Themes in the Last of the Mohicans

One major theme articulated in The Last of the Mohicans is the stereotype depicting Indians as animalistic. The Huron tribe is shown as the most violent tribe, almost nonhuman. Magua, the leader of the Huron tribe, is the most violent of the tribe. Angered by the colonies’ treatment of his kin, he only seeks revenge. One of the clearest images of the Huron tribe’s animalistic nature is when Magua rips the heart out of Colonel Munro’s chest. Other images that help add to this theme can be seen in the way that the Huron tribe attacks even the women and children.

They care nothing about the innocent people they murder, and they roam about as savages. This is the image that Americans today have of all Indians. Very few know anything about the kindness of Indians such as Uncas and Chingachgook. Another theme in this movie is interracial love and friendship being looked down upon. After doing some research on the actual novel by James Fenimore Cooper, I noticed that the plot was changed in the movie. In the novel, Cora and Uncas have an interracial relationship.

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However, in the movie, Cora and Hawkeye, an adopted white, have that relationship. The relationship of Uncas and Cora that ends in death in the novel is switched to Uncas and Cora’s sister. Also, their fondness of each other is never developed. This supports that theme, for everything is changed to make it more appealing to the typical white audience. It would be frowned upon to have a white woman in love with an Indian. Thus, the movie does not show that.

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