Essay about Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Essay about Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe


     In the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom, the main character, possesses a trait that sanctifies him from the rest of the characters. Uncle Tom's faith is his source of strength throughout the novel. This is portrayed socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Uncle Tom relies solely on his faith in God to assist him in all the trials, tribulations, and hardships that he endures. Tom never succumbs to the sin that those around him are so deeply engulfed. Tom's dedication to the Christian faith obviously sets him apart from the other characters in the story. However, without his unbinding belief in God, Uncle Tom would cease to be such a Christ-like figure.

     The first method in which Uncle Tom's faith allows him to cope with the hardships of slavery is socially. One must understand that Uncle Tom is constantly paralleled to Christ during the course of events in the novel. Tom is the social leader of the slaves on the Shelby plantation. Uncle Tom's cabin is the focal point of fellowship for the slaves. This is because everybody perceives Tom as a mentor, and also because Aunt Chloe, his wife, is a fantastic cook. His charismatic personality allows him to lead and organize their religious meetings which are held in his home as well. One can see how Tom's faith allows him to be a social leader among the slaves. Stowe says on page 35 that, Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious matters, in the neighborhood. Having, naturally, an organization in which morale was strongly predominant together with a greater breadth and cultivation of mind that obtained among his companions, he was looked up to with great respect, as a sort of minister among them.

Uncle Tom disallowed his recognition as an authoritative figure to become egocentric. Tom prayed with, "touching simplicity" and "childlike earnestness" (Stowe 35). As Tom's character develops, the reader can identify the sincere humility, loyalty, and submission of his heart. Despite the austere conditions of the time, Tom uses his social gifts to be a light to those he comes in contact with.

     Uncle Tom also experienced emotional trauma due to the afflictions of slavery as well as social trauma. The reader learns that without his faith, Tom would not have acted in a Christ-like fashion. The point in the novel i...


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...dual to possess the same thing. This appears to be the situation in this case. Legree desires Uncle Tom's faith or faith in general, but he has no capacity for it. Instead, he tries to make Uncle Tom his scapegoat. Tom, however, stands firm when he says, "No! no! no! my soul an't yours, Mas'r! You haven't bought it, -ye can't buy it! It's been bought and paid for, by one that is able to keep it; -no matter, no matter, you can't harm me!" (Stowe 387).

     To be honest, reading Uncle Tom's Cabin was no easy task. The story does have an impact that resides in my brain however. To think that slavery was actually a way of life in our own country, the United States of America, is unbearable. The idea that there are inferior and superior human beings is absurd. Nevertheless, this still goes on in our country to this very day. Reading Uncle Tom's Cabin has made me more alert of my actions, not only toward people of the different races, but people of the opposite sex as well. I think that Uncle Tom's Cabin should be a mandatory reading in high schools nationwide. Our country has come a long way since Uncle Tom's era, but it is ironic how history has the propensity of repeating itself.

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