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An Era of Inhumanity

Uploaded by ywbyun on Sep 20, 2000

Writers differ in the purpose for which they write. Some aim to entertain, but the more serious and skilled writers usually have the goal of expressing a serious idea. Writers such as Hariet Beecher Stowe and Alex Haley are writers who write for more than mere entertainment. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, had a political purpose. Stowe intended to help America realize the inhumanity of slavery and the pain it brought upon African-Americans by writing a melodramatic novel. She despised the South for practicing slavery and the North as well for their prejudice against blacks. Roots was written by Alex Haley in search of his origin. His hunger for knowledge of who he was and who his ancestors were inspired him to carry out numerous years of research and countless interviews in order to finish his book. Although Alex Haley wrote Roots in search of his origin and Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin for a political purpose, both authors lead readers to sympathize with the predicaments of African-Americans by putting a human face, as well as a racial one on the tragedy of slavery, thus involving all readers in the inhumanity of the institution.

In Uncle Tom’s Cabin we are cordially introduced to Uncle Tom. He is a “large, broad-chested, powerfully-made man, of a full glossy black, and a face whose truly African feature [are] characterized by and expression of grave and steady good sense, united with much kindliness and benevolence”(Stowe 24). By her description of Tom, Stowe contradicts the common stereotype that blacks are savages and inhumane by giving Uncle Tom the characteristics of an ideal, honest man. He is described as being "kind" and "benevolent" as well as having an "expression of good sense". Stowe also portrays Uncle Tom as a perfect being. It seems as if his personality is without a flaw and seems too good to be true. By giving Uncle Tom this flawless characteristic, Stowe is able to show that he too is human although his difference in skin color. As one is introduced to the setting of Uncle Tom’s cabin, one feels at home and very relaxed. Aunt Chloe’s cooking of various tasty dishes adds to the serene environment of the cabin and as we see Uncle Tom learning how to read and write from his young “Mas’r George,” it seems as though there are no worries, hardships are...

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Uploaded by:   ywbyun

Date:   09/20/2000

Category:   Slavery

Length:   18 pages (4,080 words)

Views:   1318

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