Right from the onset of The Pioneers, Fennimore Cooper adopts a naturalistic course and engages the reader to a description of the lands; He says “The surface is a sequence of dales and hills, or, to state with better deference to physical dentitions, of mountains and valleys”, we learn or vibrant villages inhabits the vicinity of the lakes. It is easy to conclude the land and resources belong to the people of Templeton but he white settlers and bourgeois have recently settled, this understandably leads to conflicts.
While on his customary journey a buck appears on the way, coincidentally both the traveler (Judge) and the hunter manage to fire shots through Edward kills the buck. An argument ensures and instead of proceeding to share the meat equally amongst themselves, they argue about technicalities. For example, the Hunter asks the traveler how many shots he fires. While the natural law demands otherwise, (Cooper 240) the hunter apparently chooses to pursue his interests. Natty gets injured in the altercation, yet the Judge still wants to buy the venison, “But you’ll sell me the venison, and the deuce is in it, but I make a good story about its death” he even proposes to flip a coin to decide the ownership. The human law, as it is, is drawn from human nature; we humans have a natural propensity to bend mindlessly them.
To some extent, the idea of individual freedom is almost nonexistent. We can see from the incident that involving the Judge, his daughter, and the hunters, had it not been for Natty’s wounds the Judge would have unfairly gotten a piece of the venison despite their objection. Natty insistently complain about the destruction of hunting grounds, but the Temple decides not to curtail the damage. (Cooper 213) the society may set up structures to protect individual freedoms but at the time they have limitations. Individual liberty too can be subject to abuse. Judge Temple exemplifies this. During the pigeon shooting event, he deliberately issues bounties to the children of the town in order ignoring the fact that the dead birds would be a huge surplus for the city.
Cooper, James Fenimore. Week Eight: Reason And Revolution Part III / The Romantic, The Real And The American Indian. Washington Irving (1783-1859) 3.2 (2015): 195-247. Print.