An Analysis of Uncle Tom's Cabin
"The book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is thought of as a fantastic, even
fanatic, representation of Southern life, most memorable for its emotional
oversimplification of the complexities of the slave system," says Gossett
(4). Harriet Beecher Stowe describes her own experiences or ones that she
has witnessed in the past through the text in her novel. She grew up in
Cincinnati where she had a very close look at slavery. Located on the Ohio
River across from the slave state of Kentucky, the city was filled with
former slaves and slaveholders. In conversation with black women who
worked as servants in her home, Stowe heard many stories of slave life that
found their way into the book. Some of the novel was based on her reading
of abolitionist books and pamphlets, the rest came straight from her own
observations of black Cincinnatians with personal experience of slavery.
She uses the characters to represent popular ideas of her time, a time when
slavery was the biggest issue that people were dealing with. Uncle Tom's
Cabin was an unexpected factor in the dispute between the North and South.
The book sold more than 300,000 copies during the first year of publication,
taking thousands of people, even our nation's leaders, by surprise.
Mr. Shelby is a Kentucky plantation owner who is forced by debt to
sell two of his slaves to a trader named Haley. Uncle Tom, the manager of
the plantation, understands why he must be sold. The other slave marked for
sale is Harry, a four-year-old. His mother, Mrs. Shelby's servant, ...
... middle of paper ...
to wage her own battle. Eva serenely fades into death, but her presence
and her dreams survive in her father and in the reader of the novel.
It is doubtful if a book was ever written that attained such
popularity in so short a time as did Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's
Cabin. "The thrilling story was eagerly read by rich and poor, by the
educated and uneducated, eliciting from one and all heartfelt sympathy for
the poor and abused negro of the south,"(Donovan 74). It was, indeed, a
veritable bombshell to slaveholders, who felt that such a work should be
dangerous to the existence of slavery. They had a good cause to fear it
too, for its "timely appearance was undoubtedly the means of turning the
tide of public feeling against the abominable curse of slavery"(Cass 35).
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- An Analysis of Uncle Tom's Cabin "The book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is thought of as a fantastic, even fanatic, representation of Southern life, most memorable for its emotional oversimplification of the complexities of the slave system," says Gossett (4). Harriet Beecher Stowe describes her own experiences or ones that she has witnessed in the past through the text in her novel. She grew up in Cincinnati where she had a very close look at slavery. Located on the Ohio River across from the slave state of Kentucky, the city was filled with former slaves and slaveholders.... [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]
2814 words (8 pages)
- Historians have said that the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin had such a great impact on the public so that it led to the Civil War, from which slavery was abolished. It is said, that when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe he declared: “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war “(Bennett, 284). Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in 1811 in England, but spent much of her life Ohio, a State that was firmly against slavery. The publication of the novel, in 1852, was an event that changed a nation that was already undergoing major changes.... [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]
1170 words (3.3 pages)
- Often when we think of slavery in the 1800’s we associate the concept with only black slaves. However in the book of Uncle Tom’s Cabin we see that if mister Shelby wasn’t a slave owner and owed the debts to Haley, he has been just as likely to become a slave working for Haley. It is we arrive at the question what does it mean to be free and how do we obtain it. We will be looking at Frederick Douglass’s definition of slavery and how he overcame it through increasing his own literacy as a result of reading.... [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]
739 words (2.1 pages)
- ... Nicole Smith, a literary critic, comments that “the impressive architectural wonder of the house, albeit aged and in disrepair, is merely a façade” (Smith 2). Mirroring the aging house, Hephzibah is called the “Old Maid” producing “gusty sighs” with “creaking joints of her stiffened bones” (27). The more Hephzibah remains locked away from the world, the more her “visage was growing so perversely stern, and even fierce” (31). Hawthorne uses the visual of her house to depict her own fast approaching old age as a means of illustrating how the house itself aids in her depreciation.... [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, House]
2335 words (6.7 pages)
- In Baldwin's view, protest novels are always the same which means that they are always sentimental which equate to them being dishonest and cruel. Baldwin indicated that "Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel; the wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty". His essay then goes on and attack Harriet Beecher Stowe's protest novel written in the form of Uncle Tom's Cabin.... [tags: literary analysis]
615 words (1.8 pages)
- 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]
963 words (2.8 pages)
- Characterization in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin Either they deny the Negro's humanity and feel no cause to measure his actions against civilized norms; or they protect themselves from their guilt in the Negro's condition and from their fear...by attributing to them a superhuman capacity for love, kindliness and forgiveness. Nor does this any way contradict their stereotyped conviction that all Negroes are given to the most animal behavior. - Ralph Ellison (Litwack 3) The above quote by Ralph Ellison, author of The Invisible Man, is a good starting point for an analysis on the characterization within Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. For many modern critics and r... [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]
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- ... The book is made to yield where the fiction demands it” (Gossett 195). While William Simms did not write books seeking to correct any glaring evils, often he would lecture in his works on social and civil issues, such as the ones found in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Gossett 195). It is unclear how Simms differentiated this from Stowe’s sanctimonious text though. He did appreciate the artistic merits in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as he later spoke of Stowe as “a woman of great faculty, and her accounts in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, considered aside from the natural question of slaves and is striking through pure magnetism” (Gossett 196).... [tags: historical and literary analysis]
1328 words (3.8 pages)
- The debate raging in the years 1836-1837 over women's proper duties and roles in regards to abolitionism was publicly shaped primarily by two opposing forces: on the one hand, sisters Angelina and Sarah Grimke, abolitionists and champions of women's rights; and on the other, Catharine Beecher, who opposed suffrage and women's involvement in abolitionism and argued in favor of woman's place in the home. After the printing of Angelina Grimké's pamphlet Appeal to the Christian Women of the Southern States (1836), Grimké and Catharine Beecher engaged in a written debate over woman's public role in regards to the slavery issue.... [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Stowe Papers]
3076 words (8.8 pages)
- Uncle Tom's Cabin Methodological Introduction In writing this essay, I was specifically interested in discovering what was behind the genre protest against Uncle Tom's Cabin. Consequently, the brunt of my research has been historical -- seeking out criticisms of the novel, written immediately or shortly after its publication, that deal with the issue of genre. Although this study is by no means comprehensive, I have attempted to do a general analysis of the specific protests themselves, and then use this analysis as a means to demonstrate the shortcomings and advantages of fiction, specifically as seen in Uncle Tom's Cabin, and how Stowe exploited them to her own purposes.... [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Literature Papers]
2765 words (7.9 pages)