Teaching History through The Last of the Mohicans
This essay explores how effective literature can be when used to teach history utilizing James Fenimore Cooper‟s The Last of the Mohicans, in order to teach students two specific historical events, as well as historical gender roles and norms. It does this by first looking at how literature has been employed by others to teach history with pedagogical goals in mind, followed by examining gender roles from the period the novel has as its setting, including the period the novel itself was written in. These aspects are then examined through a didactic and literary examination of some of the novel‟s main themes and passages, ones that would be most suited for teaching historical elements the novel contains to students attending an intermediary level of upper secondary education. Ultimately, The Last of the Mohicans proves to be an excellent tool in teaching students various historical elements, with the potential to even complicate the content of the lessons by extending the scope of the literary examination, should a skilled teacher so choose.