James Fenimore Cooper 1783-1859 • • • • • 1. Father of American novel 2. Maker of the American Myth 3. Preacher of the American individualism 4. First sufferer of the American Dilemma James Fenomore Cooper Because of Mr. Cooper, we began to understand the American Indians, and the meaning of the frontier and American values. Forests are to Americans as the Yellow River to the Chinese. A forest in winter, mysterious and beautiful This is the place where a solitary soul can rest. Daniel Day Lewis brings the American past to life. The American Indians American Indians and their cultural sign: The eagle American Indians The noble savages The frontiersmen in the west Actors of the movie Patriot at lunch break A brief introduction to Cooper • He wrote America’s first utopian novel, historical romance, frontier novel and sea novel. • He was the first writer to portrait Indians, frontiersmen and old salts. • He made the Americans conscious of their past and the Europeans conscious of America. • He was the first writer to realize that a new literature should be created from the inside, from the feeling to the form. • He helped to develop American values: individualism, freedom in the wilderness, unsophisticated nobleness. • He moved American literature a step forward James Fenimore Cooper • • • • The paradox of his life and character 1. A man of action and a professional writer 2. An amateur of letters and enjoying worldwide fame 3. An aristocrat by taste and a spokesman of American democracy • 4. A writer of frontier stories and a believer of social cast • 5. A gentleman farmer and a lover of forests Cooper’s writing and style • 1. More imagination than polish, with a slow start • 2. With landscape and narrowing down to a small group and/or a solitary person • 3. Feeling at ease with the lower class • 4. With a fine ear for dialects • 5. Exciting scenes: attack, massacre, torture, fight, capture, rescue and escape • 6. Delighted in gory details ( scalping) American literary tradition 1 ( Novels) Wilderness Civilization A white man alone Europe America Mayflower people American literary tradition 2 (Novels) • • • • • 1. Natty Bumppo, The Leather Stocking Tales 2. Huck, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 3. Hester, The Scarlet Letter 4. Ishmael, Moby Dick 5. Old man, The Old Man and the Sea The forest is a place where we feel free and clean. The prairie Deer An American Indian girl Cooper’s works • The Leatherstocking Tales 皮袜子五部曲 • • • • • 1.The Deerslayer, 1841<猎鹿者> 2. The Last of the Mohicans, 1826<最后一个莫希干人> 3. The Pathfinder, 1840<探路者> 4. The Pioneers, 1823<拓荒者> 5. The Prairie, 1827<大草原> • The central figure: Natty Bumppo The prairie harbors the American soul and spirit.