The Last of the Mohicans

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Cora Munro Character Analysis

The older of Colonel Munro’s two daughters, with dark hair and a strong, courageous disposition, Cora is the daughter of Munro’s first wife, herself of a partly West Indian line. It is strongly implied that Uncas falls in love, in however chaste a fashion, with Cora, and Uncas fights to defend Cora from Magua. Cora, for her part, seems much more sympathetic to the Native Americans in general than other white characters in the novel. Cora is killed by another Huron during Magua’s attempt to take her back to his wigwam.

Cora Munro Quotes in The Last of the Mohicans

The The Last of the Mohicans quotes below are all either spoken by Cora Munro or refer to Cora Munro. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Bantam Classics edition of The Last of the Mohicans published in 1982.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Should we distrust the man because his manners are not our manners, and that his skin is dark?

Related Characters: Cora Munro (speaker), Magua
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

Cora asks her family whether they distrust Magua simply because he's a Native American - a representative of a community that the white colonial settlers, as a rule, tend not to understand. As it turns out, later in the text, the other members of the Munro family have good reason to distrust Magua - as he will turn treacherous and take the side of the French. But this cannot be known early in the novel, and Cora wonders, genuinely, why her family necessarily attributes bad qualities to a Native American guide.

The political and social lessons of The Last of the Mohicans are complex - rather progressive for their time, but, viewed in a contemporary light, still somewhat shocking in their insistence on essential differences between Native American and "European" ways of life. Part of the novel's purpose, as Cooper understood it, was to describe the political and social interactions of colonial America in their fullness, without ascribing absolute good or bad to one side or another. This, despite the fact that Cooper does tend to favor the "Royal American," or English colonial, side. 

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Chapter 11 Quotes

And am I answerable that thoughtless and unprincipled men exist, whose shades of countenance may resemble mine?

Related Characters: Cora Munro (speaker), Magua
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point in the novel, Magua is trying to make the case that Cora ought to live with him as his wife. In doing this, he in part degrades the honor and valor of the European men among whom Cora has lived. Cora assertively tells Magua, in this quotation, that of course there are bad European men, as there are bad people in all communities in the world - she therefore echoes the sentiments she shares earlier in the text, in which she critiques those who (rightly, it turns out) would not trust Magua. But the fact that Magua is a deceptive person and of Iroquois heritage is a coincidence, and Cora wishes to show that bad people, and good people, exist in all communities on the face of the earth, and have since time immemorial. What is more important, for Cora, is the courage one demonstrates in thinking for himself or herself - and not the affiliation that person proclaims, as a source of "honor." 

Chapter 14 Quotes

Hold! ‘Tis she! God has restored me to my children! Throw open the sally-port; to the field; . . . pull not a trigger, lest ye kill my lambs!

Related Characters: Colonel Munro (speaker), Cora Munro, Alice Munro
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

Colonel Munro has believed, till now, that Cora and Alice will not be "returned" to him - that, in sending them out ahead of the colonists with Magua, he has accidentally committed them to their doom. His relief in finding Cora and Alice again is unmatched at any other point in the novel. He feels that he has bucked fate. 

Again, this scene makes plain the relationship of men and women, fathers and daughters, in the "European" communities of the novel. Whereas gender roles among the native communities are far more equal, though by no means perfectly equal, among the Europeans the men fight and protect the women, who mostly do what the men around them ask them to do. It is an arrangement that situates power and authority in the hands of men, not women, and that runs contrary to the spirit of independence possessed by people like Hawkeye, who do not ascribe entirely either to European or to native principles. 

Chapter 15 Quotes

Ah! thou truant! thou recreant knight! He who abandons his damsels in the very lists! Here we have been days, nay, ages, expecting you at our feet, imploring mercy and forgetfulness of your craven backsliding . . . .
You know that Alice means our thanks and our blessings . . . .

Related Characters: Cora Munro (speaker), Alice Munro (speaker), Duncan Heyward
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

This is a small moment of levity in a novel where levity is not all that common. Cora and Alice make fun, gently, of Duncan for his seriousness, and for his desire only to fight the French from the fort, and not to spend time with them within it. 

Cooper's characterizations, as those of Cora and Alice and Heyward here, tend to be schematic, or organized broadly according to theme and type. Heyward is a good, loyal, but somewhat inflexible soldier, who never sways from his devotion. Cora is a passionate defender of the rights of all people, and especially of the rights of Native Americans, whom she believes to be treated unjustly by Europeans. And Alice is a very kind and (as is implied repeatedly) "pure" person, whose honor has in no way been besmirched. Cooper, in this scene, therefore disrupts these types somewhat, without abandoning them - and these three will stay true to their general characters throughout the rest of the novel. 

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Cora Munro Character Timeline in The Last of the Mohicans

The timeline below shows where the character Cora Munro appears in The Last of the Mohicans. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...young officer exits the quarters of General Webb with two young women, named Alice and Cora, whom he is to escort through the wilderness, on horseback, from Fort Edward to Fort... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...continues, saying that the runner was once embroiled in a “strange accident” involving Alice and Cora’s father (who is revealed to be Munro, the officer in charge of Fort William Henry)—but... (full context)
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Cora, her dark-haired sister, asks Alice whether she mistrusts the runner simply because his “skin is... (full context)
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...training, and Alice seems very happy to have this singing man in their midst, although Cora is less pleased. (full context)
Chapter 4
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...promised a reward by Munro, commander of Fort William Henry and father to Alice and Cora, if the whole party is delivered safely to the fort. Heyward tells Magua to sit... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...group, as they approach a stream where the Mohicans’ canoe has been hidden. Alice and Cora are seated in the canoe, and Hawkeye, Heyward, and the Mohicans, with David walking along,... (full context)
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...of rocky outcroppings near a large series of waterfalls, called Glenn’s Falls. Here, Alice and Cora are helped out of the canoe, which is stowed in hiding along with the horses;... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook direct Heyward, David, Alice, and Cora into the caverns near the waterfalls, showing them that, once inside, the caverns extend in... (full context)
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...another part of the cave to sleep, and Heyward, after inspecting the caverns again, tells Cora and Alice that they are safe till morning. Alice regrets aloud that she and her... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Uncas returns, having quieted the horses, and the group waits for several hours. After Cora and Alice and David sleep for a time, Heyward and Hawkeye awaken them and say... (full context)
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...promises the band that the singer will improve after his shock wears off. Heyward tells Cora and Alice to hide with David in the cavern; Heyward joins Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Heyward and Cora, however, dispute that the band has to die at all. Cora tells Hawkeye, Uncas, and... (full context)
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...and Chingachgook float downstream, although Uncas is loath to follow—he appears to feel devoted to Cora, but Cora says he must go with the other two and hope to save the... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...it, because the sound of the rushing waterfall drowns out David’s voice—and Heyward talks with Cora and Alice, who seem prepared, and bravely so, for the renewed assault of the Mingos. (full context)
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The group of Maquas moves on, however, and Heyward tells Cora, Alice, and David that they are saved—they have escaped detection. Just then, however, Magua sees... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...surprised by the conduct of the Mingos, who do not “disturb” him or Alice and Cora and David, but instead roam through the caverns in search of Hawkeye. Magua tells Heyward... (full context)
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...canoe onto horseback, with Magua and the other warriors leading the prisoners through the forest. Cora remembers Hawkeye’s injunction to mark the path as they go along, and she bends the... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...they will get to the fort eventually; in the meantime, he asks to speak with Cora alone. Heyward brings Cora over to Magua, and goes to sit with Alice, who is... (full context)
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Magua begins telling Cora the story of his own life: his fellow Hurons were given “fire water” by the... (full context)
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But Magua continues, saying that he wishes to take Cora for his wife, since his previous wife was “given to another chief” when Magua left... (full context)
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...run at the members of the band, but Heyward jumps in front of Alice and Cora, attempting to save them from the Hurons’ violence. But the Hurons bind David, Alice, Cora,... (full context)
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Magua curses Cora again, saying she believes she is too good for the “wigwam of Le Renard,” but... (full context)
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Magua, angered by Cora’s final refusal, throws his tomahawk at the band, nearly slicing Alice—the tomahawk instead is lodged... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Uncas and Heyward rush to Cora and Alice, making sure they are all right—the young women cry out with joy that... (full context)
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...the peculiar tracks of the young women’s horses, and had noticed the branch broken by Cora, thus allowing Hawkeye and the Mohicans to locate the clearing; they then crawled through the... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Alice and Cora go inside the block house to sleep, and though Heyward wishes to keep watch during... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...walk north in the shallow waters of a stream toward Fort William Henry. Alice and Cora follow on the riverbank—the men do this to avoid detection of their footprints as they... (full context)
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...in the army, that he (Heyward) is conducting a group of prisoners along to Montcalm. Cora, also speaking French, seconds this story, and the French soldier permits them to pass. As... (full context)
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...encampments, looking for straggling Englishmen. Hawkeye instead suggests a sneaking route to the fort, and Cora agrees, saying, courageously, that she will follow Hawkeye wherever he leads them. (full context)
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...fort—the band rights itself and comes upon the walls of the fort, where Alice and Cora call out, saying that they are Munro’s daughters and in need of protection. Munro, at... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...firing, as the British do the same. He is soon joined on the ramparts by Cora and Alice, and the two mock him, gently, for spending too much time fighting the... (full context)
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Alice and Cora then thank Heyward, in seriousness, for his efforts in saving them thus far, and Cora... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Munro is surprised; he had assumed that Heyward wished to marry Cora. Munro says he will have a much harder time parting with his daughter Alice, and... (full context)
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Munro’s first wife, however, then died in the West Indies, and he and Cora moved back to Scotland, where Munro found that Alice Graham had waited for him for... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...and the narrator shifts the scene to inside Fort William Henry, where Heyward meets with Cora and Alice, telling them they must prepare for their own “safe conveyance” from the fort,... (full context)
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Alice, Cora, and David, along with other English families, begin walking out of the fort, and observe... (full context)
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...kill a great many unarmed men, women, and children. David, the singer, finds Alice and Cora, who have abandoned all hope and are calling, in vain, for their father. David stands... (full context)
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But Magua hears David’s hymns, too, and comes running over to Alice and Cora. Magua repeats his demand that Cora become his wife, and come live with him; when... (full context)
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...had previously observed Fort William Henry. Magua instead shows Alice (who has now woken up), Cora, and David the terrible destruction wrought by the Hurons on the innocent English, below. Cora... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...French have retreated back to their own camp. The five men look for signs of Cora and Alice, and behold the devastation before them. Hawkeye claims he has never seen such... (full context)
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Uncas, Chingachgook, and Hawkeye also find signs of David’s and Magua’s footprints and clothing near Cora’s torn shawl, causing them to conclude that Magua has taken Cora with him, and that... (full context)
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But Hawkeye says that Alice is perhaps in the company of Cora, Magua, and David, and Hawkeye and the Mohicans vow to search through the wilderness for... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...attacked the fort, and on the means by which the band can find Alice and Cora and defeat Magua. Heyward is entranced by the music of the Delaware language and by... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...one or two, Munro begs that the band keep going, in search of Alice and Cora. Hawkeye grudgingly agrees to do so. (full context)
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...lake, and get out at a different location, preparing once again to search for Magua, Cora, and Alice in the woods, and hoping any following Hurons will be tricked by their... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...find Munro’s daughters. Soon, however, Uncas finds a small print he believes to belong to Cora, and Hawkeye and Chingachgook celebrate Uncas’s perceptiveness, which Hawkeye believes is a “credit to his... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Hawkeye, Uncas, Chingachgook, Munro, and Heyward begin speaking to David. David says that Alice and Cora are all right, physically, though they are exhausted by their journey through the forest. David... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Before Heyward can depart, Magua enters the lodge, having been away conveying Cora to the other, related tribe nearby. The other warriors fall silent when Magua asks for... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...her, that he soon wishes to reunite her with her father, and that her sister Cora is safely captive at the neighboring tribe. (full context)
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...farther into the woods, Hawkeye directs Alice and Heyward to the Delaware village nearby, where Cora is believed to be held. Hawkeye states that, as loyal as he is to the... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...women, and children, he makes a long argument flattering the Hurons, and stating that, because Cora is still being held by the Delawares, and because Magua wants Cora for his wife,... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Magua begins by asking the Delaware warriors how the prisoner Cora is faring. The Delawares say she is fine, and Magua, sensing the reticence of the... (full context)
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...by his younger Delaware warriors, some Delawares go to the village’s prison-lodge and lead out Cora, Alice, Hawkeye, and Heyward, as the assembled Hurons and Delawares wait to hear Tamenund speak. (full context)
Chapter 29
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...the prisoners from the Delawares “that are his,” and Magua, cheered at this news, eyes Cora longingly, and has Cora, Alice, Heyward, and Hawkeye seized and held in place by obliging... (full context)
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Cora also asks that Tamenund hear the words of Uncas, who has as yet not left... (full context)
Chapter 30
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...Delaware race or allied to it, must have safe passage in the village; and that Cora, being called by Magua, a great chief, to be his wife, must go with Magua... (full context)
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...he could surely arrange for Munro and the English to pay a large ransom on Cora’s behalf. But Tamenund says that this justice is “inviolable.” Hawkeye says that he will renounce... (full context)
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Cora tells Hawkeye and the rest of the band that she would not have accepted Hawkeye’s... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Once Magua disappears into the woods with Cora, and the sun has passed several hours on its course toward evening, Uncas raises a... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...and pursues him up a rocky hill; Heyward and Hawkeye see the white robe of Cora, who is also fleeing up the hill, and run after her. Uncas drops his rifle... (full context)
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Heyward, Hawkeye, and Uncas find that two Huron warriors are in fact carrying Cora up the rocky hill, and that Magua is with them, directing the warriors toward “his... (full context)
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Uncas rushes to separate this Huron from Cora, and, with his back exposed, and weaponless, Uncas is stabbed by Magua multiple times, and... (full context)
Chapter 33
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A funeral service is arranged for Uncas and Cora in the Delaware village, although the Delawares have also “celebrated,” in subdued fashion, the nearly... (full context)
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Munro then walks with the Delawares as they bury Cora’s body on a small knoll nearby, in a Christian ceremony (in addition to the Delaware... (full context)