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Unformatted text preview: Deerslayer's successful effort to save his friends at his own expense is interpreted by Cooper as the generosity that would have made a Roman famous for all time. Deerslayer, then, is as noble as the characters in classical antiquity, and America can produce epic heroes in the tradition of European models. Deerslayer is likewise "the innate gentleman," as Cooper defines his American hero, and this proud, honorable behavior by Natty Bumppo merits a correspondingly chivalric treatment from his savage captors. The two white men, Tom Hutter and Hurry Harry, are mutually scorned and despised by Deerslayer and the Indians because they adhere to no code of honor. The confrontation between Deerslayer and the Mingos is characterized by lofty ideals and elevated speech; they resemble medieval knights who face each other knowing they owe allegiance to the bond of knighthood. In the scene with the Mingos, Deerslayer again uses his term, "sarcumventions," to distinguish between the conduct of an honorable white man and an honorable Indian. A Mingo, as Deerslayer between the conduct of an honorable white man and an honorable Indian....
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- Fall '11