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Missionary PositionsEvangelicalism and Empire in American Fiction$
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Albert H. Tricomi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035451

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035451.001.0001

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Evangelizing the Indians under Manifest Destiny in Cooper’s The Oak Openings

Evangelizing the Indians under Manifest Destiny in Cooper’s The Oak Openings

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(p.41) 2 Evangelizing the Indians under Manifest Destiny in Cooper’s The Oak Openings
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Missionary Positions
Author(s):

Albert H. Tricomi

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813035451.003.0003

James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Oak Openings is examined thoroughly in this chapter. The novel looks at the fictional missionary life of Parson Amen. The novel, which was written during the Mexican War, rejuvenates the Puritan myth of American exceptionalism by illustrating an expansionist nation untrammeled by Europe's vices. The novel mainly explores the theme of beneficial Christianity in the conversion of the American Indian. The basic binary leading The Oak Openings is that of savagery versus civilization.

Keywords:   James Fenimore Cooper, The Oak Openings, Parson Amen, Mexican War, Puritan myth, expansionist nation, Christianity, American Indian, savagery, civilization

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