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The Last of the Mohicans | Study Guide

James Fenimore Cooper

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The Last of the Mohicans | Character Analysis



Hawkeye's given name is Natty Bumppo, but he is also known as La Longue Carabine, or Long Rifle. Hawkeye's Mohican comrades call him Hawkeye because of his keen marksmanship. A resourceful scout and legendary hunter, he is white but was raised by Delaware Indians. This "man without a cross" symbolizes the meeting of European and Native American cultures. Rugged, independent, and loyal, he is the model for modern Western heroes such as the Lone Ranger.


Uncas is the title character, the "last" of the Mohicans. A member of the sacred Turtle clan, he is strong, fearless, and athletic. His nickname is The Bounding Elk (Le Cerf Agile). During the French and Indian War, he fights on the side of the English against the French and their Iroquois allies. Uncas helps guide Cora and Alice Munro to Fort William Henry and eventually falls in love with Cora. He is killed trying to save Cora from Magua.


Chingachgook is a fierce, skilled fighter known as Le Gros Serpent (The Great Snake) because he "understands the windings and turnings" of human nature, is quiet, and strikes his enemies when they are not expecting it. His use of war paint intimidates his enemies. Patient and stoic, he is also loving and loyal. Although he does not often show his emotions, Chingachgook is obviously grief-stricken when his only son, Uncas, dies.


Magua is driven by a desire for revenge after Colonel Munro orders him to be whipped for drinking alcohol and entering his cabin. To punish Munro, Magua kidnaps his daughters and tries to force Cora to marry him. After a series of relentless pursuits, Magua finally kills Uncas and then is killed by Hawkeye. Magua's nickname, The Sly Fox (Le Renard Subtil), refers to his cleverness and manipulativeness. He pretends to be an ally to both the English and French; in reality, he is loyal to neither side.

Major Duncan Heyward

Major Heyward is a handsome, courageous French-speaking soldier who was born in colonial Virginia. His mission is to escort Colonel Munro's daughters safely from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry. He falls in love with Alice, Colonel Munro's younger daughter, and asks her father for her hand in marriage.

Cora Munro

Cora falls in love with Uncas. Unlike her half sister Alice, Cora is strong, brave, and independent. Her mother, Colonel Munro's first wife, was a West Indian woman of mixed white and Caribbean ancestry who descended from slaves. Cora is captured twice by Magua and eventually killed by another Huron.

Alice Munro

Alice falls in love with Major Heyward and they become engaged. Alice's mother, Colonel Munro's second wife, was an English noblewoman. Alice often acts helpless and frightened, but she is able to find inner strength when tested.

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