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Assimilating American Indians in James Fenimore Cooper’s Novels?

Authors
  • Peprník, Michal
Type
Published Article
Journal
Prague Journal of English Studies
Publisher
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2016
Volume
5
Issue
1
Pages
103–117
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/pjes-2016-0006
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The article employs critical concepts from sociology and anthropology to examine the stereotype of the Vanishing Indian and disclose its contradictory character. The article argues that in James Fenimore Cooper’s late novels from the 1840s a type of American Indian appears who can be regarded as a Vanishing Indian in many respects as he displays some slight degree of assimilation but at the same time he can be found to reveal a surprising amount of resistance to the process of vanishing and marginalization. His peculiar mode of survival and his mode of living demonstrate a certain degree of acculturation, which comes close to Gerald Vizenor’s survivance and for which I propose a term critical integration. I base my study on Susquesus (alias Trackless), Cooper’s less well-known character from The Littlepage Manuscripts, a three-book family saga.

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