Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

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Harriet Beecher Stowe who was an abolitionist wrote Uncle Tom's
Cabin as a statement against the Institution of slavery and the
Fugitive Slave Act, enacted in 1850, making it a crime for citizen's
of free states to aid runaway slaves.

It was originally published in 1852. This story is fiction but is
based on actual events. The story begins in the early 1800's in
Kentucky. It chronicles the lives of Tom, Eliza, George, their son
Harry, Topsy, and Cassy. There are other characters but I felt that
these characters had an ultimate destiny that culminates throughout
the story.

Tom, the main character, was born a slave in the United States. He
had been treated well during his first 40 years, actually growing up
from an infant with his present master, George Shelby, making Tom a
second generation Shelby slave. The farm in Kentucky being the only
home he has ever known. He has a one room cabin, a wife and children,
and is a Christian that truly emulates the life of his savior, Jesus
Christ.

Eliza, a beautiful quadroon, is owned by the Shelby's and was brought
up by Mrs. Shelby as a “petted and indulged favorite.” She is fair
skinned and is described as being able to “pass” for white. She was
allowed to marry a slave on a neighboring estate and has a 4 year old
son Harry. Her attitude toward her enslavement is very different from
her husband's. Her's is a passive belief that she she “owes” the
Shelby's for educating and taking care of her.

George is Eliza's husband. At the beginning of the story George has
been hired out by his master to a small bagging factory. During his
employ he invented a machine for cleaning the hemp, which considering
the education and circumstances of the inventor ...


... middle of paper ...


...uilt and shame that having any true sense of
your spiritual beliefs impossible.
Tom and Eva, complete physical and economic opposites, symbolize
innocence and love so strongly, create a powerful message in the
story. Their unwavering love, compassion and faith in God, even
through horrific suffering does give eternal peace. In this life and
the next.

When Eliza, George and their son Harry finally arrived in Canada they
fell to their knees and these were the words that George spoke:

“Twas something like the burst from death to life;
From the grave's cerements to the robes of heaven;
From sin's dominion, and from passion's strife,
To the pure freedom of a soul forgiven;
Where all bonds of death and hell are riven,
And mortal puts on immortality,
When Mercy's hand hath turned the golden key,
And Mercy's voice hath said, Rejoice, the soul is free.”

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