Deerslayer Essay, Research Paper
Judith vs. Hetty
Sisters throughout history have been to eachother: friends, playmates, adversaries, confidantes, soul mates and significant others , but the most important bond they share is their sisterly love. This bond stands out and sets it apart from all others. The sisterly love that Judith and Hetty Hutter possessed never seemed to reach its full potential. This may be due to the fact that they were sisters who were different in every way possible. This sisterly conflict creates great diversity and themes for the book The DeerSlayer by James Fenimore Cooper.
Due to the fact that their mother died when they were young, Judith being the older one, naturally took the leadership and mothering responsibilities over the two. They had been raised by their father Tom Hetter on Lake Glimmerglass, New York. Each sister, in her own aspect was a leader and a follower. Though Hetty in her own aspect took on the missionary duties of converting the Mingos. Physically and personality wise the two were as opposite as north and south. Judith was tall, dark, and beautiful, always attracting the military men nearby. Hetty on the contrary was short, pale, and rather plain looking. Despite the judgements on their appearances, their personalities proved to be very contrasting and conflicting.
Preferences of lifestyle created much conflict and unspoken bitterness between the two girls. Hetty preferred to life a simple and moral life, while sharing her Christian faith with the Mingos, in hopes to convert them. Judith on the other hand wanted to go to bigger and better places, to new settlements being formed, vying away from simpleness and heading into booming towns. She wanted to leave the simple life and good morality that she had been raised on. Judith had a lust for life while Hetty humbly took it step by step.
Personality and character-wise Hetty and Judith were exact opposites. Judith bore not only good looks but also intelligence to compliment her physical beauty. Hetty was once described as having less intellect than ordinary falls to the share of human beings. It was known amongst the lake that Hetty infact was slow and retarded, with a simple yet humble mind. Judith did recognize this weakness and took advantage of it. She had grown up thinking herself not as an equal to Hetty, but as a better person. This is evident through out the story. At one point Judith and the Deerslayer are searching for the wealth hidden in the treasure chest. They search high and low throughout the barge, including through Judith s luxurious possessions when the happen upon Hetty’s simple ones. Judith states in a tone of betterment, These are only the clothes of poor Hetty, dear simple girl! she said; nothing we seek would be likely to be there. Judith has become a self-seeking, self-righteous woman, only seeking out things in life that benefited her.
The favoritism of Judith over Hetty by their father is constantly seen in the story. Hetty had belongings said to be plain and simple, and of not much value, while Judith possessed items of great worth and pride, belonging only to a woman of such exquisite beauty. Ironically it was Hetty who adored and loved the father who favored her sister over her. At Tom s death, he confessed that he was not their real father. With this news Hetty responded with much grief, for she loved this man who had so lovingly protected them and raised them all these years. Judith responded to the news with a pleasing attitude, for her and Tom never shared the love that him and Hetty did, in fact there had never been sufficient intimacy between Tom and his daughter (Judith), which possibly gave her a reason and a defense for her emotions.
Hetty did not contain her own identity apart from her sister. Constantly Hetty was masked in the shadows of her older and more beautiful counterpart. One may think that Hetty subliminally recognized her status, and instead of fighting it, she just dealt with it. Hetty once described herself to others as Judith Hutter s sister, and Thomas Hutter s younger daughter. Instead of relating herself to her father, the name bearer, protector and honor of the family, she related herself to her better. She succumbed to this position unknowingly, humbly accepting the place that God had set her in life.
Hetty and Judith can be contrasted to no end, but despite their many differences they did posses few aspects which were alike. Throughout the course of the story the sisters fall in love with two men, Hetty with Hurry and Judith with the Deerslayer. These emotions evolve into feelings that could never be satisfied, for the love that they gave could never be returned by the men they gave it to. It turned out that Hurry was in love with Judith while Deerslayer favored the simplicity and quite nature of Hetty. It was ironic how the things that these women wanted most in life, were unreachable, but the girls found outlets to fill these voids.
Despite the differences between Hetty and Judith, the love for each other was still evident. Judith felt sadness and loss at the death of Hetty, possibly realizing the true depth of their relationship, which they had never pondered. Throughout their lives, one sister was always being compared to the other. Hetty naturally succumbed to the lower position of the two, just accepting what happened. Judith attempted to find the benefit for herself out of every situation, but ended up loosing for what she had loved most in life, the Deerslayer. Despite their hardships, the two girls learned not only to love in a romantic way but in the brotherly way, the way sisters shared.