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Comparing and Contrasting Cora and Alice in “The Last of the Mohicans”


The novel The Last of the Mohicans has many characters as it is a story of really what happened. All characters have special roles to play in the story. Thus, they have similar or different character traits from one another. Cora and Alice are among the characters that have played significant roles in the story despite the fact that they are not main characters. Cora and Alice have many similar and different character traits, and also play the same or different roles at times.
To start with, Cora and Alice have the main thing in common. Both are daughters of Lieutenant Colonel Munro but with different mothers. Cora’s mother was a mulatto, half-white half-African-Caribbean (Cooper 6). She met Munro and married in the West Indies. Alice’s mother was the love of Munro’s life when she was young; nevertheless, they were married much later in life. Hence, Cora is Alice’s blonde half-sister. Both are gentle, merciful and companionate. This was seen when both of them tried to teach the male characters, in their different ways, the values of compassion, gentleness, and mercy (Cooper 8).

Unlike Cora, Alice is cheerful, playful, and charming, full of feminine allure. This is evident in how she interacts with people. Even when she is in captivity or hiding in the caves while being pursued by Magua, she always remained cheerful (Cooper 13). It was her charming, full of feminine allure that led Heyward to fall in love with her. In contrast, Cora was moody and serious as she never used to play but took everything that she undertook on a serious note.

Cooper (22) asserts that unlike Alice, Cora is serious and intelligent, as well as calm in the face of danger. This reveals itself at first when Magua arrested them and kept them in the cave. She asked him courageously why the Hurons were very enthusiastic to capture them. She also refused to be married to Magua who had captured them so as to free her sister and other captives (Cooper 37). Even at the last minute when Hurons had been defeated and Magua was fleeing away, Cora reached on the mountain and refused to move anymore hence leading to her death. Lastly, Cora was killed by Magua while Alice was saved.

In general, it is apparent that despite being sisters, Cora and Alice had many similarities and differences. These similarities and differences begin from their family background, life, up to personal characters. However, it is these differences and similarities in character traits that facilitated the smooth flow of the story. They portrayed our daily activities and behavior. They also helped to maintain the main theme of the story.

Works Cited
Cooper James. The Last of the Mohicans. New York: Saddleback Educational Publishers, 2001, 6-76. Print.

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