The Deerslayer Essay
James Fenimore Cooper’s first novel on the adventures of Natty Bumppo, “The Deerslayer” offers a delightful opportunity to “witness” the early American history, the means and ways of behavior and relationships, to get the idea of the forefathers’ dreams and expectations about the future world. The novel also provides the reader with a wonderful insight of the authors’ worldview and basic understanding of what is right and what is wrong. James Fenimore Cooper has gradually created a hero that possesses great virtues and has practically no drawbacks – no wonder the most beautiful woman fell in love with the Deerslayer, for his beliefs and judgments have been so pure, elevated and sincere that hardly anyone could resist his charisma.
It is obvious that the author takes great pride in the protagonist. Cooper has created a great character of manhood – a friend, a warrior, a protector. Nathaniel’s principles of honesty, frankness and justice win the reader’s admiration from the very beginning of the novel, when the Deerslayer swears to tell the truth, and truth only, and to protect the innocent from the aggression of Hurry Harry. Cooper uses the latter to emphasize that inner beauty is far more important and rewarding than the physical one.
Certainly, the Deerslayer seems to be a bit ideal – he is faster, stronger and braver than anyone else. He also has an outstanding strength of mind and great luck that seems to help him meet all the challenges and overcome all the hardships. Through the words of Nathaniel, the Deerslayer, James Fenimore Cooper speaks of truth, faith in God, friendship, peacefulness and philanthropy. He provides the Deerslayer with the wisdom of the greatest power – the belief of peaceful coexistence the latter professes, shows the core ideas of Cooper’s worldview.
The Deerslayer is against cruelty, especially towards women and children; he stands for his friend, Chingachgook, at the mission of saving Hist; he even keeps his word and comes back to the Iroquois after they have let him go for some time. Nathaniel also believes in God and often supports his ideas of peace and truth referring to the Higher Ruler. Surely, Coopers’ heroes are stereotypes; this allowed him to embody his ideas of good and bad in a simple and eloquent manner. Through the novel James Fenimore Cooper speaks of the principles of human behavior and relationships, and the ways that seem, according to his worldview, to be the right ones.