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The Deerslayer

James Fenimore Cooper

Character Analysis Rivenoak

The Indian chief is the noblest of the Mingos and, in his confrontations with Deerslayer, is compared favorably with the hero. Rivenoak is a born leader who dominates the other chiefs and braves of the tribe through his intelligence, cunning, and superior strategy. Thus he sees the advantages in persuading Deerslayer to join forces with the Mingos, and he tries to avoid the revenge demanded by his warriors so that he can create a more powerful nation. Although Rivenoak resorts to all the circumventions natural to his gifts, Deerslayer admires the Mingo leader all the more for being so loyal to the qualities of the Indians. Indeed, Rivenoak is the foil to Deerslayer, but the chief is also an Indian representative who is similar to Chingachgook in the depiction of brave, intelligent, and shrewd natives of the American continent.