Inter-Marriage and The Last of the Mohicans, 1824-1992

  • Anna Scannavini University of L'Aquila
Keywords: American Literature, Indian Novel, Intermarriage, Fennimore Cooper, Film,


In this essay, I examine the literary status of intermarriage in the American literature of the 1820s. The essay covers a set of “Indian narratives” produced in that decade, focusing on four “Indian novels” that provide instances of trans-cultural sexual and/or sentimental encounters. The set includes novels by Lidia Maria Child (Hobomok), Catharine Sedgwick (Hope Leslie) and Fenimore Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans, The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish). Leaning on the work done on domesticity and sentimental novels by women writers, I focus on how the outcomes of intermarriage are represented in each text. Specifically, I consider the ways of resistance and survival offered (or not offered) to trans-cultural families and their children. As a result, it can be argued that the examined authors do not produce a unique answer to the problem of intermarriage. What they all share, however, is the sense that a deeply human possibility of growth is lost with the Indian removal. In this sense, I conclude by comparing their work to Michael Mann’s 1992 The Last of the Mohicans to find that Mann’s approach is no great improvement on the ideology of the 1820s.


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Author Biography

Anna Scannavini, University of L'Aquila

Anna Scannavini is Associate Professor of Angloamerican literature at L’Aquila University. Her major research interests are language contact and linguistic varieties in literature; narrative and the novel; the writing of the American frontier. She has studied American non mainstream literatures of the twentieth century and the literature of the “Early American Republic”. Among her publications: Per una poetica del bilinguismo; Giochi di giochi: parole e lingua nella letteratura americana; with Anna Scacchi and Sara Antonelli: La babele americana; she has published essays on Fenimore Cooper.


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How to Cite
Scannavini, A. (2011). Inter-Marriage and <i>The Last of the Mohicans</i&gt;, 1824-1992. Between, 1(1).
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