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The life and human relations in James Fennimore Cooper's novel The Last of the Mohicans are best portrayed when the theme of vengeance is present. The relationships under consideration are primarily those between Magua, the adversary, and Colonel Munro, his family, and a few other individuals, the protagonists. Magua is a retired soldier in the colonel's army who faces disciplinary action at one point due to his fondness for whisky. He is enraged by the verdict, which requires his whipping, which Magua views as demeaning and unfair (Cooper 25). He then seeks revenge in every way possible.
Human relations as described in the book illustrates protagonists who are very good-hearted and are willing to ensure that there is a peaceful co-relation between people. The antagonist, on the other hand, is drawn by his desire to avenge and only seeks to disrupt the peace and punish the colonel for having him beaten up. Magua decides that the perfect revenge would be to marry the colonel’s daughter, Cora. He devises a plan that involves abducting the girl and forcing her to be his wife.
A fierce fight between Magua and the Hurons versus the Delaware’s ensues and Magua and his men manage to escape with Cora (Cooper 37). The colonel’s men pursue them and catch them at a cliff. Once cornered, Magua asks Cora to be his wife or face death, where Cara chooses the latter. As he raises the knife, Uncas, a protagonist steps in and scares him back. Unfortunately, another Huron assailant gets to Cora and stabs her, killing her. Magua attempts to run away but misses a step at the edge of the cliff and slips, holding on to a shrub. One of the Colonel’s men, a man named Hawkeye finds him and shoots him, causing him to fall to his death.
The human relations portrayed in the book, therefore, point to a discorded society where people have many issues against each other (Ringe, Donald A and James 42). Loyalty is a crucial element of the links, and the book indicates to the various people and the actions of the individuals allied with them. The Hurons, for instance, were allied to Magua alone and even killed Cora on his behalf. Protagonists such as Hawkeye and Unicas, on the other hand, were loyal to the Colonel and were dedicated to getting Cora back as well as rounding Magua.
Life, as illustrated in the book is short (Ringe, Donald A and James 45). Negative human interactions make it even worse as evidenced by the people who killed each other ruthlessly. The assertion that enmity is the cause of all the lives lost in the book is correct. The war between the French and the Indian for colonial powers, a historical fact, was only there because there was no unity between the two groups. Further, the massacre at Fort William Henry shows the horrible life people lived because of the disunity. On a more personal note, the deaths of Cora, Uncas, and the Huron assailant were as a result of Magua’s anger. One of the most vital lessons about life that can be taken from the book is that no one is immune to death. Killing another person does not make one superior as he can also be killed in the same way. After the death of Cora, Magua felt very happy and heroic and ran away feeling very contented. He did not know that he would also die the same day in the hands of his enemies.
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Cooper, James Fenimore. The last of the Mohicans. Oxford University Press, USA, 1998.
Ringe, Donald A., and James Fenimore Cooper. "The Last of the Mohicans as a Gothic Novel.”." James Fenimore Cooper: His Country and His Art 6 (1986): 41-53.
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