Study Guide

Last of the Mohicans Narrator Point of View

By James Fenimore Cooper

Narrator Point of View

Third Person (Objective)

This point of view is pretty rareā€”in The Last of the Mohicans we're just given the actions of the plot, as outlined by an unnamed narrator. All we get are the facts, the whole facts, and nothing but the facts. Luckily, Cooper provides us with plenty of dialogue, scenic detail, and more than enough historical anecdotes to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Perhaps because this point of view is so difficult to maintain, the narration does occasionally slip and we enter into one of the character's heads. For example, we get pretty deep inside Montcalm's head on the eve of the British retreat: the narrator shows Montcalm having an "Am I sure about this?" type of moment. This break in the narration also provides a bit of comic relief, as when the narrator details Heyward's derpity-derpy-durr thought processes when looking at the beaver dam.

Overall, though, the point of view is consistently Third Person (Objective) throughout. We are typically given only descriptions of the action without knowing what goes on in the character's head.

Although the narration is described as Third Person (Objective), it's not actually objective in the strictest sense of the word. When the narrator presents the innate savagery of Native Americans as absolute fact, we can (and should) question that narration of events. See "Tone" for more on this.