Incomplete Colonization in The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans dramatizes a process of an incomplete colonization. The process is described in an indirect and direct way by Cooper. In the eighteenth century the Europeans, particularly the French and the English had developed their colonial interest in the New England.

James Fenimore Cooper

To get their politically induced interests accomplished the French and the English adopted different methods. They (the French and British) did not impose their colonial interest directly through political power. They made a clever use of other indirect ways of colonization.

At first both the French and the English spread the rumor on the 18th century New England that they are the civilized people, that they can teach other semi-civilized and wild people the lesson of civilization. They talked about the university of their civilization and languages in the tribal community of the 18th century New England. By the same token, they moved one step ahead in persuading the Indian tribes to believe that the European religion, that is Christianity, is tremendously rational. In an attempt to sow the seed of colonialism the Europeans, chiefly the British and the French, convinced the Red Indians to internalize the inferiority of their indigenous heritage and their genealogical legacy. In the novel, we can see how subtly the French colonized the community of Hurons and contaminated the tribal purity of Delaware. Due to the political colonization of Hurons by the French, Magua became dispossessed and displaced. The French had excited Hurons to drink French wine, to use French medicines and to speak the French language. As the younger generation of Hurons came to speak the French language to drink French wine and to take French medicine, they became gradually detached and uprooted from their indigenous tribal culture. The younger generation of Hurons imitated the French style in many aspects of their life. However imitative, they might be, they were not absorbed in the mainstream culture of the French. Once they (Hurons) took a new taste of new life, new culture, it became very difficult for them to return to the root of their indigenous culture. As a result, they became displaced and dispossessed. Their tribe disintegrated. In the novel Magua's predicament exemplifies the worst effect of European colonialism in the New England of the eighteenth century. It was the interest of the French to make Huron tribe disintegrate so that the situation of tribal disintegration and displacement could pave the easy way for the expansion of colonialism.

To meet the standard of their colonial interest both the French and the English sow seeds of conflict amidst heterogeneous Indian tribes. Iroquois was backed by the English Force. Backed by the powerful English force, the Iroquois attacked the tribal community of Delaware. As a result, the Delaware Indians were scattered and dislocated. But this secret colonial mission of the twin giants England and France was incomplete because there was growing enmity between France and England. They completed each other in the colonial game of who is going to gain greater quantity of share. For the most part of the colonial mission of the two powerful European powers was incomplete because they failed to gain a loyal Indian support to rise against another tribe. The heart rending massacre at the fort of William Henry illustrates that the mission of colonialism has still to cross a great chaos to attain its long- expected level of completion.

Another facet of incomplete colonialism becomes tangible if we bring into scrutiny the ludicrous religiosity of David Gamut. Even since the white reached the land of third world countries they have been referring to the lack of rational religion in the land of the tribal indigenous people. The colonizer enjoined that their Christian religion is universal. Under the banner of the universality of their religion, they began to charm the indigenous people with the opium of their region. This is also a form of colonialism orchestrated under the name of universal status of the Christian creed. In The Last of the Mohicans David Gamut is entrusted with this colonial mission veiled with the charming magic of Christian Faith. In the name of Christian faith David Gamut wants to colonialism the tribal conscience. But this colonial use of Christian faith remained incomplete, because Hawkeye grew persistently critical of the uselessness of Gamut's Christian faith in the event of the bloody massacre and intensive war.

Incomplete colonialism has witnessed its explicit and implicit manifestation in The Last of The Mohicans. To prove who is going to be a more successful colonizer there arose an intense rivalry between the French and the English. As an outcome of this intense rivalry there arose bloody political rivalry between them. Colonial interest over the Indian Territory, colonial interest over resources, colonial interest over tribal disintegration and colonial interest over cultural colonization have altogether found several manifestations in the novel The Last of the Mohicans. The novel does not show the colonial mission, which is underway. It dramatizes those deadlocks and risks, which have been making incomplete the pace of colonial expansion. The failure of the European powers to know about the tactics of tribal warfare has made the colonial project in the New England incomplete. Similarly the relative unsuccessful of the English to hold the continual support of either tribe also hampered the colonizing mission. To end the entire discussion in the single sentence. The novel The Last of the Mohicans foregrounds the incomplete colonizing adventure of the two European giants. By the same token, it reveals the incompleteness of this process of colonization.