In The Last of the Mohicans, many subjects are introduced through the geographic expedition of the frontier. As Cora, Alice and Heyward travel through the dark and unsafe wood they are surrounded by the ramping war between England and France. Their unfortunate experience with Magua early in their travels finally leads to the debut of Hawkeye and the Mohicans, which enlightens their heads to the differences between good and evil, civil and barbarian.
There were many types of people in and around the settlements during this clip, including the English, French, and Natives. When western enlargement began, it led to the stratification of society, which separated each person by sex, category, and race. Who set guidelines for the division of types of people? Furthermore, who was distinguished as civilised or barbarian? As Cora, Alice, and Heyward brush unfamiliar races, they experience many new beliefs, and ways of life. To them anything different was considered unusual and barbarous.
The Mohicans think of the Hurons, or Iroquois as barbarian existences, incapable of normal human emotions or actions. We see this portrayed subsequently in the novel, when the Indians attack the English military personnels as they leave Fort William Henry in peace. But how can Hawkeye, Chingachgook, and Uncas be thought of as civilised, if they excessively scalp, kill, and yell in their choler? It is shown nevertheless, that the Mohicans, show restraint, while the Iroquois were unable to command their fury.
Another inquiry is Hawkeye’s place between the two categorizations. He is said to be “the perfect frontier hero”, and he feels at place in the wood instead than the colonies. What is confounding is that he continuously boasts his true race and background: “the worst enemy I have in this universe, and he is an Iroquois, daren’t deny that I am echt white” -pg.31, yet was angered by his white society, finally obtaining safety within the wilderness. Why is Hawkeye invariably guaranting others of his race? Is he the true heroic figure for the frontier?