, Research Paper
The last of the Mohicans
In the movie Last of the Mohicans the character Hawkeye displays many characteristics that make him an American romantic hero. Throughout the entire movie he displays these characteristics. The most prominent of these being his closeness with nature. His sense of honor based not on society s rules but on some higher principal, his knowledge of people and of life based on deep, intuitive understanding, not on formal learning, and his quests for some higher truth in the natural world.
The hero, Hawkeye portrays his closeness with nature as his most prominent advantage. On his quest to help other people, he exemplifies his sense of honor in his search for a higher truth in the natural world. He first shows this during the movie when he and his friend chase down a deer in the forest and kill it. The deer is obviously faster and more agile than a human is, but Hawkeye still manages to conquer it. After the kill, Hawkeye and his Indian friends thank the deer and acknowledge the deer s strength and agility. He has a moment to honor the deer because in his mind the animal is equal to himself. This shows Hawkeye s sense of honor based not on society s rules but on some higher principal. He shows this characteristic many times throughout the movie.
When the Colonial Americans want to leave Monroe s fort, Hawkeye helps them because they are his friends and he believes that it is the right thing to do no matter what the cost. The English arrest him for this and contain him. When they come under attack by the Huron Indians, Hawkeye fights them and saves his new love, Cora. He does not display his love for Cora at first because Officer Duncan is in love with her and plans to be wed to her as soon as they return to England. Hawkeye honors Duncan so he does not show his love for her.
When the Huron capture Cora and Officer Duncan, Hawkeye offers himself in place of his friends. By doing this he places others lives in front of his own life. Officer Duncan stays in order to release Cora. The Huron Indians begin to burn him alive. Hawkeye runs back into the wilderness where his party is waiting. He gets a musket and shoots Duncan from a distance. He does this to help him escape the agony of a slow painful death. He also knows this is the right thing to do.
His knowledge of people and of life based on deep, intuitive understanding, not on formal learning is displayed throughout the movie. As a person close to nature and educated in the ways of the American Indian, Hawkeye possesses skills necessary to survive during this period in history.
When his party reaches John s family s cabin he finds it burned and the family dead. Out of his loyal respect, he lets their bodies lay where they are as not to disturb them. After the battle between the Huron Indians and the British soldiers, Hawkeye leads the survivors through the woods and under a waterfall. This ultimately saves their lives, for the time being. He uses his knowledge of the Indians and his past experiences to lead his party to safety. This characteristic is displayed throughout the entire movie as Hawkeye portrays his skill as a superb fighter and marksman.
His quest for some higher truth in the natural world is the basis on which this story is built. When Hawkeye decides to help the Monroe sisters find their father, this characteristic is shown because he feels that it is the right and moral thing to do.
The most prominent aspect of Hawkeye s quest is that he is a white man raised as an Indian. He has been brought up to know the ways of the Indian and be one with the natural world. Being an Indian only feeds his desire to find a higher truth in the natural world.
This character contained all of the major characteristics of a classic American romantic hero. He possessed skills and knowledge that allowed these aspects to shine through. Hawkeye was very in touch with nature and the natural world. This was his greatest strength. He had a sense of honor based not on society s rules, but on some higher principal. His knowledge of people and of life based on deep, intuitive understanding, not on formal learning was prominent throughout the movie. Although Hawkeye contains many characteristics that make him an American romantic hero, they can all be tied together by his quest for some higher truth in the natural world and his constant desire to help those in need.