do you think Magua doesn't allow them to be killed at once? Is it only prolonging their misery that he has on his mind?
Magua's native affiliations are sometimes hard to keep track of. Note that Magua was born a Huron, then was thrown out of the tribe because of drunkenness and joined with the Mohawk, who are siding with the British. Magua has now switched sides again, having betrayed the British, and he is once again with the Huron (which would put him on the side of the French in this war). (This annotation contains an image)
While our current society clearly rejects torture, this is still a controversial topic today. Read the following LA Times article about modern-day torture before you answer the next question: (This annotation contains a link)
On the theme of "torture," do you believe there are instances when torture is warranted, or is torture of prisoners always wrong? Is it easier to understand why the Indians would torture their captives during the time period of the novel or to understand the military explanation of torture used today? Use textual evidence from the novel and the article to support your answer.
The Last of the Mohicans 1-11
Create an explanation of what just happened before you turn to the next chapter.
The reappearance of Hawkeye and the Mohicans resulted in an action-packed fight scene. Summarize the events of the battle so far, using textual evidence for support.
Magua has already done his share of "mischief;" we will need to remember Hawkeye's prediction here and see if he is correct in the end.
Which statement best summarizes the stereotyped observation the narrator is making about Native Americans in this passage?
What David is professing here is the Calvinist doctrine of predestination, the belief that God has decided already (or preordained) who will be saved and who will be damned: (This annotation contains a link)
Hawkeye takes issue with David's religious theories. What does Hawkeye believe, according to this passage?
Hawkeye's beliefs seem to more closely align with deism, which is defined as combining "a rejection of religious knowledge as a source of authority with the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe."
A rod is an old English measure of distance equal to 16.5 feet, so the company only went 50 feet or so from the base of the hill on which the battle occurred.
This is the second time Heyward questions Hawkeye in this conversation. What do you think Heyward's questioning of Hawkeye is really about? Use textual evidence to support what you think Heyward is trying to determine through his questions.
14 - Many of the animals of the American forests resort to those spots where salt springs are found. These are called "licks" or "salt licks," in the language of the country, from the circumstance that the quadruped is often obliged to lick the earth, in order to obtain the saline particles. These licks are great places of resort with the hunters, who waylay their game near the paths that lead to them.
In this instance, the Define feature doesn't help to give much of an indication of the word 'sepulture.' Using context clues, which of the following would be the best definition for the word 'sepulture'?
15 - The scene of the foregoing incidents is on the spot where the village of Ballston now stands; one of the two principle watering places of America. (This annotation contains an image)
You may have noticed that Hawkeye is more verbose than you would expect a hunter and companion to the Mohicans to be. Restate in as few words as possible Hawkeye's main ideas in this paragraph.
Several times already, Hawkeye has described himself with this phrase. Apparently countless essays have been written trying to explain exactly what this means. One of the better online explanations is this: "it identifies him as a man with no actual religion (though he espouses Christian principles), no family, no cultural ties, no world in which he truly belongs." Hawkeye really doesn't feel like he fits anywhere.
There is another story of men who fell asleep rather than keeping the watch. Read the following Bible story from Matthew before you answer the next question: (This annotation contains a link)
Which of the following statements is true based on the two stories of men falling asleep while keeping watch?
It's unclear exactly what Hawkeye is implying by this remark about the Hurons. What do you think he means by calling their tracking a "squaw's march" and observing that the men each "seem to have two tongues, and but a single leg"?
The fact that the very mound which so horrified the girls when they encountered it has now saved their lives would be an example of which literary device?
In translation, the guard is asking "Who is this?" and Joan la Pucelle (Shakespeare's comic depiction of Joan of Ark) answers, "Paisans, the poor people of France." Generally when a guard is asking for identification, it can cause some tense moments in the plot. Watch the following video for more information on tension before you start reading this chapter: (This annotation contains a video)
16 - Baron Dieskau, a German, in the service of France. A few years previously to the period of the tale, this officer was defeated by Sir William Johnson, of Johnstown, New York, on the shores of Lake George. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following overarching themes is supported by the actions of the British that day?
The soldier is asking, "Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you going so early?" Heyward answers, "I come from the watch and I'm going to bed."
The soldier then asks, "Are you a nobleman?" Heyward answers, "No doubt, my friend; do you take me for a provicial? I'm captain of hunters; I have here with me the girls of the commander of the fortification. You've heard of it! I had them trapped near the fort, and I am leading them to the general."
The soldier answers, "My faith! Ladies; I am angry (?) for you, but fortune of war! You will find our general a good man, polite and well with the ladies."
Cora herself answers, "It is the character of men of war. Farewell, my friend; I wish you a pleasant duty to fulfill." When Heyward answers, "Good night, my friend," the soldier retorts, "Long live the wine, long live the love."
Clearly, Chingachgook took the opportunity to go back and kill and scalp the French guard who Heyward had just encountered. Why did Chingachgook think this was a "deed of merit"? Answer the question from Chingachgook's point of view.
The picture below will give you some idea of the terrain Cooper is describing in this passage: (This annotation contains an image)
Compare and contrast the mood created in the description of Fort William Henry vs. the mood of Cordell's painting. Which adjective would best describe the mood of each piece and why does that adjective fit best?
Keep the following oil painting of Fort WIlliam Henry by Tim Cordell, storyteller for Ft. William Henry Museum, in mind as you read the following passage, then answer the question that follows: (This annotation contains an image)
In this section, the French guard is questioning the party. The exchange is basically "Who is it?" "It's me." "Who is me?" "A friend of France." Apparently the guard does not believe Duncan, because he retorts, "You may be more like an enemy of France. Stop or I swear I will make you a friend of the devil. I will not! Fire, comrades, fire!"
"No quarter to rogues!" is the battle cry of the French in this piece of dialogue.
Based on context clues (and using the Define feature if necessary), which of the following is the best interpretation of the highlighted phrase?
17 - Evidently the late De Witt Clinton, who died governor of New York in 1828. (This annotation contains an image)
This will not be the last time that soldiers weary of war will seek some entertainment and relaxation during a ceasefire. Read the linked article about an amazing Christmas ceasefire during WWI in 1914. Pay particular attention to the last sentence of the journal entry before you answer the next question: (This annotation contains a link)
Compare and contrast the experiences of the French troops in the last paragraph with the experiences of the British and German troops in "Christmas in the Trenches." What was particularly ironic about the last line of "Christmas in the Trenches"?
Munro is referring to the Royal Arsenal. Woolwich carried out armaments manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research for the British armed forces at a site on the south bank of the River Thames in Woolwich in south-east London, England. It would seem, from Munro's remarks, that the armaments of his regiment are failing and there is no way to replace them. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the "hope of succor" for which Munro is waiting?
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Saint-Veran was a French soldier best known as the commander of the forces in North America during the Seven Years' War. (This annotation contains an image)
The Marquis says, "I have a lot of pleasure--bah! --or is this interpreted?" Duncan answers, "I believe, sir, that is not necessary, I speak a little French."
Montcalm goes on (roughly), "I am glad, I hate these knaves; they speak like chatterboxes." Thankfully, Cooper then switches to English for the rest of the interview.
Which of the following details in the highlighted passage supports the conclusion that Webb is not going to support Munro with his troops?
Jean Erdman, Baron Dieskau, was Montcalm's successor who was defeated by the British. Here you see the British commander sparing his life after the Battle of Lake George: (This annotation contains an image)
Note Munro's choice of wording in this passage; he calls his daughters "baggage" (in the 1700s, this was generally used as a derogatory term toward women) and "hussies." Which term best defines the tone of this passage?
Of what does Munro accuse Heyward in his choice of daughter for a wife? Why does Munro believe this accusation to be true? What is Heyward's reaction? Is his verbal reaction the same as his private reaction? Use textual evidence to support your answers.
Even in the 1700s, the notion of the "one-drop" rule was in evidence. This rule, which evolved in the United States, stated that any person who had ANY traceable ancestor of African descent was considered black.
Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age, famed for his skill in both designing fortifications and breaking through them. (This annotation contains an image)
"Backwards, my children--it's hot--remove a little."
While Duncan seems to be content with trusting Montcalm as a gentleman, Munro does not hold this same feeling. What reason does Munro give for his judgment of the French commander?
We see a great change in the character of Munro in this passage. Which phrase can be used as the best textual evidence that Munro leaves the conference with a new respect for Montcalm?
In Munro's opinion, which of the "items" that they are allowed to retain is the most important?
After the sentinel asks who it is and for the password, the cloaked figure answers, "The victory." The sentinel answers, "It's a good morning for a stroll, sir," to which the man answers, "It is necessary to be vigilant, my child." Even though this is puzzling to us, it is at this point that the sentinel realizes to whom he is talking, and he allows him to pass. Make a prediction about the identity of the cloaked man.
"You have to be vigilant, in truth! I think we have a corporal who never sleeps!"
Montcalm wants peace with the British because they have consented to surrender. What is Magua's opinion of their peace? What is his desire and why? Use textual evidence for support.
Considering the other men who accompanied Cora and Alice to the fort, which of the men is it most likely that Cora is referring to when she tells Heyward to "listen"?
Of the four themes that have been introduced in previous questions (the hazards of passing judgment, revenge, facing reality, loss of innocence), which one is best supported by the events of the last two paragraphs? Explain your choice, using textual evidence for support.
The biblical book of Samuel tells the story of David and King Saul starting with verse 14: "Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil[a] spirit from the Lord tormented him. Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.” So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.” One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul. David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.” Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him." Here, David Gamut believes that he, too, might calm the savages with song.
As you read the next paragraph, it is evident that Cora is not unconscious in the traditional definition of the word. Which word in the next paragraph most closely defines the use of the word unconscious in this context?
The highlighted passage seems to contradict the conclusion of the paraphrase which you just read in its description of Montcalm's part in the massacre. Which of the following words from the highlighted passage contradicts Ian Steele's description of Montcalm?
Read the following excerpt, which paraphrases information from Ian K. Steele's book Betrayals: Fort William Henry and the Massacre, before you answer the question which follows: "The Indians suddenly charged among them, ripping away their clothing and other belongings while killing, scalping, and capturing at random. Chaos reigned. It was every man for himself as those who could ran off into the woods in all directions with the Indians in pursuit. The exhausted survivors, including Colonel Monro who finally made it to Fort Edward, claimed that some fifteen hundred of their company had been slaughtered or kidnapped. Scholars ever since have disagreed as to the exact number, but the latest evidence discounts such a high figure, understandably and emotionally exaggerated by those who had just escaped the horror. It’s now agreed that no more than one-hundred seventy were actually killed, and as many captured and held for ransom. Montcalm himself tried to intervene and halt the massacre, but was never forgiven by Colonel Monro."
While Hawkeye would like to think that "revenge is an Indian feeling," we know that revenge is not limited by race or culture. The desire to retaliate against injustice is universal.
Based on Chingachgook's treatment of the dead Indian and textual evidence, the reader can infer that the body is that of which tribe of Indian?
While David Gamut chose to remain with the Munro daughters as their protector, Hawkeye takes a contemptuous view of David's virtues. Do you agree or disagree with Hawkeye's assessment of David's character? Explain your opinion.
18 - The powers of the American mocking-bird are generally known. But the true mocking-bird is not found so far north as the state of New York, where it has, however, two substitutes of inferior excellence, the catbird, so often named by the scout, and the bird vulgarly called ground-thresher. Either of these last two birds is superior to the nightingale or the lark, though, in general, the American birds are less musical than those of Europe.
Based on the highlighted piece of dialogue, which adjective best describes Hawkeye's opinion of Heyward as a tracker?
In this excerpt from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice," Shylock has made a loan to Antonio, and if Antonio cannot pay the loan back, he owes Shylock a pound of his flesh--literally. It is clear that Shylock means to get his pound of flesh, if for no other reason than revenge. According to No Fear Shakespeare, Antonio "insulted me and cost me half a million ducats. He’s laughed at my losses, made fun of my earnings, humiliated my race, thwarted my deals, turned my friends against me, riled up my enemies" and Shylock wants to teach him a lesson he'll never forget. Who do you predict is desiring this type of revenge in this chapter?
The highlighted sentence contains at least two literary devices. In the simile contained in this sentence, what is being compared to "broken flights of birds"?
Hawkeye is referring to John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." For a man who constantly is reminding people that he is "without a cross," he certainly seems to know a lot about the Bible and has definite opinions about Heaven and the afterlife.
According to the text, what does Hawkeye imagine their invisible assailant will brag about if he returns to his tribe? What will he leave OUT of his account of the "ambush"?
The following graphic makes it easy to see how different French and British troops looked during this time period. Native Americans would be able to tell the difference between tribes just as easily. (This annotation contains an image)
In Hawkeye's estimation, who is to blame for the Indian tribes fighting against one another?
Summarize Hawkeye's argument in this paragraph and the support he uses for this argument.
The author is inferring here that, because Uncas and his father allowed Hawkeye to present the facts as he saw them and because they actually changed their minds due to these facts, the two Mohicans wouldn't make very good politicians. However, a recent Boston Globe article states that, when most people are presented with the facts, they stick even MORE firmly to their beliefs rather than change their minds like Uncas and Chingachgook did. Would you be more apt to change your mind or cling to incorrect beliefs when confronted with an opposing viewpoint?
Duncan assumes that any Oneidas who might follow their little group would be peaceful because of the alliance between the Oneida and the British. Hawkeye's response in this passage best supports which of the following overarching themes for the novel?
19 - The beauties of Lake George are well known to every American tourist. In the height of the mountains which surround it, and in artificial accessories, it is inferior to the finest of the Swiss and Italian lakes, while in outline and purity of water it is fully their equal; and in the number and disposition of its isles and islets much superior to them all together. There are said to be some hundreds of islands in a sheet of water less than thirty miles long. The narrows, which connect what may be called, in truth, two lakes, are crowded with islands to such a degree as to leave passages between them frequently of only a few feet in width. The lake itself varies in breadth from one to three miles. (This annotation contains an image)
The only choice the group has besides giving up is to "run the gauntlet" between the islands. This term, according to The Free Dictionary, dating from the first half of the 1600s, comes from the word gantlope, which itself comes from the Swedish word gatlopp, for "lane-course." It referred to a form of military punishment where a man ran between two rows of soldiers who struck him with sticks or knotted ropes. Almost as soon as gantlope appeared, it was replaced by gauntlet. The word was being used figuratively by 1661 to mean "to endure a series of problems, threats, or criticism." (This annotation contains an image)
It is clear that Duncan, Hawkeye and Munro have different priorities in their encounter with the Hurons. Which of the following most accurately depicts Hawkeye's priority at this point?
Our main characters escape from one problem, that of the Hurons intent on their scalps, only to have to deal with another, the "vast wilderness." In a novel these problems are called conflict. Watch the following video about the two major types of conflict: external and internal conflict. Keep in mind that external conflict can involve man vs. nature, man vs. society or man vs. man. Internal conflict is also known as man vs. himself. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following details from the preceding paragraph are the opposite of what we have come to expect from Hawkeye?
When Cooper chooses to use words like gleam, bounding, exultingly, and triumph in this passage, it changes the tone of the chapter from uncertain to
When Hawkeye refers to Ty, he is referencing Ft. Ticonderoga, a large 18th-century star fort built by the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain. (This annotation contains an image)
Despite Hawkeye's frequent comments about how a white man could not follow the trail of Magua, Duncan is proving himself an able assistant in the tracking.
Cooper changes the tone of this paragraph from eager at the beginning to wary at the end of the passage. What word choices does the author make to support each of these feelings in the paragraph? Use specific textual evidence for support.
This is a surprising reaction from Hawkeye, who hasn't shown a tendency toward humor. Make a prediction about why he finds this situation and this particular Indian so amusing.
Based on the textual evidence, who is the "savage" that Duncan had under observation?
The Hurons have left David to roam at will because they think he is non compos mentis — that is, not of sound mind. According to Hawkeye, Indians won't harm someone they believe to be mad.
As the author notes in the next paragraph, David answers Hawkeye's question with difficult figurative language. Paraphrase David's answer to Hawkeye's question: "Why did you not strike back on your own trail?"
Which of the following statements is NOT true based on David's account of their capture by the Hurons?
Chingachgook is keenly interested when David mentions that the tribe with whom Cora resides uses the turtle as a totem. Hawkeye seems to be explaining that the Mohican Chingachgook shares blood with the Delawares and is considered the chief of the Turtle clan. (This annotation contains an image)
The plan that Duncan proposes would involve him willingly undertaking which of the following types of conflict?
The idea of the clown or "holy fool" is an archetype in Native American traditions. In her article on Holy Fools, Rev. Linda Hoddy observes, "One of the traditions where fools are suffered gladly is in Native American cultures....Some version of the fool appears in virtually all cultures, as it is an archetype, one of the universal patterns that arises out of our collective unconscious. Wes Nisker has written a book about the crazy wisdom which comes to us through our holy fools. He says that the fool is the 'most potent of the archetypes' (30), and also 'the capable teacher of crazy wisdom.' There are actually two kinds of fools: 'the foolish fool and the great fool.' The foolish fools are inept and silly. They are the ones we see 'every day when we look into the mirror or walk down the street.' Great fools, on the other hand, are very rare. They are 'wise beyond ordinary understanding.' See the following video for more information on archetypes and how they work in literature: (This annotation contains a video)
Cooper shifts Duncan's mood in this paragraph from one of dread to one of hope. What specific vocabulary has Cooper used to create a mood of dread in the highlighted passage?
Here David is making a reference to the idiom "Spare the rod and spoil the child." In other words, he is inferring that the Indians don't discipline their children (and they should, according to David).
'Yengeese' was a term used by Indians to indicate the English colonists. This term eventually led to the use of the term 'Yankees.'
With which of the following statements would the Huron agree?
Duncan's actions at the end of this scene can best be described by which of the following adjectives?
This is the first time the reader gets any indication of the identity of the captive, so it is with great surprise that we learn that Uncas has been captured. Make a prediction about how Uncas came to be captured by the Hurons.
Of what crimes does the chief accuse "Reed-that-bends"? Use textual evidence for support. Predict the punishment awaiting "Reed-that-bends" based on the last sentence:
It's clear that Uncas doesn't fear being captured by the Hurons, and he delivers an important message to Duncan--Munro, Chingachgook, and Hawkeye are all fine. Why do you think he refers to Duncan as "the Open Hand"?
In this context, "mummery" can best be defined as "a ridiculous ceremonial, especially of a religious nature." What other words does Cooper use here to indicate that Heyward does not think much of the Indians' belief in evil spirits?
Cooper uses this scene with the father of "Reed-that-bends" to reinforce another overarching theme of the novel--appearance vs. reality. Note how the characters words are in direct contrast with the description of his facial expressions.
It is evident that the word precipitation in this context has nothing to do with rain. Which of the following synonyms would correctly define precipitation in this sentence?
Before you continue, take note of this description of Hitler's speaking ability in Richard J. Evans' The Coming of the Third Reich: "[Hitler] gained much of his oratorical success by telling his audiences what they wanted to hear. He used simple, straightforward language that ordinary people could understand, short sentences, powerful, emotive slogans. Often beginning a speech quietly, to capture his audience's attention, he would gradually build to a climax, his deep, rather hoarse voice would rise in pitch, climbing in a crescendo to a ranting and screaming finale, accompanied by carefully rehearsed dramatic gestures...as he worked his audience into a frenzy emotion. There were no qualifications in what he said; everything was absolute, uncompromising, irrevocable, undeviating, unalterable, final...he exuded self-confidence, aggression, belief in the ultimate triumph of his party, even a sense of destiny." Keep this description in mind as you take in Magua's speech in the next few paragraphs.
Think back to the Hitler reference you read before Magua's speech. Compare and contrast Magua's oratory style to that of Hitler's, using textual evidence for support.
What comment is Cooper making about Duncan's purpose by metaphorically comparing him to a leech?
Watch the following video on foreshadowing as you think about what these lines from A Midsummer Night's Dream might be hinting at: (This annotation contains a video)
The Indian nations to the west, rather than revering the beaver, were trapping and trading hides to be shipped to Europe and made into top hats. (This annotation contains an image)
Since Cooper has a tendency toward elaborate descriptions, paraphrase the story behind Hawkeye's bear costume, using textual evidence for support.
Which of the following phrases seems contradictory to the ominous tone that Cooper has created in this scene?
Based on context clues, which of the following would make the best translation of the phrase "hors de combat"?
It's unclear who is speaking here, since Heyward had no reaction to the chief's words except to keep walking. Hawkeye seems to have given the warning, which is contradictory to the directions he just gave to Heyward about his ability to speak only English. The warning does keep the chief and his son-in-law from entering the cave, however.
Why didn't Hawkeye kill Magua and the Indian holy man when he had the chance?
It may well be that David is in utter confusion over what he thinks he has witnessed this night. Write a diary entry as David, trying to make sense of this evening's events. Keep in mind David's tone, using textual evidence for support.
Here again Cooper makes reference to Hawkeye's inability to communicate in Huron. The reader may find this a surprising trait in Hawkeye, who seems to have complete knowledge of the wilderness and all who dwell there.
Even though Uncas is COMPLETELY unconvinced that Hawkeye is a bear, apparently he is skilled enough at reproducing the hiss of the snake that Uncas was confused about where the sound was coming from. Why do you think Uncas recognizes that the bear is really Hawkeye the second time he makes the sound?
Which of the following statements is NOT true about plan to help Uncas escape?
Hawkeye takes from David his blanket, hat, book, spectacles and pitch pipe, yet Cooper points out that David "profited by the exchange." Why do you think Cooper makes this observation? What is David's "profit" from Hawkeye? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
First, Hawkeye insults David's manhood by asking if he is a coward. Then Hawkeye exchanges clothing with David before he divulges his plan--Hawkeye will escape dressed as David, and Uncas will leave disguised as the conjurer while David will take Uncas' place and hope for the best with the Hurons. Are your surprised by David's response to this turn of events or not? Might Cooper be using foreshadowing here when David gives direction of what his wishes are after his death?
In this allusion to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Antony is observing that when Caesar says to do something, it is done without question. Make a prediction about whose orders will be followed without question in this chapter.
Based on the observations in the last two paragraphs, which of the following is NOT a statement which would correctly describe the Hurons in this scene?
What overarching theme is exemplified by this description of Magua upon his release from captivity?
It's interesting to note that, while Magua refers to Hawkeye as a "dog" here, he also gives him a back-handed compliment by observing that he has the "heart and cunning of a Huron." Why do you think Magua offers this praise of Hawkeye?
"Seeking the bubble reputation" is an allusion to William Shakespeare's As You Like It, where the character Jaques is talking about a man risking his life to seek fame that is as fleeting as a soap bubble. What observation is Cooper making about the Hurons through this allusion?
20 - These harangues of the beasts were frequent among the Indians. They often address their victims in this way, reproaching them for cowardice or commending their resolution, as they may happen to exhibit fortitude or the reverse, in suffering.
Based on this description of the Delaware camp, which adjective best describes the mood contained in the camp?
21 - A dish composed of cracked corn and beans. It is much used also by the whites. By corn is meant maise. (This annotation contains an image)
Magua's use of flattery and bribery (in the form of gifts for the chiefs) suggest that the Delaware are which of the following?
Magua is reminding the Delaware chiefs that they are supposed to be allied with the French (and Hurons). He is also imagining that the Mohicans have supposed the Delaware to be their allies, since the Delawares neglected to come to the aid of the French in the recent battle with the British. We know that Hawkeye sent Alice and Heyward to the Delawares because they share common ancestors with the Mohicans. Based on all of this information, which group has the stronger alliance with the Delawares? Use textual evidence for support.
Judging from the tone of the whole passage, it is clear that the narrator regards Tamenund, the patriarch, with
The Americans sometimes called their tutelar saint Tamenay, a corruption of the name of the renowned chief here introduced. There are many traditions which speak of the character and power of Tamenund. (This annotation contains an image)
When the author describes the way Duncan speaks as "haughtily replied," he is giving us insight into the tone of Duncan's speech. Watch the following video to find out the difference between tone and mood: (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is NOT a reason that Hawkeye gives for sparing Magua's life?
Cooper notes that Duncan is attempting to use the "figurative language of the natives" in describing Magua. What do you think Duncan means by describing Magua as a "singing-bird"?
Of what literary device does Magua make use to emphasize the connection between the Indians and nature?
The map of the traditional Lenni Lenape lands makes Magua's description of territory between "water that was salt" and "water that was sweet" much easier to envision. (This annotation contains an image)
23 - William Penn was termed Minquon by the Delawares, and, as he never used violence or injustice in his dealings with them, his reputation for probity passed into a proverb. The American is justly proud of the origin of his nation, which is perhaps unequaled in the history of the world; but the Pennsylvanian and Jerseyman have more reason to value themselves in their ancestors than the natives of any other state, since no wrong was done the original owners of the soil.
About whom is Cora referring in this sentence?
Choler is one of the four humours of medieval medicine. The humour which is most present in a person will indicate the nature of that person. The use of this word to describe the entire Delaware encampment indicates that they are exhibiting great anger. (This annotation contains an image)
Uncas is clearly a dynamic character in the book. Describe the change we see in his character in this scene and explain the causes for this change.
24 - Turtle. The following description of the Lenni Lenape helps to explain Tamenund's reaction to Uncas: "The Unami tribe, or “people down river” as the name translates, is the group that lived at Shackamaxon, this location being just one of the settlements that they occupied, but apparently one of the more important. The full boundaries of the Unami homeland were the northern two-thirds of New Jersey (including what would become New York’s Staten Island) and the adjoining parts of eastern Pennsylvania woodland, down to just below the future city of Philadelphia. Besides the three territorial groups with their three lingual dialects that comprised the Lenni Lenapes, there were also three different matrilineal clans that were present in the groups; the Turtle, Wolf, and Turkey. The Turtle Clan was the most important and usually the sachem, or chief of the tribal councils was from this clan. Tammanend, the head sachem that made the peace treaty with William Penn, was from the Turtle Clan of the Unami."
In plain rather than figurative terms, what does Uncas explain is the reason that he and his father hadn't sought out the Delawares before this?
Who is the only person for whom Uncas is NOT able to argue freedom?
Clearly, Magua believes that Cora is rejecting him because she is racist. Based on Cora's actions to this point, do you think she is rejecting Magua out of racism or because of some other reason?
Hawkeye has made an assumption--he has assumed that, because Magua asked him if he would give his life for Cora's, that Magua was making an offer to trade the one for the other. Make a prediction about whether you think Magua will take Hawkeye up on his offer before you read the next section.
Even in the face of Magua, Cora stands her ground. Which of the following adjectives best describes her demeanor at this point in the story?
25 - A tree which has been partially or entirely stripped of its bark is said, in the language of the country, to be "blazed." The term is strictly English, for a horse is said to be blazed when it has a white mark. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the following video of a Native American War Dance filmed at the Heard Museum before answering the next question: (This annotation contains a video)
How does the description of Uncas' war dance compare and contrast with the video of the war dance filmed at the Heard Museum? Use textual evidence for support.
Which of the following is the best interpretation of the highlighted passage? Be sure to use the Define feature if necessary.
Hawkeye wants to alert David to their presence without giving their position away to the Hurons. When Cooper has Hawkeye use "the musical effort, which had conducted himself, with so much safety and eclat, through the Huron encampment," he means that Hawkeye once again takes on the persona of the bear to get David's attention. (This annotation contains an image)
Paraphrase Cooper's description of the woods in the first two paragraphs of Chapter 32. Then analyze what Cooper is inferring about the Hurons from this description.
The biblical Jacob was the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. He also had one daughter named in the Bible--Dinah. When Shechem expresses an interest in Dinah and asks for the Jacobites and Shechemites to intermarry, Dinah's brothers murder all of the Shechemite males. It's ironic that Cora's predicament reminds David of this story, whose lesson is one of the rejection of intermarriage between different groups of people. Even though Hawkeye is in charge of this group of warriors, it has been clear from the beginning that Cora's champion is Uncas, which would seem to argue FOR interracial relationships.
Which of the following details from the current situation fits with the allusion made to the Bible story you just read?
Read the summary of the story of David and Goliath before you answer the next question: (This annotation contains a link)
Which of the following overarching themes would it have been beneficial for the Hurons to remember?
26 - The American forest admits of the passage of horses, there being little underbrush and few tangled brakes. The plan of Hawkeye is the one which has always proved the most successful in the battles between the whites and the Indians. Wayne, in his celebrated campaign on the Miami, received the fire of his enemies in line; and then causing his dragoons to wheel round his flanks, the Indians were driven from their covers before they had time to load. One of the most conspicuous of the chiefs who fought in the battle of Miami assured the writer, that the red men could not fight the warriors with "long knives and leather stockings"; meaning the dragoons with their sabers and boots.
From the descriptions of the combatants in this scene, which of the following characters could best be described as most avid for battle?
According to Cooper's description of the chase, which character was the most motivated to pursue Magua?
At this point in the pursuit, Hawkeye is the only person still armed; Uncas and Duncan abandoned their rifles in the cave during the chase. It's also evident by Cooper's description that Uncas and Duncan are definitely the ones intent on pursuing Cora, not Hawkeye.
Analyze the changes made to the Hollywood version of the novel. Why do you think the director of the movie version of The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann) made the choices he did in changing the climax of the novel? Why would he have Magua and Uncas choose Alice rather than Cora? Why would he have Chingachgook act as the instrument of Magua's death rather than Hawkeye? Why would he allow Alice to choose her own death rather than fall at the hands of the Hurons?
Now that you've read the climax of the novel, watch the Hollywood version of this scene before you answer the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Why do you imagine that the Delawares would have chosen to display Uncas in this manner after death? Of what symbolic significance might this arrangement of his body have been?
Aside from the fact that this Native American is very much alive, the reader can imagine that this is much as Uncas would have appeared in this scene. (This annotation contains an image)
While it was a widely held belief that Native Americans were descended from East Asian ancestors who crossed a land bridge from Siberia to North America, more recent genetic studies have discovered there may be more to the story: (This annotation contains a link)
It's clear in this section of the wake that the Indian maidens are alluding to Uncas' love for Cora. What is their opinion of this interracial relationship, based on the tone of this passage?
Evidently, from Cooper's description here, Hawkeye did not approve of the idea of a relationship between Uncas and Cora, nor did he believe that Duncan and Cora's father would have approved of the idea. Why do you suppose Hawkeye would have been opposed to the idea?
How are Munro's wish for eventual racial equality and Hawkeye's refusal to share Munro's words with the Delawares particularly ironic? Use textual evidence for support.
Several times in this passage, Cooper makes mention of the fact that Heyward is glad to be finally leaving, and the rest of his party seems to be of the same mind. Alice is so distraught that she has to be carried away by litter rather than on horseback. The tragedy of losing Cora hastened the death of her father, while Alice and Heyward eventually moved on with their lives.