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MonkeyNotes-The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
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Chapter 27

Summary

The Hurons mistake David for Uncas until he has to stretch his limbs for circulation. At first they think Uncas has been deformed by witchcraft. When he turns his head, they realize it is him and they cry out and rush toward him. When he begins singing, they are "reminded of his infirmity" and let him go.

Meanwhile, the village is alerted. As the Indians gather to hold council, Magua is conspicuous by his absence. In this chaos, the conjurer is found and tells his story. The Hurons proceed to the cavern, where they find the "healed" woman lying dead and Magua tied up.

They untie Magua, who shouts "Let the Delaware die!" only to be told he has long escaped. Magua then reveals that all their troubles were the work of Hawkeye, which angers the Hurons.

The Hurons hold a council to decide what to do. Magua speaks last and is selected to lead a party of warriors to the Delawares to find Hawkeye. The next morning as they depart, they pass a beaver dam, which prompts one of the chiefs, who is of the beaver totem, to address the creatures. As he speaks, a large beaver sticks its head out of an abandoned lodge, which he takes to be a good omen. The beaver is in fact Chingachgook, who has come to look for his son and Hawkeye.


Notes

David shows his bravery by taking the place of Uncas. Not only is he in the Hurons' village but he knows he will also incur their wrath by taking Uncas' place. When captured, he is certain that he will die, but his faith is so strong that, rather than showing fear, he bravely sings a funeral hymn. The Indians think that he is insane and of course leave him alone. David has still not figured out the exact effect his singing has on the Indians and is still hopelessly impractical, but he is goodhearted and godly nonetheless.

Magua shows off all his rhetorical skills as he urges the Hurons to adopt his plan. He speaks so cunningly that both those who seek violence and those who seek a more peaceful path are appeased. In doing so, he hopes not only to get revenge on Munro, but to redeem himself amongst his people and lead them again.

Again, disguise as an animal is depicted, as Chingachgook takes the disguise of a beaver and sticks his head out of the door of an abandoned lodge. The beaver is considered as a good omen.

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