The Deerslayer By James Fenimore Cooper Character Analysis Hurry" Harry March"

The antithesis of Deerslayer from the first chapter to the last farewell after the battle, "Hurry" Harry March is the character who would best fulfill the classification of a villain for the book. He has, in fact, few redeeming traits although he leads the soldiers to the site of the Mingo camp. However, it is not entirely certain if Hurry Harry, angry at Judith and jealous of Deerslayer, would have gone directly to the garrison. The soldiers, hearing of the Mingo war party, met Hurry Harry on the trail, where he could not refuse to serve as a guide to Glimmerglass. Hurry Harry is subdued only twice (and temporarily) in The Deerslayer: His partner in crime, Tom Hutter, shows him in his dying moments the futility of a wicked life; and Hetty, dying serenely and confidently, admonishes him to "try and be more like Deerslayer."

In certain ways, Deerslayer and Hurry Harry are alike: They are about the same age, are skillful woodsmen, and possess great physical strength. However, Cooper stresses that Hurry Harry is much more handsome than Deerslayer; in fact, Natty Bumppo is very plain (an aspect noted by Hetty in particular). Hurry Harry's physical advantages are, however, a false reflection of the man because in reality he has no virtues to match the outward appearances. Deerslayer, contrasted thereby, shows that his lack of Hurry Harry's dashing personality and charming features is no guide to his true character. In short, Hurry Harry shows the dangers of trusting to appearances rather than looking to the reality of a person.

Although Hurry Harry escapes punishment for his evil attempt to scalp the sleeping Indians, he is frustrated in his wish to marry Judith. He leaves the ark and its besieged inhabitants because of his anger at the rebuff and also departs in the last chapter indignant at Judith's repeated rejection. Significantly, Hurry Harry is alone at the novel's conclusion. He no longer has even Deerslayer for a companion as he did in the first chapter.

There is also a lesson about Hurry Harry's impact on the environment and its dwellers. Whereas Tom Hutter, accustomed to pillage from his pirate days, exploited the countryside, Hurry Harry (the nickname is clearly symbolic) is thoughtless in his actions. For example, Hurry Harry resorts to violence without thinking of the consequences: his possible betrayal of the arrival at the lake by shooting a deer; the shot fired in the dark which accidentally kills the Indian girl; the scalping forays; the attempt to shoot the Mingos who have just released him and Tom Hutter; and the angry lunge at Deerslayer in the first chapter. Hurry Harry, because he appears so frequently in the book and survives, is perhaps the more dangerous and more evil figure than Tom Hutter who, after all, is killed for his villainy.

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Although The Deerslayer was the last of the Natty Bumppo novels to be written, it appears __________ based on Natty's chronological age.




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