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Word Count: 490
CONTRASTS AND CONFLICTS IN THE LAST OF THE MOHICANSIn James Fenimore Coopers The Last of the Mohicans everything is structured as a double with the massacre of Fort William Henry standing eerily in the middle of the chapters The first part of the novel is set within the confines of civilization the second part in situated in the world of the Indians The characters also have mirrored opposites The good and bad Indian the dark and fair lady the noble red warrior and the dashing and aristocratic white soldier However it is the contrast and the interplay of the two Indian figures Uncas and Magua that make up the main theme of the story It is in the portrayal of these two characters that Cooper examines the main theme of the story the fate of the Indians in the America The undisputed hero of the Leatherstocking series is the frontier figure Natty Bumppo However in The Last of the Mohicans the second book in the series Natty Bumppo or Hawkeye in this case does not seem to show the mythical qualities of the isolated scout and hunter Terence Martin has pointed out that in The Last of the Mohicans we encounter an anomalous and unfinished Natty Bumppo And Donald Darnell states although there is no falling off his powers - he is in his prime his eye is sharp as ever and his role as hero is usurped by Uncas whose movement to the position of dominance at the novels conclusion Cooper skilfully develops Uncas and Magua are the protagonist and antagonist of this story and they both serve as a symbol of the vanishing people the ultimate victims of encroaching civilization of the white man Uncas is the brave warrior who embodies the noble characteristics of the proud Indians In the second half of the novel Uncas infiltrates the Huron village to rescue the captured maidens The setting of the story
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