Nonfiction > Carl Van Doren > The American Novel > Subject Index > Page 33
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX

Carl Van Doren (1885–1950).  The American Novel.  1921.


Page 33

by this material. Beguiling as his conception of the series was, Cooper was not fitted, by breadth either of knowledge or of temper, to succeed in it; and his initial failure seems his ultimate good fortune. His future did not lie along the path of history which he had taken in The Spy, but along the path of frontier adventure which he had strayed into with The Pioneers.
  The persuasion of friends led him to resume his narrative of Natty Bumppo, and in Cooper’s next two years and his next two novels he reached probably the highest point of his career. With The Last of the Mohicans (1826) he undertook to show the days of Natty’s prime, and with The Prairie (1827) his old age and final end. In each case Cooper projected the old hunter out of the world of remembered Otsego, into the dark forest which was giving up its secrets to the ax and the plow in 1793, or into the mighty prairies which stretched, in Cooper’s mind’s eye, for endless miles behind the forest, another mystery and another refuge. Natty, called Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans, no longer has the hardness which marred his disgruntled age in The Pioneers. He appears instead as erect, swift, shrewd, contented, and wise. With all his virtues of hand and head he combines a nobility of spirit which the woods have fostered in a mind never spoiled by contact with human meanness and injustice. He has grown nobler as he has grown more remote from quarreling Otsego, more the poet and the hero as the world in which he moves has become more wholly his own. Chingachgook has undergone even a greater change, has got back all the cunning and pride which had been deadened in that victim of civilization, Indian John. Both Hawkeye



CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors