Harriet Beecher Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin

1253 WordsMay 8, 20176 Pages
Families lie at the core of every society in history- they allow culture, history, and material possessions to be passed down through the ages. Without them, civilizations would fall quickly. This seems to be the level of importance Harriet Beecher Stowe places on families in her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is a part of American society’s cultural backbone. Families can fix any problem, no matter how big or how small, and they should be treated as such. Conversely, Henry James’ Washington Square, another icon of American literature, poses a more clinical argument: families are not nearly important as society makes them out to be. They are simply convenient ways to pass down material goods and nothing more. Harriet Wilson provides a…show more content…
Sloper of Washington Square would never do. And Wilson’s Mag up and left her child immediately at the beginning of the novel as Frado was weighing her down financially. In the long run, this reckless abandonment of her entire world besides her family ultimately proves fruitful- Eliza, George, and Henry end up safe together while even discovering new family members. Particularly, towards the end of the novel, Eliza reunites with her long lost mother, who has been corrupted by the horrors of slavery: “She seemed to sink, at once, into the bosom of the family, and take the little ones into her heart, as something for which it long had waited. … Eliza’s steady, consistent piety, regulated by the constant reading of the sacred word, made her a proper guide for the shattered and wearied mind of her mother. Cassy yielded at once, and with her whole soul, to every good influence, and became a devout and tender Christian” (392). Family completely transforms Cassy from the bitter and distrusting person slavery created to what Stowe would certainly consider a good person (religious and kindhearted). In doing so, Stowe shows how powerful familial love is and how it should be prioritized due to its healing factor. In fact, lack of the healing factor that families provide can be completely detrimental to a person’s well-being. Consider, for instance, Mag Smith in Our Nig: “Early deprived of parental guardianship, far removed from
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