the main protagonist of the novel, he is a white man who has spent most of his life in the company of the Mohicans. A strange mixture of intolerance and humanity, Hawkeye is able to renounce most of his European heritage, but he can never be truly Indian.
the young Mohican who is one of Hawkeye's bosom companions, as well as a protagonist. Uncas is the symbol of a people who have died out. He has the nature of an Indian, but is exceedingly more gentle than the stereotype that Europeans hold in their mine. We might call him the noble savage.
the father of Uncas, he is also a friend of Hawkeye. This character exemplifies the reverence of age in Indian cultures. He is an almost divine figure, full of wisdom and unruffled by events that befall him. The only thing that makes him emotional is his son.
a chief in the neighboring Huron tribe, he is the antagonist of the novel. His evil nature exists in stark contrast to the goodness of the Mohicans. He is a villain because of the misfortunes he has suffered at the hands of European conquerors. We might see him as a case of colonization gone awry. For this reason Magua is a sympathetic and a deplorable character.
a major in the English army whose mission is to guard the daughters of his superior. Duncan is a well-meaning youth who prizes the maidens, especially Alice, but he is fully unprepared to deal with the treachery of the wilderness. He is a white man trying to fight Indian battles. This incompatibility almost always results in failure on his part to complete various duties. He exists in contrast to Hawkeye, a white man who is much more fully adapted to Indian warfare.
the elder sister, she is a voice of reason and strength. As a woman who has mixed blood, and is coveted by both Uncas and Magua, she becomes a symbol of cultural meetings, as well as a symbol of European pride. By far she is one of the most admirable characters, with a mothering, selfless nature that cares only to keep her sister safe.
the younger sister, she loves and respects Cora tremendously. Alice is the typical maiden, light-hearted and weak, prone to fainting and crying. Her innocence and purity garner the sympathy of the reader, but we cannot like her as much as we like Cora, who makes real contributions to the welfare of the group.
the random musician who meets Duncan and the sisters in the woods and joins their traveling party. He is by far the flakiest member of this cast. He has only one skill, which is singing. Although he is a nonentity for most of the novel, David becomes an important plot instrument towards the end. He is a religious man, and the author uses him to explore the practical application of Christianity in real life. He also contrasts with Hawkeye, who is self-proclaimed to have no religion.
the commander of the British forces, he is blustering and loving at the same time. His love for his daughters is great, as is his patriotism. He is an optimist and therefore a good military leader. However, like Duncan, his European fight tactics render him helpless in the face of Indian enemies.
the commander of the French forces, he shows himself to be a shrewd leader, but merciful and kind during the surrender of the English. The reader should be aware that he is based on an actual person. How accurate this representation is cannot be certain.
the wise man of the Delaware, he exemplifies all of the qualities that Indians value in their leaders. His absolute authority over the tribe demonstrates the manner in which tribes are run, with respect deciding whose judgments are the most powerful.
Magua's tribe, they show themselves to be an extension of him. They are ambitious to take down the foresters, thereby avenging the warriors they have lost.
the descendents of the Mohicans, they are more peaceful and considerate than the Huron. The battle that occurs between them is a clash of different values above all else.
Last of the Mohicans Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Last of the Mohicans is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Most of the settlers only fight because they're forced to fight. They fight because it's their duty. Given a choice, they'd stay home and look to their own interests..... the safety of their families, their farms, and putting food on the table....