The Dystopian Illustrations in James Fenimore Cooper's The Prairie and Its Importance

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P. Lumenzeno, Dr. D. Shanmugam


This article examines the meaning and importance of the dystopian images and symbols used in The Prairie by J.F. Cooper. It also examines the distinctive features of the settings of the novel and its characteristics, as well as the methods and techniques used to depict the prairie as a post-apocalyptic landscape. The author employs these techniques in the use of maritime imagery, as well as gothic and dystopian imagery. The importance of the setting of the novel in explaining the author's attitude toward the causes and beginning of the catastrophe is also discussed in this article. It implies that humanity, rather than divine will, is to blame for the catastrophe, the extremely damaging activities and actions of human being are the leading causes of the world becoming desolate and unpopulated. The bull slaughter and the grasslands firing, are the Cooper's the most powerful and dystopian scenes which are examined in this paper to highlight this point. These scenes appear to highlight Cooper's message about the dangers and hazards of irresponsible ecological devastation. This paper argues that The Prairie is Cooper's the most pessimistic novel that heralds the end of Cooper's ideal fables, based on the repeated use of dystopian terms, symbols, and references.

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