Character Analysis Hist


Hist appears rather late in the novel, and she never dominates the action and thought of Cooper's work as the other characters do. Nevertheless, Hist is often important as the spokesperson of the Indian viewpoint; her questions to Hetty during their appearance together among the Mingos are cogently stated. Hist also confronts Tom Hutter and Hurry Harry in bold and frank opposition to their cruel and thoughtless behavior. She accepts friendship and an alliance with white men, but Hist is never prepared to accept their ideas at the expense of her own people, the exploited Indians, as she emphasizes.

Hist also symbolizes true love in her devotion to Chingachgook, and the Indian girl shows thereby that the natives are as capable of the same emotions and feelings as their white counterparts. She represents the finest qualities of Indian womanhood, and Deerslayer, recognizing her gentle nature and tenderness, advises Chingachgook to behave toward her as an equal and not as a dominating husband. In the last chapter, Hist happily leaves with Chingachgook, and together with her Indian lover, she appears to be the character destined for the brightest future. However, Cooper's description of the return to the lake by Deerslayer tells that Hist has died in the meantime.