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James Fenimore Cooper’s Early Novels: The Creation of American Identity in The Pioneers and The Last of the Mohicans
|關鍵字:||民族意識;詹姆士·菲尼莫爾·庫柏;《拓荒者》;《最後的莫西干人》;後殖民;天命昭彰;白人種族至上;殖民主義;帝國主義;national identity;James Fenimore Cooper;The Pioneers;The Last of the Mohicans;post-colonialism;Manifest Destiny;white supremacy;colonialism;imperialism||引用:||Abrams, M. H. ed. “The Romantic Period.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M. H. Abrams and Stephen Greenbla. 7th ed. Vol. 2. New York: Norton, 2000. 1-23. Print. Baldick, Chris. “Romanticism.” The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001. 222-24. Web. Barringer, Felicity. “Faded but Vibrant, Indian Languages Struggle to Keep Their Voices Alive.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Jan. 1991. Web. 25 Dec. 2015. Baym, Nina, et.al. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2008. Print. Behrman, Carol H. The Indian Wars. Minneapolis: Lerner, 2005. Print. Bell, Michael Davitt. Culture, Genre, and Literary Vocation: Selected Essays on American Literature. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2001. 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In the early period of the new republic, many people had difficulty in recognizing their own culture and their national identity. In a sense, Americans at that time were facing a post-colonial crisis of knowing who they were. During the early nineteenth century, James Fennimore Cooper committed himself to help Americans find their cultural identity. He wrote many novels, among which The Pioneers and The Last of the Mohicans were the most well-known, to help his people realize the significance of their history and culture. This thesis aims to explore the creation of American identity in The Pioneers and The Last of the Mohicans from both colonial and post-colonial perspectives. Cooper tried to make Americans realize that Native Americans and American landscape were the features of American life. However, when Cooper tried to consolidate the American identity by exalting the settlement experience and justifying the westward expansion, he unconsciously revealed the mindset of Manifest Destiny and white supremacy. Thus, his novels became another type of imperialist narrative.
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