I’m old enough to remember when Last of the Mohicans was chic. I show it to my classes anymore and I can cut the trepidation with a knife after the students find out that the movie was made in…1992…!!
Apparently that’s old now. All of you who are likewise apparently old now, I would like to take you back to the movie’s end. Shortly after a ruling that was going to banish the fair Alice to live with the butchering Magua there’s a subtle moment of two-way tenderness that should melt even the most oblivious of souls.
Watching from afar, one of the heroes, Uncas, recognized Alice’s peril and fate. While standing behind his father, Chingachgook, and gently placed a hand on his shoulder, left it for a moment as if in a final embrace, and then turned to pursue his destiny. It would end one of two ways: heroically with his love-interest, or futilely with his demise. As Magua’s war-party marched off with the harried and beautiful aristocrat, an immediate concern for the would-be hero should fill every viewers’ breast.
Uncas went on the assault. His foe was not Magua alone, and one would love to think that had he not been softened by having to slay his way to Alice’s holder the odds would have been more in his favor. Alas, such was his cross. And though well short of his aim as Magua robbed him of his last breath Uncas provided Alice with one final comforting truth: she was loved.
As this Valentine’s Day draws to a close, it is my hope that one and all may experience such affection. Heaven knows it is coveted by all and deserved by nearly as many. And to all who are yet to bask in such soul-inspiring warmth, read this and know that some stranger from afar is pulling for your discovery of your Uncas. That you’ll find someone who just might run into savagery’s waiting blades intent upon your rescue. Metaphorically, of course.
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