The Deerslayer Themes

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The Deerslayer is not the first of the Leatherstocking Tales that Cooper wrote; in fact it is his last. Therefore, it reflects a greater maturity and sensitivity compared to his earlier works such as The Last of the Mohicans (1826) and The Prairie (1827). Cooper is aware of the unhappy collision of civilization and a natural, Edenlike state of nature. He himself explains in his preface to the 1850 edition of the Leatherstocking Tales that his man of the forest "possessed little of civilization but its highest principles as they are exhibited in the uneducated . . . on the other hand, removed from nearly all the temptations of civilized life, placed in the best associations of that which is deemed savage, and favorably disposed by nature to improve such advantages, was a fit subject to represent the better qualities of both conditions. . ." Natty Bumppo, the Deerslayer, is indeed, the answer as Cooper saw it...

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