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Literature and Law (Essay Sample)

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Literature and Law
Written by James’s Fenimore Cooper in 1823, the novel entitled ‘The Pioneers’ was a narration that depicted most of the real non-fiction realities that Cooper must have gone through at the era in which he grew up. The novel focuses on the controversy between the Native Americans, the huntsmen, the farmers who are bent on clearing the forest for cultivation and those devoted as to who can claim the possession of America.
The lack of justice in the society in which characters in the plot of “the pioneers’ live is made explicitly obvious in the initial scene beginning page 1-3, when a bullet hits one for whom it was not intended. It is the same lack of dialogue and active participation of all the citizens who inhabit a certain region that causes Natty Bumpo to reject the new laws on hunting. In the first part of the novel, he is even seen to be arguing with the judge about the killing of a buck. The author of this novel, Cooper, in other writings of his argues that the guiding law in any society should be the law of justice. Judge Marmaduke Temple, despite his being a custodian of the laws of the land, does not seem to be very lawful and just himself. Despite the fact that he is indeed a wealthy man and does not need it as much as Natty Bamppo and his assistant, he has the effrontery to quarrel over the ownership of the dead deer.
It is also not in the best interest and wellbeing of others in the society for a judge to be shooting haphazardly, especially while being driven on a sleigh; there must surely be laws about such issues but the judge is in defiance of them when he just starts shooting, and all the while knowing full well that he cannot aim with precision, as confirmed by the fact that of all the five shots he fires, none hits the target. Even worse, he shoots the companion of Natty on the arm. We get the notion that in this society, justice is only for those who have power and privilege on their side. Despite the fact that the judge and his daughter Elizabeth insist on taking Oliver Edwards with them so that he can have his wounds treated, nowhere is the law or compensation of the youth by the judge mentioned apart from the turkey given by Elizabeth as a peace offering on page 17. In this society, the powerful and rich do not really care much about justice but they believe it to be their right to do whatever it is they please; that is why the judge and all those with him cannot understand the reason why Oliver rejects the judge’s offer for him to work as the judge’s personal secretary despite the fact that he really is poor and desperately needs the job, page 18-20.
Another instance that shows the unfairness in this society with ‘justice’ only seen to favor the powerful is the issue to do with the lands of the Loyalists group. After the land of these people, is confiscated, it is put on sale and the rich people like judge Marmaduke Temple buy it for so little. The judge and his family are seen as abusing their power and position of privilege to the chagrin of the commoners. On page 16, Elizabeth gives her father’s cousin, Richard Jones, that the Christmas present her father has given him is the appointment as sheriff of the town; the fact that Jones cannot even ride a horse notwithstanding. The lawlessness and unjust nature of the judges’ chosen associate is portrayed clearly by Templeton’s inhabitants when under the directives and guidance of the town sheriff, slaughter the migrating birds mercilessly and without valid reason. On page 23, unlike the other citizens, we learn that Natty only shoots what he needs of food and then leaves.
On pages 23-24, we s...
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