Study Help Essay Questions


1. Compare and contrast the two sisters, Judith and Hetty Hutter, in terms of their personalities, beliefs, and roles in the book.

2. Discuss the opinion in the Cambridge History of American Literature that Natty Bumppo is "the most memorable character American fiction has given to the world." What makes Natty Bumppo a "memorable character" in The Deerslayer?

3. One of Cooper's favorite technical devices is the chase. Give three examples of the use of a chase in the plot of The Deerslayer.

4. What is the importance of Glimmerglass in The Deerslayer?

5. How does Cooper portray Indians in the romance? What are the differences between Mingos and other Indians?

6. Cooper has been criticized by many critics, including Mark Twain and James Russell Lowell, for his characterization of women in the " Leatherstocking Tales." Analyze Cooper's portrayal of the feminine characters (Judith, Hetty, and Hist) in The Deerslayer.

7. What are Cooper's views on race? How does he portray differences between the white race and the Indians?

8. Cooper is greatly concerned about the role of Christianity and Christian teachings in the struggle for the frontier. Discuss his religious attitudes and his understanding of Christian ideals.

9. Tom Hutter and Hurry Harry represent evil aspects of white civilization. Make a comparison and contrast of their characters and ideas.

10. How does Cooper use nature in The Deerslayer as a thematic, descriptive, and structural technique?

11. Natty Bumppo and Chingachgook are the two characters who most resemble each other in the romance. Discuss their similarities and also any differences between the two men.

12. Compare and contrast the death of Tom Hutter in Chapter 21 and that of Hetty Hutter in Chapter 31.

13. The Deerslayer can be considered a tragedy from several points of view. What are some of the tragic elements in the light of characters, themes, and actions?

14. How does Cooper use the soliloquy to develop his ideas and the character of Natty Bumppo? Is the dramatic monologue an effective device in The Deerslayer?

15. In what ways has Cooper created the epic and the myth of the American experience?

16. To what extent is the love of Judith for Natty Bumppo an important feature of The Deerslayer?

17. In your opinion what are the five outstanding characteristics of Natty Bumppo in the book?

18. What are the main components of Cooper's use of language? For example, how does he use language in description, dialogue, and characterization?

19. Cooper stated in the "Preface" that he wanted to secure "the semblance of reality" to his romance. State any violations or exaggerations of this aim of Cooper's in The Deerslayer. Is he successful in this purpose?

20. What is the role of violence in The Deerslayer? What are Cooper's views on violence, bloodshed, and killing?