The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
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 also announces that Cora has been placed in captivity with a neighboring tribe—following a Mingo custom in which prisoners are separated—and Alice has been spirited off among “the women of the Hurons,” who are encamped beyond a nearby hill.
This Mingo custom—the separation of prisoners—is never explained in its entirety. It seems most likely that Magua is attempting to use his prisoner distribution to draw the Huron and the Delaware communities closer together—after all, he is concerned that each community believes he has double-crossed it.
Themes
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Heyward asks David how they came to travel over land to their current location, and David briefly tells of their journey, and the fact that, although Magua kept them as hostages, he did not harm them. He instead made them walk long distances and announced that the sisters would be split up when the group reached David’s current location, near the beaver dam. Hawkeye announces a plan to fetch the two women: that Hawkeye and Uncas will go in to the neighboring tribe, who are believed to be related to Delawares and, strangely, allied with the Mingos; and Heyward and David will go off over the hill in search of Alice, among the Hurons.
It is apparently another Mingo custom that prisoners are not tortured or harmed once it has been decided that they are, in fact, prisoners. This code of ethics, however, does appear to have other components: for example, Magua appeared more than ready to kill Alice, Cora, Heyward, and David in the forest clearing toward the beginning of the novel. But now Magua realizes that these prisoners are far more valuable to him alive than dead.
Themes
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Uncas dresses Heyward in the costume of a “fool,” a wandering songster in the French-speaking regions near Ticonderoga; Heyward and David travel together through the woods, and encounter a clearing in which 50 or 60 wooden huts are situated. There, David tells Heyward that he (David) has tried, for the past three days of his captivity, to teach the native children to sing psalms—for David has been permitted to pass through the Huron village, as he is not considered a warrior—but the natives will not learn the songs, and instead prefer their native “hymns.” Heyward, finding David to be naïve and loveable in his insistence on Christian song, enters the village with David by his side, wondering if the two of them will be able to whisk Alice away.
David is an intriguing foil to Hawkeye. Although David is very much a “man with a cross,” a practitioner of the Christian faith whose religion informs all aspects of his life, he is also a man who moves between white and native society. The difference, of course, is founded in each man’s attitude toward violence. Hawkeye, on the one hand, is always ready for an attack; David, on the other, does as much as he can to avoid violence, and indeed barely even knows how to discharge a weapon.
Themes
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon