Book Analysis: Uncle Tom&#8217;s Cabin
A. Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut, which surprises many of her readers. Stowe writes so passionately about slavery that it seems that she must have been raised in the South. Stowe was born into a strong Christian family, which explains why her novels have a strong Christian basis.
Stowe first learned of the horrors of slavery when she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Kentucky, a slave state, was right next to Cincinnati. She married and lived there for 18 years. All the while, she stored images and thoughts in her mind about slavery. Many times, she would talk to slaves and retain their memories and thoughts. …show more content…
Her father, who intends to free Tom, also dies before he can free Tom. Eva&#8217;s crazy mother takes over the plantation, and sells Tom. Tom ends up in the hands of the villainous Simon Legree. He treats his slaves like maggots below the dirt. Tom, with his standing Christian morals, does nothing to retaliate. Legree is Tom&#8217;s final master because Legree will end Tom&#8217;s life. Tom dies a poignant death with his old master&#8217;s son, George Shelby, at his side.
D. One of the most important elements that Stowe used to get her point across was Characterization. The message of slavery could not have been accurately portrayed if there was not proper character development. To fully understand what slaves went through, one has to fully understand the mind and heart of a slave. Stowe executes this beautifully with Eliza and Tom. She gives two different detailed and strong viewpoints, which helps the reader understand even more. Stowe includes many stereotypes in her characters. Mr. Haley is the stereotypical slave trader. He is evil, sly, and only cares about making money. This is a character that the reader is supposed to dislike and usually does. Mr. Shelby is supposed to be the &#8220;kinder'; slave owner, but Stowe makes it clear that all slavery is evil. The purpose of this character is to show that most men are basically good, but they have been brainwashed to believe that blacks are
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In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe uses the character of Augustine St. Clare to play a very important role in expressing her views of abolition to the reader throughout the novel. St. Clare is, in himself, a huge contradiction of a character, as his way of life is supported by the same system that he despises, slavery. St. Clare professes multiple times in the book that slavery is wrong, yet he holds slaves and refuses to release them, making him a hypocrite whose morals are right, mainly because of his mother, but he is unwilling to do the right thing. St. Clare symbolizes some of the southern slave owners at the time who knew that slavery was a sin and an act against God, but refused to stand up and stop it. St. Clare is such an essential character in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and he is an important part of the overall message of the novel and Stowe’s interjection of her abolitionist views that are throughout the novel.
Stowe expresses the terrors of slavery, by giving the reader insight into what life was like as a slave in the south; and through this, it shows how inhumane slavery was. For example, when Uncle
Another place in the text where Stowe’s theme becomes clearer to readers in in chapter twenty when St. Clare exclaims, “That’s you Christians, all over!—you’ll get up a society and get some poor missionary to spend all his days among just such heathen. But let me see one of you that would take one into your house with you, and take the labor of their conversation on yourselves! No; when it comes to that, they are dirty and disagreeable, and it’s too much care, and so on (866).” St. Clare recognizes the evil of slavery himself but is afraid free his slaves in order to become a “Christian.” He is more than willing to point out all the problems
But I do not agree with this. I feel that Stowe was just trying to spread awareness and let people know the extreme experiences that slaves were actually put through. I feel that this is very different then promoting racial stereotypes. In a way I feel like this is challenging them more because it is more real and honest. This novel says it how it was there was no sugar coating whatsoever. This to me was a great approach because it was better at spreading awareness of what all those people actually went through.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Connecticut in 1811 as the daughter of Reverend Lyman Beecher who was active in the anti-slavery movement. She wrote articles for the newspaper as means to support her family. Harriet saw the
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin may never be seen as a great literary work, because of its didactic nature, but it will always be known as great literature because of the reflection of the past and the impact on the present. Harriet Beecher Stowe seemed destined to write great protest novels like Uncle Tom’s Cabin: her father was Lyman Beecher, a prominent evangelical preacher, and her siblings were preachers and social reformers. Born in 1811 in Litchfeild, Connecticut, Stowe moved with her family at the age of twenty-one to Cincinnati. During the eighteen years she lived there she was exposed to slavery. Although her only personal contact with the south was a brief trip to
When Harriet had moved to Brunswick Maine with her family, the United States Congress had just passed the Fugitive Slave Law. Shortly after, she had planned to write a protest of slavery since her experiences in Cincinnati. Stowe then began to work on Uncle Toms Cabin, which first appeared in serial form in a Washington, D.C. antislavery newspaper called the National Era. The book was first published March of 1852, in a two-volume set. It became an immediate success and sold 300,000 copies in its first year. Years later, Harriet began touring all over the world, and her novels Uncle Tom’s Cabin along with Dred: A Tale of Great Dismal Swamp were both very known in England. Another crucial experience was when she met Abraham Lincoln in 1862. He thought of Harriet’s controversial novel as a catalyst for the opposition of the Civil War. Lincoln had told her that she was “the little lady who started our big war” (Encyclopedia of World Biography 485).
In the year 1811 a young beautiful women was born who is going to impact the United States her name was Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe. Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield Connecticut June 14, 1811. Her parents were Roxana and Lyman Beecher. Roxana Foote Stowe was a granddaughter of a Revolutionary War officer General Ward who had served under George Washington. Roxana was literate, artistic and entertained herself in the reading of mathematics and scientific treaties for pleasure she loved to educate herself. She was very intelligent she read books and learned French. Roxana was very busy as a minister’s wife she ran a boarding house; she did household chores cared for all of her children. She lived in a two-story house .Roxana would have people coming all the time in her house from the academy and
As Stowe continues to utilize a feminist lens, it is portrayed to the audience that women were given little information in the politics and business that occurred within their own homes, and their opinions had little significance compared to men’s. This allows Stowe to speak on the issue of women inequality, as well as slavery. Stowe also characterizes Mrs. Shelby as a king-hearted woman who is naïve to the wrong doings that can occur near her, as she claims that the wickedness in American society revolves around states, are in the deep south. It is further shown that Mrs. Shelby is one who has natural optimism who sees the good nature in men, such as her husband.
So Stowe was accurate in portraying Eva’s mother as thinking slaves did not need to read and also accurate in her view of slaves in general. She viewed slaves as inferior when she said slaves were “not made for anything else” but for work (Stowe 286). This is an example or one theme in Stowe’s novel that is right in line with current historical research.
Astonished by the ferocity of their spirits, Stowe soon followed suit. The flames began to develop after a consultation with her religion. According to the Bible, slavery is one of the biggest mistakes of humanity; every individual should obtain equitable treatment. A full fire raged as Stowe discovered barbarous slavery going on across the Ohio River in Kentucky. Henceforth, her determination to right the wrongs of mankind became more and more firm and she began the long journey to reach her goal. Stowe's personality and identity unfolded while she was studying at Hartford Female Seminary, much like a flower in bloom. Taking the literacy course uncloaked her fervour and aptitude in writing. Later, when she moved to Cincinnati, she pursued a teaching career at Lane Theological Seminary. Encountering colleagues and mentors with the same ambition to
As previously mentioned, Stowe composed Uncle Tom’s Cabin to express the various views of slavery, and how it impacted the lives of those affected by this lifestyle. Growing up in this century, Stowe found the institution of slavery to be corrupt, with “the country requiring her complicity in a system she thought was unjust and immoral” (Uncle Tom’s Cabin). As Stowe did not believe in the Fugitive Slave Law—which required everyone to aid in the capture of fugitive slaves—she chose to hide runaway slaves, and her family promoted her drive to aid those in need. Stowe accomplished this feat through housing, feeding, and smuggling slaves to legal freedom in Canada, because it was the Christian thing to do.
It is extremely difficult for the modern reader to understand and appreciate Uncle Tom’s Cabin because Harriet Beecher Stowe was writing for an audience very different from us. We don’t share the cultural values and myths of Stowe’s time, so her novel doesn’t affect us the way it affected its original readers. For this reason, Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been heavily scrutinized by the modern critic. However, the aspects of the novel that are criticized now are the same aspects that held so much appeal for its original audience.
While Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin overtly deals with the wrongs of slavery from a Christian standpoint, there is a subtle yet strong emphasis on the moral and physical strength of women. Eliza, Eva, Aunt Chloe, and Mrs. Shelby all exhibit remarkable power and understanding of good over evil in ways that most of the male characters in Stowe’s novel. Even Mrs. St. Claire, who is ill throughout most of the book, proves later that she was always physically in control of her actions, however immoral they were. This emotional strength, when compared with the strength of the male characters, shows a belief in women as equals to men (if not more so) uncommon to 19th century literature.
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a novel written in times of unrest where slavery was a controversial topic and women 's rights were still suffering. Uncle Tom’s Cabin showed the grim reality of slavery and showed the importance for women to gain a societal role beyond the domestic domain. The reading contains a number of major characters throughout the novel. The two most notable characters we will discuss is Mrs. Shelby and Marie St. Clare. Throughout this paper we will compare and contrast these two characters and give specific examples to illustrate the similarities and differences between these two unique individuals.