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James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans: Book and Movie

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James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans: Book and Movie

The book Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper was very

different from the movie Last of the Mohicans in terms of the storyline.

However, I feel that the producer and director of this movie did a good job

of preserving Cooper's original vision of the classic American man

surviving in the wilderness, while possibly presenting it better than the

book originally did and in a more believable fashion to a late twentieth

century reader.

The makers of the movie Last of the Mohicans preserved Cooper's central

ideas and themes very well, the most important of which is the question,

what makes a man? Very few books that I
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This I think was a wise choice because it gave the viewer more

things in common with the hero and thus made Hawkeye a more human hero and

therefore more comprehensible to the late twentieth century viewer.

One thing the makers of the movie attempted to keep was the vision

portrayed in the book of sweeping landscapes, gigantic trees, dark forests,

crashing waterfalls, and other impressive features of nature. This again

was a wise choice, seeing as how part of Cooper's vision was the goodness

and power of nature. However, once again I think the film presented this

facet better than the book did, although this time it was not due to a

feature Cooper left out but instead was simply due to the fact that film

presents such features in a more vivid, more appealing way than pages of

descriptive passage. (This again may be the bias of a late twentieth

century viewer/reader, as we are used to having our images presented in a

graphic, immediate way, rather than allowing our imaginations to conjure up

pictures from the written word.)

One thing the makers of the movie left out that was originally in the

book was the character of David Gamut, the psalmist. Of all the characters

in the book I felt his was best developed by Cooper; almost all of the

others were cardboard characters with no depth. Gamut, however, is at the

beginning portrayed as anything but a hero He
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