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Revising the Colonial Discourse in The Last of The Mohicans

Saddik M. Gohar

 Chair of the English Literature Department, United Arab Emirates University- P.O.BOX 15551, Alain City- United Arab Emirates, Email: s.gohor@uaeu.ac.ae

Volume 8, Number 3, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n3.16

Received May 25, 2016; Revised August 07, 2016; Accepted August 07, 2016; Published August 18, 2016


Abstract

Within the framework of postcolonial studies of Frantz Fanon, Albert Memmi, Edward Said, the paper critically examines the entanglements of colonial and racial trajectories in The Last of the Mohicans in order to subvert traditional critical assumptions which categorized the novel as an adventure story or Indian Romance or travel narrative affiliated with a multi-ethnic frontier community. Negotiating the dynamics of colonialism, through the economy of its central trope, the Manichean allegory which creates boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, the paper argues that Cooper’s novel, modeled on seventeenth-century captivity narratives, aims to exterminate or marginalize the indigenous American subaltern or associate him/her with a status of cultural decadence and savagery. The paper also illustrates that Cooper’s fiction blends the legacies of the colonized and the colonizer to reconstruct a biased narrative integral to the authorial vision of the confrontations between the native Indian community and the European settlers during the American colonial era. Reluctant to introduce a balanced view of the situation on the western frontier, Cooper emphasizes crucial colonizer / colonized constructs engaging cultural trajectories which lead to conflict rather than dialogue between both sides.

Keywords: Colonialism, captivity narrative, American colonialism, Manichean allegory, colonizer/ colonized.

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