It's pretty easy, even for students of American Lit., to dismiss Cooper as a hack, a sentimentalist and a failed myth-maker. None of those things are inaccurate exactly, but there is more to him than you might think. "The Pioneers" was the first of the Leatherstocking Tales, but is actually the fourth in terms of the chronology. Natty Bumpo is an old, somewhat cranky man living uneasily with the residents of a small village. Already the tension between the individual and society that will be a major theme in our literature is present, as is the love of nature giving way to progress. It's a bit slow, but give it time.
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