Essay on Christianity in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin

Essay on Christianity in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin

Length: 1494 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Christianity in Uncle Tom's Cabin


  While lying on her death bed, in Chapter 26 of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, little Eva says to the servants in her house who have gathered around her, "You must remember that each one of you can become angels" (418). In this chapter and the one before it, Eva has actively worked to make the people surrounding her into "angels," taken here to mean one who is saved by God. In chapters 33 and 34 of Stowe's book, Tom similarly works, though more quietly, to turn the other slaves at Simon Legree's plantation into "angels." Both of these scenes, and particularly the evangelical characters within them, reveal Stowe's Methodist theology, a theology that rejects the predestination of earlier American Christianity. In Stowe's theology "each one" of the people can be saved; God's love is universal. Original sin still exists, but now an individual is given control to escape this sin by embracing God's love. At the heart of the theology and the resultant morality that Tom and Eva evince, is a warm, knowable God, who is knowable through love, and the heart.

 

Eva is the most explicit in explaining the dynamic between God and his people. She explains this by asking Topsy, "don't you know that Jesus loves all alike? He is just as willing to love you, as me" (412). Earlier in the book Tom had asked a similar question to a downtrodden woman on the boat with him: "Han't nobody never telled ye how the Lord Jesus loved ye, and died for you?" (324). God offers everyone this love, but it can only be claimed by loving God in return. Eva pleads with the people around her that they should, "pray every day," (419) so that they can find God as she has.

 

The way that Tom and Eva bring ...


... middle of paper ...


...ence was certainly one of the motivations behind the writing of the book. Through the death of her own child, it is probable that Stowe saw the pernicious effects of the breakup of a family, and gained sympathy for the plights of innumerable slaves. In her novel Stowe works to engender that same sense of sympathy in the reader.

 

Works Cited and Consulted:

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. 24 Mar. 2002 http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/.

 

Jehlen, Myra. "The Family Militant: Domesticity Versus Politics in Uncle Tom's Cabin." Criticism 31 (Fall 1989):  383-400. 

 

Railton, Stephen. Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture: A Multi-Media Archive.

        24 Mar. 2002 < http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/utc/. >

 

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly. New York: Penguin Books, 1981. 

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Christianity in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin

- Christianity in Uncle Tom's Cabin   While lying on her death bed, in Chapter 26 of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, little Eva says to the servants in her house who have gathered around her, "You must remember that each one of you can become angels" (418). In this chapter and the one before it, Eva has actively worked to make the people surrounding her into "angels," taken here to mean one who is saved by God. In chapters 33 and 34 of Stowe's book, Tom similarly works, though more quietly, to turn the other slaves at Simon Legree's plantation into "angels." Both of these scenes, and particularly the evangelical characters within them, reveal Stowe's Methodist theology, a theolog...   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Powerful Essays
1494 words (4.3 pages)

Uncle Tom's Cabin: Christianity Supported Slavery Essay

- Since the 17th century when African slaves were brought over by Dutch slavers, Christianity has been used to justify the act of enslavment. Missionaries sailed with slavers and tried to convert the Africans sold into slavery many times. During the 19th century Christianity was a great factor in helping institutionalize and even justify the suffering of the slaves. Slaves were made to believe through verses of the Bible that if they suffered in their current lives, they would have a better existence after they passed on....   [tags: Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
871 words (2.5 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)

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)

Uncle Tom 's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- Life is viewed differently by everyone. Some see the positive and optimistic life full of wonder, while others see the negative and pessimistic life of dead ends. The perceptions are based on the experiences that molds the good and the bad. We see what our past has been and what our future would most likely be. Our beliefs of life cannot be changed by another’s perspectives. In Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Eliza and George are two slaves that live in different environments to influence how they react and think in different situations....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery]

Powerful Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been explained as being a history of harmful acts towards Blacks in America for a period of a hundred and thirty years (Stowe, “Nineteenth”). 51).The book Uncle Tom’s Cabin was one of History’s favorite books (Stowe, “Nineteenth” 1). It talks about how Tom would do anything for the white man (Stowe, Uncle 1). The southerners did not give Harriet Beecher Stowe and credit for writing the book (Piacentino 1). Uncle Tom showed a lot of Christianity in this book, but the master showed no Christianity at all (Stowe, Uncle 1)....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Powerful Essays
1160 words (3.3 pages)

Harriet Beecher Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin Essay

- Abraham Lincoln allegedly referred to Harriet Beecher Stowe as the “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great [Civil] war.” The book which he is referring to is her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, depicting the struggle of slavery in America. As an abolitionist of slavery, Stowe was a part of the transcendentalist movement. Lasting from 1840 to 1860, transcendentalism highlighted the presence of divinity in every aspect of life with self-reliance and individualism outweighing tradition....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

Powerful Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

Harriet Beecher Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin Essay

- Different types of religion have existed almost as long as mankind has. Many people believe in the institute of religion, but what constitutes religion is still highly debated today. This is largely due to the fact that religion continues to evolve based on cultural norms of the world. Each religion has a set of beliefs that go along with it, and often these beliefs differ from those of another religion. These differences often lead to heated debate and contention as to which religion will best allow people to lead virtuous lives....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Religion]

Powerful Essays
1213 words (3.5 pages)

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

- Analysis of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is arguably the most influential novel in American History. Stowe’s sentimental writing style seized the imagination of her readers and Uncle Tom’s Cabin became the standard of the abolition movement. Uncle Tom, one of the protagonists, spreads Christianity and dies for his faith, like Christ. By equating Uncle Tom with Jesus Christ, Harriet Beecher Stowe deliberately provokes her audience to social change and abolition....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Powerful Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)

Essay Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

- Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe One of the more powerful novels writeen on the most humilating chapter of American history was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this novel during the civil war time period. The Civil War has been described as "America's darkest hour". Slavery, abuse, neglect, and ignorance ran rapid throughout this age. Stowe depicts all of these traits in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The story begins with Mr. Shelby discussing with Mr. Haley the selling of his servants to repay his debts....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Free Essays
458 words (1.3 pages)