The DeerSlayer: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. “I’m glad it has no name,” resumed Deerslayer, “or, at least, no pale-face name; for their christenings always foretell waste and destruction.”

    p. 44 Deerslayer explains to Hurry why he is pleased that Glimmerglass has not yet been colonized (by name) by the white settlers.
  2. Hurry had all the prejudices and antipathies of a white hunter, who generally regards the Indian as a sort of natural competitor, and not unfrequently as a natural enemy.

    p. 46 In this reference, Hurry’s prejudices are exposed briefly.
  3. Hurry was one of those theorists who believed in the inferiority of all the human race who were not white.

    p. 59 Hurry’s racism is expanded on further here.
  4. Then as to churches, they are good, I suppose, else wouldn’t good men uphold ‘em. But they are not altogether necessary. They call ‘em the temples of the Lord; but, Judith, the whole ‘arth is a temple of the Lord to such as have the right mind. Neither forts nor churches make people happier of themselves.

    p. 285 In this instance, Deerslayer is seen to explain his theological view that God is everywhere and not confined to a church.
  5. He loved the woods for their freshness, their sublime solitudes, their vastness, and the impress that they everywhere bore of the divine hand of their creator.

    p. 299 Deerslayer’s love of nature and its connection to God is reiterated here.
  6. I suppose a woman is a woman, let her color be white or red; and your chiefs know little of a woman’s heart, Deerslayer, if they think it can ever forgive when wronged, or ever forget when it fairly loves.

    p. 426 Judith explains to Deerslayer with bitterness how much women of any ‘color’ are misunderstood by the dominant males. She is referring to Wah-ta! –Wah, but it is apparent that she includes herself on this point of being misunderstood.
  7. A furlough is a sacred thing among warriors, and men that carry their lives in their hands, as we of the forests do; and what a grievous disapp’intment would it be to old Tamenund, and to Uncas, the father of the Sarpent, and to my other fr’inds in the tribe, if I was so to disgrace myself on my very first warpath?

    p. 452 In this quotation, Deerslayer explains to Judith and the readers why he must return to the Mingos (the enemy) as he has made a sacred promise. This also highlights his heroic status in that he is characterized as a man of honor.
  8. That terrible and deadly weapon was glutted in vengeance. The scene that succeeded was one of those, of which so many have occurred in our own times, in which neither age nor sex forms an exemption to the lot of a savage warfare.

    p. 569 This brief description of the murders of Deerslayer’s enemies (by bayonet) comes at the end of Chapter Thirty.
  9. Truth was the Deerslayer’s polar star.

    p. 594 Deerslayer’s piety is reiterated throughout the novel and is made explicit in this reference.
  10. We live in a world of transgressions and selfishness, and no pictures that represent us otherwise can be true; though, happily for human nature, gleamings of that pure spirit in whose likeness man has been fashioned , are to be seen, relieving its deformities, and mitigating, if not excusing its crimes.

    p. 597 This reference is the final sentence of the novel. It outlines conclusively how there is goodness in the world, and appears to refer to Deerslayer. It may also be read more generally as saying that despite the ‘transgressions and selfishness’ we observe, there is also at least a glimmer of goodness in humankind.

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