Theme of Tribal Demise in The Last of the Mohicans

The novel The Last of the Mohicans exhibits the gradual demise of Native American Indian tribes because of the mounting cross cultural, interracial and colonial conflicts. Even amidst American tribal group conflict was created by the French and the English colonizer.

James Fenimore Cooper

To create a division within the tribal unity of frontier tribes is the prime political intention of the European colonizers. Due to this colonial conspiracy on the frontier, several tribal communities began to divide. In addition, they started showing different divided loyalty to different colonial groups. Due to this problem of division in tribal loyalty, hostility and violence developed even between tribal groups. On the one hand, Indians began to be culturally displaced and politically weakened by war within themselves. Their sense of strong communal belonging was weakened due to the inter-communal and intertribal war. On the other hand, they (tribes on the frontier) were invaded by the French and the English alternately. Some tribes were attacked by the English, whereas some were attacked by the French. When the French and the English fought the natives were the people to die in the colonial warfare.

Besides this, the French were ruining and weakening the Huron and Delaware tribes by bringing the Hurons into French habit to drink. Magua is one example to adduce to certify this critical fact. This is called the problem of cultural aggression.

Affected from every side by all these problems, the tribal Indians on the frontier began to decrease. They faced the problem of displacement. Their number decreased as their lineage and heritage began to break. Their community started becoming smaller and smaller. Those who followed the French culture were not accepted when they came back to their community. In this way their tribe began to die. The young people from Indian tribes began to develop a romantic affinity in European woman. This is one working cause behind the growing death of Indian tribes. In the novel Uncas revealed his love for Cora, a woman from a European background. The gradually growing romantic affinity between Uncas and Cora also led to the problem of tribal demise. Hence it is safe to say that at the heart, of The Last of the Mohicans Lies the background theme of tribal demise.