Chapter Two: Cooper's Death Song
Chapter Two argues that Cooper drew heavily on descriptions of Te Ara in his characterization of Magua, the so-called villain of The Last of the Mohicans. According to the chapter, if one reads Cooper's representation of Magua in relation to the representations of Te Ara, it becomes easier to see that the most important opposition in Cooper's work is not between “civilization” and “savagery” but between chiefs and commoners—between the “higher” type of people, whether white or non-white, and everyone arrayed beneath them. Despite his evidently sincere Christian faith, Cooper repeatedly encourages his readers to admire the self-admiring and respect the self-respecting, to support and preserve the existence of a world whose generative principle is pride.
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