Influence of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

Influence of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

Length: 1585 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In an era of Rush Limbaugh and a historic presidency, racism is a topical and controversial issue. People struggle to examine their own racial prejudice. The largest obstacle is not the understanding racism is wrong, rather the ability to pry open the hearts of the prejudice to show how their prejudice affects more than those they stereotype. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs wrote narratives to abolish slavery while appealing to their audience’s emotions. Their writings all helped to speed up the process of abolition, but some of the books used different methods. Douglass’s and Jacobs’ narratives portray graphic horrors of slavery while advocating the importance of education as a tool for freedom. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a sentimentalist novel that included and undercut some of the stereotypes and assumptions made by Stowe’s white audience. Although some may argue that the novel’s subtlety failed to convince that slavery is wrong, it succeeded in becoming popular because of people’s reaction to its controversial content. Stowe’s novel was the bestseller of the 19th century because it used subtle strategies available to fiction in order to woo its audience. Stowe wrote to the interests of the audience, such as good morals and empathetic characters. While Douglass and Jacobs had to stick to facts, Stowe could create compelling plot lines and appealing characters that the audience could be sympathetic towards and critical of because of the detailed explanation their thoughts and emotions. On the other hand, Jacobs and Douglass could not take such creative license.
The freedom of a fictional work allows for creativity and the ability to create story lines that are interesting however, this is diff...


... middle of paper ...


...reate fiction, Stowe would have better understood the societal norms. The popularity of her texts suggests that nineteenth century Americans were unprepared to see characters whose traits were against those that were commonly accepted. Many Americans were threatened by the objective narrations of graphic incidents. Because of their race and the lack of credibility associated with their race, Jacobs’ and Douglass’s audience was limited to a progressive group of abolitionists. In contrast, Stowe was able to engage a broad range of audience members in the process of empathizing with the large number of people damaged by slavery. Without the constraints of non-fiction, Stowe was able to direct her novel towards the audience. Abraham Lincoln referred to her as the “little lady who started [the civil] war” because she wrote a piece that appealed to her white audience.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Uncle Tom 's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- ... Lyman Beecher took a very strong abolitionist stance after the Pro-Slavery Riots of Cincinnati in 1836. His views were greatly emulated through all thirteen of his children’s views (Bio.com). While living in Cincinnati, Stowe joined the Semi-Colon Club, a literary association, where she met her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe, a seminary teacher. The couple married on January 6th, 1836 and moved to Brunswick, Maine. Stowe and her husband both shared a belief in abolition (Bio.com). While living in Maine, Harriet Beecher Stowe began to write her most famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Uncle Tom 's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe

- ... In 1831, at the age of twenty-one, Stowe moved, along with her father, to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was the head of the Lane Theological Seminary. Lyman Beecher took a very strong abolitionist stance after the Pro-Slavery Riots of Cincinnati in 1836. His views were greatly emulated through all thirteen of his children’s views (Bio.com). While living in Cincinnati, Stowe joined the Semi-Colon Club, a literary association, where she met her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe, a seminary teacher. The couple married on January 6th, 1836 and moved to Brunswick, Maine....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
1046 words (3 pages)

Essay about Uncle Tom 's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe

- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is considered by many to be an American classic. It is a strongly anti-slavery novel that focuses on the difficult life of black slaves, such as Uncle Tom, and the many atrocities they endure because of their white masters. One evident theme in the book is the connection between education and progress. George Harris, an intellectual slave who echoes the sentiments of the American Revolution, immediately seeks an education after reuniting with his affluent sister....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery]

Powerful Essays
927 words (2.6 pages)

Uncle Tom 's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- David S. Reynolds, a Professor and specialist in American Literature, Studies, and culture. Who has a Ph.D. from the University of California and author of Mightier than the Sword along with a couple other book. Reynolds wrote “mightier than the sword” with the sole purpose of dismantling all affects the internationally famous book Uncle Tom 's Cabin written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, brought upon the United States to help abolish slavery and the forming of American culture from the late nineteenth century, and up to present day....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
773 words (2.2 pages)

Uncle Tom 's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- I never thought that I would read a book over the summer, but over the course of these past two months, that changed. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” forever changed how I view slavery. I loved reading it. Throughout the whole novel, Stowe uses her experience and knowledge to portray the terrible hardships and struggles that slaves endured everyday. Not only does this book express the thoughts of the slaves and their faith in God, but also of the people around them. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” wanted so badly for America to give freedom and equality for all people, and that is what I enjoyed most while reading....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
1042 words (3 pages)

Uncle Tom 's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essays

- ... Secondly, Eva gave Uncle Tom a lock of her hair before death and wished for Tom to be free after her death. This showed how Eva valued her slaves and saw them as humans deserving of eternal life as represented by her words, “There isn’t one of you that hasn’t always been very kind to me; and I want to give you something that, when you look at, you shall always remember me, I’m going to give all of you a curl of my hair; and, when you look at it, think that I loved you and am gone to heaven, and that I want to see you all there” (Stowe, 1852, p....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Uncle Tom 's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory” (1 Corinthians 15:57). The novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a revolutionary book during 1852. This novel “helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War” (h-net.org). Slavery in the United States was not abolished until 1865 through the Thirteenth Amendment to the American Constitution. Harriet Beecher Stowe, being a white woman, felt that she could not speak out about this topic because of her status. Due to this she decided to portray her thoughts through rhetorical approaches in her books....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
1833 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Uncle Tom 's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe

- Present in almost every chapter and a reoccurring theme throughout Uncle Tom’s Cabin, religion influences many individual’s thoughts and actions in the nineteenth century, especially on topics involving slavery. Multitudes of slaves were religious, whether educated and converted by their masters or secretly practicing with the risk of being caught and punished, and religion acted as a safe haven for these enslaved individuals, a promise of hope and community in the dark times of slavery. Throughout her influential novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe shows the contrasting roles that religion plays in both the lives of Southerners, such as Augustine St....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery]

Powerful Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Uncle Tom 's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- ... Throughout Tom’s time in New Orleans Eva becomes very ill and dies. Mr.St. Clare promises Tom his freedom. Sadly, he never becomes free because Mr.St.Clare dies in an accident before releasing Tom. Miss St. Clare sells Tom to an evil plantation owner, Simon Legree. While on the plantation Tom meets many abused slaves and constantly stands up for his enduring faith. Though numerous conflicts direct the plot, two stand out, man versus man and man versus faith. Man versus man, more specifically African American men versus white men, creates the foundation in which the novel cultivates from....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Novel]

Powerful Essays
1375 words (3.9 pages)

Uncle Tom 's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin to demonstrate the evil and cruelness mankind can possess upon another, the use of a living being as properties of other living beings. Stowe conveys her message of the the evil in slavery by the slaves relations with their masters, the consequences they endure for standing up for themselves. and slaves being separated from their families. The author uses Eliza and Uncle Toms journey’s and their experiences to show how there is evil in slavery. The relation the slaves have with their masters varied thought the book but the slaves always had to be under command and attentive to what the master need, even in good conditions....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery]

Powerful Essays
1150 words (3.3 pages)