Last of the Mohicans

Cora Munro's Sexual and Maternal Instincts in The Last of the Mohicans

Cora Munro's relationship with her younger, fairer sister Alice demonstrates a distinct mother-daughter pattern that manifests itself in every interaction between the two women. Throughout James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, the character of Cora continuously hides her sister's face in her bosom as an indication of undying protection from the ravages of the American frontier. Alice depends on Cora as her champion and defender but, most unmistakably as a mother figure. Cora maintains a immutable position of motherly nurture with her sister, however, when interacting with other frontier characters, Cora shifts her style of human interaction towards a conscious understanding of her gender capacity. Though not overtly sexual, Cora does demonstrate a cognizance of female sexuality and feminine influence on various male characters. Cora does not often demonstrate motherly instinct while practicing the powers of her sex; rather, her authority particular to each sphere manifests itself during situations of great conflict and tension concerning Alice or, separately, the other surrounding male characters.

The narrator refers to Cora's motherly intuition in many instances, but most especially when Alice...

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