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Uncle Tom's Cabin (Book Review Sample)


The task entailed book reviewing. The book entails a review of Harriet Beecher Stowe\'s book, Uncle Tom\'s Cabin.


Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a novel that is about anti-slavery. It is written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, an American author. The novel helped to lay the Civil War groundwork. Stowe, born in Connecticut, a teacher at the Hatford Female Academy as well as an active abolitionist, is the main character in the Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Stowe was a long-suffering black-slave in whom other character’s stories revolve. The soppy novel portrays the reality of slavery. The novel is also accredited with fueling of abolitionist movement during the 1850s.The impact accredited to the novel is enormous. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written for a unique purpose: to educate the Northern readers concerning what was going on in the South. During its publication in 1850s, the North and South stood so ethnically divided, which in some circumstances they appeared like 2 separate countries. This paper, therefore, is going to give analyze the novel bearing in mind the major themes that include slavery, religion and feminism.
The Iniquity of Slavery
The novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published following the enactment 1850 Fugitive Slave Act that rendered it unlawful for anybody in America to offer assistance or aid to runaway slaves. The novel strives to condemn this law as well as the institution it safeguarded, constantly advocating the pressing slave emancipation as well as free will for all nationalities. Every Stowe’s scene, whereas helping to further plot and character, similarly serves, without exemption, to convince the reader—particularly those who lived in the Northern during Stowe’s time—that servitude is un-Christian, evil, as well as inexcusable in a civilized society (Stowe 2002, 19).
For the largest part of the book, Stowe looks at the slavery question in a rather mild environment, wherein and masters slaves have apparently positive affiliations. Both at St. Clare’s house, and Shelby’s house, the slaves have compassionate rulers who do not mistreat or abuse them. Harriet Beecher does not present these settings to exhibit slavery’s wicked as conditional. Harriet Beecher seeks to reveal the immoralities of bondage even during its best-case situation. Though St. Clare and Shelby possess intelligence and kindness, their capacity to tolerate captivity makes them morally weak and hypocritical. Even under compassionate rulers, slaves suffer, as seen when an economically struggling Shelby contritely wrecks Tom’s family through selling Tom, as well as when the viciously selfish Marie, through insisting attention be accorded to her, inhibits slaves from St. Clare from grieving the demise of her own innocent daughter, Eva. A familiar contemporary justification for slavery asserted that the society helped the slaves since a good number of masters acted out in the best interests of the slaves. Stowe contradicts this contention through her biting depictions, claiming that the serf’s best interest could only lie in gaining freedom (Stowe 2002, 19).
Harriet Beecher depicts the slave-master affiliation as building an unbearable gulf in class, power, education, and liberty, even when it occurs between two equally well-meaning men, for instance, Tom and Shelby, who earnestly care for each other’s welfare. In the character of Tom, Harriet Beecher’s romantic racialism is evident. Romantic racialism defines an attitude in which a person esteems another ethnic group with a patriarchal compassion—a feel of sympathy stained by condescension. While Stowe contends for the humane and fair treatment of black slaves, she also often romanticizes and idealizes them, depicting them as appealing or captivatingly good-hearted instead of as intricate, full humans (McPherson 1997, 29).
In the closing 3rd of the novel, Harriet Beecher leaves behind the congenial life’ veneer at the St. Clare and Shelby houses and carries the reader to the Legree farm, where the slavery evil materializes in its very hideous as well as naked form. This barbaric and harsh setting, wherein slaves suffer sexual abuse, beatings, and even massacre, establishes the capability of surprise into Harriet Beecher’s argument. If servitude is immoral within the best of situations, in the vilest of situations it is inhuman and nightmarish. Within the book’s organizational progression amid hellish and ‘pleasant’ plantations, Stowe’s rhetorical devices can be seen. First she devalues the justification of the pro-bondage reader through revealing the vile of the "noblest" form of bondage. She then portrays her own contention against bondage by revealing the deplorable wickedness of bondage at its vilest (McPherson 1997, 29).
The inharmoniousness of Christian values and slavery
Writing primarily for religious, mainly Protestant readers, Stowe takes immense pains to demonstrate the point that the slavery system as well as the Christianity moral code clash with one another. No Christian, Stowe asserts, should be capable of tolerating slavery. All through the book, the more spiritual an individual is, the more they object to captivity. Eva, the extremely morally unflawed white character within the book, fails to comprehend why anybody would notice a difference amid whites and blacks. Contrary, the morally repellent, profane Legree practices servitude nearly as a guiding principle of intentional evil and blasphemy. Christianity, in Harriet Beecher’s novel, rests upon a universal love code. If all populations were to practice this principle, Stowe asserts, it would be unattainable for one part of humankind to enslave and oppress another. Therefore, not only are slavery and Christianity unharmonious, but Christianity may be utilized to combat slavery (McPherson 1997, 29).
While set out to persuade her Northern readers of the foul of servitude; Stowe uses Uncle Tom’ character not to analyze a slave’ psychology, but to help her thematic claims. Though Uncle Tom’s self-sacrifice and sense of responsibility have, sometimes, made Harriet Beecher’s novel an item of mockery, it was exactly these traits of gentle patience and magnanimity that rendered Tom a moving and admirable figure to Harriet Beecher’s white Northern readers in 1852. Furthermore, Uncle Tom’s impassiveness enables the book’s most incisive evaluation of the row between Christian principles and the brutal inhumanities of captivity. Tom’s guiding principle of "turning the other cheek" derives from a spiritual faith, and therefore, his behavior could be inferred as indebting less to frailty than to belief (Reynolds 2011, 351).
Tom Loker, the slave pursuer, learns his lesson once his life is pardoned by the serfs he endeavored to apprehend, as well as after being cured by the deeply religious and generous-hearted Quakers. Tom turns into a transformed man. Furthermore, Uncle Tom eventually triumphs over bondage in his devotion to Christ’s commandment to "love thy enemy." Tom says no to compromise his Christianity devotion in the encounter of the numerous trials he experiences at Legree’s farm. When Tom is banged to fatality by Legree together with his men, Tom dies pardoning them. In this manner, Tom turns into a martyr, an ideal for the actions of both blacks and whites. The account of his existence both reveals the wickedness of servitude—its inharmoniousness with Christian morality —and steers the course to its change via Christian love (Posner 2002, 239).
The moral women’s power
Though Harriet Beecher wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin novel before the prevalent development of the movement of women’s rights of the belatedly 1800s, the readers can; nevertheless, regard the novel as a case of initial feminism. The novel represents women as ethically conscientious, courageous, and committed —undeniably, frequently as more ethically conscientious, courageous, and committed than men. Harriet Beecher infers a parallel amid the subjugation of blacks as well as the subjugation of women; however; she conveys optimism for the beleaguered in her depiction of women as successfully swaying their husbands. Furthermore, she illustrates how this display of strength in one afflicted faction can facilitate to ease the subjugation of the group. White women could use their sway to persuade their husbands who were the individuals with the right to vote—of the iniquity of servitude (Reynolds 2011, 351).
All through the book, the audience sees many instances of romanticized womanhood, of ideal wives and mothers who endeavor to find redemption for their ethically inferior sons and husbands. Examples include St. Clare’s mother, Mrs. Bird, Legree’s mother, as well as, to a slighter degree, Mrs. Shelby. The novel also depicts black womenfolk in an exceptionally positive light. Black women have been depicted as strong, capable, and brave as seen particularly in the figure of Eliza. However, in the circumstances where women act immorally—for instance, Cassy through her infanticide or Prue with her drunkenness, their sins are displayed as demonstrating slavery’s malevolence influence instead of the women’s individual wickedness. Not all women seem as boosts to the novel’s moral canon: Marie acts mean and petty, while Ophelia starts the book with many biases. Nevertheless, the novel seems to claim the presence of a normal female feel of evil and good, pointing to an intrinsic moral astuteness within the whole gender and inspiring the usage of this shrewdness as a power for social transfor...
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