The Pioneers by James F. Cooper -Chapter 22
“The Pioneers” by James Fenimore Cooper is about the choices of men when they encounter what they need and what they want in this particular chapter. Beginning in a vivid description of a peaceful valley and lake, Cooper disrupts the peace by introducing the Pioneers and their sport. This sport is excessively killing pigeons. Everyone in the settlement who can enjoy this ‘princely sport ‘does so whenever they can but they ignore the negative effects. Leather-Stocking, the wise man, tells the men what their sport had done to the land—killed the life.
Leather-Stocking shows the men a way to their guilt as he explains that we should not excessively kill. The men of the settlement are uneasy about this feeling of guilt but they decide to sport once more. This time, however, the men kill nearly everything in sight. Only after seeing the dead carcasses fall to the ground and fill the space do some men begin to regret. The men, one in particular, attempts to atone for his excessive killing by giving the birds away.
He says that at least the birds should not be wasted; but given to everyone so that they might have a pie to eat. He also, with others, promises to only take what is necessary for him and not to do anything excessively. Cooper was trying to teach us that we should not take anything for granted or do things too excessively. Here we are shown that too much of something can be very bad and have terrible effects. Cooper shows easily how some men can choose their desire over their reason and affect their world in “The Pioneers”