The DeerSlayer Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


The DeerSlayer: Chapters 14-15

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Summary – Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen
Chingachgook changes back into his usual attire as the enemy already knows a Native American is in the castle. He also thinks that Wah-ta! –Wah might see him.
He wants to do the bargaining, but Deerslayer persuades him not to. They talk and decide it is best for them to take the ark and put the valuables from the castle in it.
A raft then draws near with two enemy warriors on. After preliminaries, they ask to see the pieces for payment. Bargaining between them and Deerslayer ensues and this breaks down at one point and Judith warns that they have guns on their raft. The bargaining begins again and Deerslayer offers more pieces and says they can take back the one they are examining.
When they leave, the others talk and Deerslayer admits he cannot read. Hetty says she will teach him and he says he will learn when it is more peaceful. Not long before night time the raft is seen again and Hutter and Hurry are on it along with their captors.
Deerslayer passes the pieces discreetly to the Native Americans as he talks to Hurry. When Hurry realizes his captors have left, he tries to shoot at them but Deerslayer moves the gun in time.
It is explained in Chapter Fifteen that Hurry and Hutter have been humbled and dishonored, but they voice this as a desire for revenge. When asked, Deerslayer explains how he bought their freedom.
They then receive a declaration of war, of sticks that have been dipped in blood, and Hurry wants to go after the youth who brought it. Hetty calms him down and after discussions Hutter agrees with Deerslayer that they must all take to the ark.
On the ark, Chingachgook tells Deerslayer that he and Hutter and Hurry want scalps and Deerslayer asks him to show mercy. The three leave on a canoe, and Hutter and Hurry are aware that the camp could have just women and children in it, and want revenge as well as scalps. When they get there, though, it is deserted and Chingachgook reminds them they must return to the ark.
The narrative switches back to Judith and Deerslayer and she says ‘this is a terrible life for women’ and that she would rather live nearer to ‘civilized beings’ and close to a fort, farms and churches. Deerslayer disputes this idea of civilization.
They also talk about relationships and Deerslayer says how he thinks it is ‘wrong to mix colors’ except in friendship or services. She compares Deerslayer favorably to Hurry and holds his hand. The three other men return then and the chapter ends with Chingachgook pointing out a fire on the land and this is just where he was hoping to find Wah-ta! –Wah.
Analysis – Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen
Once again, Deerslayer’s views on the idea of miscegenation is given vent with little prompting and, once again, this is open to criticism. There is no reason for this statement in terms of the plot and appears to be used to outline his whiteness, and racism.
It is also of note that Judith’s opinion of the life that women lead in this area is given little further explanation or support. This is perhaps not surprising given that the main focus of this novel depends on Deerslayer’s point of view, which is repeatedly seen to be oriented towards white males despite his upbringing among the Delaware and his self-proclaimed Christian perspective.


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