Stereotypes and Stereotyping of Native Americans in The Last of the Mohicans

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The Last of the Mohicans and Stereotyped Native Americans

[1] Native Americans were part of this country long before our founding forefathers. They were the people that Christopher Columbus found inhabiting this land. There is even evidence to show that they have been on the American continents for thousands and even tens of thousands of years. Yet, somehow the European powers dominated these people, forcing them from their land to make it “ours.” In the early part of the twentieth century, a new industry began to develop; we call it the film industry. Along with the industry came movies that were made and are still made for the amusement of a mass audience. Some flaws did come with this industry, and among them was the
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Filmmakers showed what they felt had already been conventional to their beliefs about Native Americans. In the film The Last of the Mohicans (1920) these two contrasting roles of Native Americans dominate most of the plot. The fiend is Magua, and the “noble” savage is Uncas. These two roles that are shown of Native Americans have some historical ground, but what makes one side good and the other bad? Is it because that is how society wants to see them? And does the director’s representation of the two sides gain them acceptance in American culture? In the history of America, Native American tribes often became associated with similar tribes with similar beliefs. This is true of the two tribes in The Last of the Mohicans. The Huron, who according to the historical events of Fort William Henry are the Iroquois and the Mohicans are historically associated with the Delaware. The Huron in the various versions of The Last of the Mohicans, come to represent the Iroquois who were allied with the French, and were seen as evil in the eyes of the British. The Mohicans, historically come to represent the noble Delaware, who were allied to the British. These tribes get grouped together, the “Huron [became] condensed into the same entity as Maquas, Mingoes and Mohawks and contrasted with the superior virtue of the Delawares and Mohicans” (Clark 122). These tribes were constantly intermixed
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