The Last of the Mohicans Essay

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In the following essay, Levernier examines the changing critical status of The Last of the Mohicans.

For more than a century after its publication in 1826, The Last of the Mohicans was by far the most widely read of any of the novels of James Fenimore Cooper. Nonetheless, while praised for its strong narrative interest, The Last of the Mohicans was generally disparaged as the least substantive of the Leatherstocking Tales, with The Prairie, The Pioneers, The Pathfinder, and The Deerslayer receiving far greater critical acclaim. According to its 19th-century critics, The Last of the Mohicans satisfied the popular demands of audiences that craved adventure, but it did so at the expense of both content and realism. Particularly objectionable was Cooper's depiction of Indians, whom reviewers found hopelessly romanticized and not at all historical. As one commentator explained, Cooper's Indians "have no living prototype in our forests. They may...

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This section contains 784 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Last of the Mohicans Study Guide
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