The Prairie Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Prairie

The hero, unnamed but assumed to be Natty Bummpo, the protagonist of J.F. Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, is now an aging outdoorsman who has escaped to the open plains to escape the encroachments of civilization in the colonies. The time is just after the Louisiana Purchase (early 1800's), and our hero encounters a wagon train of pioneers heading west with a secret cargo in one of the wagons.
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The review of this Book prepared by Rich M

The last, and by far the most boring, of the Leatherstocking Tales, the Praire finds Natty Bumppo (Leatherstocking/Deerslayer/Pathfinder/Trapper/Hawkeye) in his old age on the Prairies where he has gone to escape encroaching civilization with his dogs and spends his time and energy trapping because he can't hunt effectively any more. He becomes involved in a conflict between a family of lawless settlers, a pair of Indian tribes (who are at war with one another) and a soldier who his hunting for his kidnapped wife (the settlers had stolen her). Interesting, but it lacks the power (such as they have) of the previous four. It does, however, bring Natty Bumppo's life to a close and it is interesting to see how Cooper developed his character over the five novels.
The review of this Book prepared by Kelly Whiting

Chapter Analysis of The Prairie

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Western    -   Yes Story primarily about    -   attacked on ride through the West    -   fighting Injuns

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   explorer    -   champion of justice Age:    -   60's-90's Has special powers?    -   Yes Magical/mental powers of main character:    -   mind reading Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast    -   West Prairie?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   moving train    -   fort/military installation    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning    -   stampeded    -   perforation--bullets    -   perforation--swords/knives    -   blunt clubbing (like seals) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Prairie

James Fenimore Cooper Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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