Native American Stereotypes

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The 19th century defined American industrialism and urged on a Capitalistic society that hold strong to the modern day. However, religious, sexual, and racial discrimination ran rampant. Protestant mobs destroyed Catholic lands, women were considered lesser valued than a man, and almost all Americans formed stereotypes that fortified loathsome feelings towards Native Americans. One of the few people who did not follow these moral injustices was James Fenimore Cooper. In his novel, The Last of the Mohicans, he voices disapproval of religious zeal, gender stereotypes, and racial stereotypes. Cooper did not approve of religious fanaticism in the 19th century. He created the characters of Gamut and Hawkeye to demonstrate his opinion. During the…show more content…
The characters Magua and Uncas show the sharp differences between the stereotyped Native American and a realistic Native American. Native Americans during the early 1800’s had been pushed from their lands in order for white settlers to gain land. As immigrants entered America, more land was needed to accommodate these people. Thus, people travelled to the newly acquired western lands. However, as settlers pushed closer and closer to Native Americans, these cultures clashed. As battles occurred between settlers and Indians, a racial stereotype was formed. The connotation that Native Americans were “savage” and “brutal” was a widespread belief in America. Magua is the example of the typical racial stereotype of the time. He is a violent and angry Native American who wanted revenge against Munro, the white father of Alice and Cora. He felt by forcing Cora to wed him, her father would then be punished.She did not desire this because she had been in love with Uncas, a protagonist of the novel. Uncas is the opposite of a brutal savage. He was knowledgeable of the natural world and talented within it. Unlike the stereotype that Indians enjoyed killing innocents, Uncas only killed anything in order to survive. While Magua and the Hurons revelled in what they believed to be the deaths of their enemies after they battled Heyward, Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook at the cave, Uncas did not show any pride or joy at killing an Oneida spy. Cooper describes Uncas as strong, talented, handsome and wise thus showing that he prefers the non stereotypical savage
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