The Last of the Mohicans as a Historical Novel

The story of The Last of the Mohicans is grounded upon the real historical events. The frontier was overrun by the European explorers. In an attempt to explore the wild land of the New England many French and English colonizers entered the scene of the frontier. Those European created a conflict in Native American tribes.

James Fenimore Cooper

Having created a conflict among native tribes those Europeans took political advantage. Some native tribes were attracted by the English, others were guided by the French. Thus, there was political rivalry over the camp of French explorer and the English camp. Due to their political selfishness and rivalry bloody war used to take place. Both the French and the English conquerors fought each other and sometimes against the natives over frontier land. The famous massacre at the fort of William Henry narrated in chapter 17 is historical. Chapter 17 narrates how lots of soldiers and people were killed on the spot of bloodshed around the fort of William Henry on the 10th of August 1757. This tragic event of bloodshed is historically true. Hence it can be said that the novel is grounded on the solid historical reality.

Magua is a villain. Magua was discarded by his community of Hurons because he began to drink French wine. This ostracism (neglect) Magua received from his community is a kind of punishment for those who turn away from their culture and family. Magua was displaced from his culture. Many French colonizers had been playing their tricks of the trade. They tried to weaken the natives by making those tribal people drunkard. By encouraging Magua and other people like him to drink and follow French culture, the French colonizers were displacing those tribal people from their community. This problem of displacement Magua faced is historically true.

With the on rush and onset of the Europeans on the frontier, many examples of violence increased. Consequently, native tribes began to divide themselves. They were not only divided but there also grew an intense hostility between them. The last of the Mohicans narrates the hostile battle between Huron and Mohicans. This battle between Huron and Mohicans tribe is a colonially motivated tribal conflict masterminded by the European. The conflict led to the problem of tribal demise. The problem of tribal demise is a historically true fact. The novel The Last of the Mohicans captures this historical reality by slowly building the background theme of tribal demise.

At that time when civilization rushed to the frontier violence began to erupt increasingly. In the representation of this violence Cooper expressed the breadth of his knowledge regarding the native tribe's art of fighting. The name of the weapon by which Hawkeye fights against obstacles is named tomahawk. In real life also tribal American fought with that weapon. Hence there is the expression of historical reality concerning Cooper's representation of tribal warfare.

Finally, in the novel, there is a mention of native Indian American culture. Delaware community is represented. In the representation of Delaware community where Uncas was held captive, we find explicit examples of realities regarding tribal culture and family. To sum up, there are elements of historical realism in the representation of political, cultural and historical climate of the frontier. Hence the novel The Last of the Mohicans is historical in its narrative treatment and account.