The Pioneers

Response Regarding Images and Fiction

Looking back on the mountain-view that was described as the main character's of Fenimore Cooper's The Pioneers caught sight of Templeton, their hometown, in the distance, Elizabeth, the primary female character, "felt as if all the loveliness of the mountain-view had vanished like the fancies of a dream" (59). While it may be true that during the moments that Elizabeth looked down on the scene, the scene was her reality, this reality was not an accurate portrayal of the town itselfthe point of Elizabeth's comment. For both Elizabeth and the reader (through Cooper) in the mountain-view the reality of objects was forgotten because no detail was available from the distance at which the party stood. Once the reality was forgotten each of the objects took on qualities not implicit in the object itself. That is, the objects and the scene were idealized. Both Cooper and Elizabeth, then, seemed to take part in the "action of inventing imaginary states of things," the Oxford English Dictionary's definition for fiction.

The most significant precursor to this fictive account is the change in scale of that occurs. Before the description of the mountain-view commenced Cooper tells of the horses pulling...

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