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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uploaded by mustbethemoney1 on Jan 03, 2001

Few books can truly be said to have altered the course of history, and even fewer can be said to have started an entire war. Uncle Tom's Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was one such novel. It is a realistic, although fictional view of slavery, that burned into the consciousness of America the images of brutal beatings and unfair slave practices. Uncle Tom's Cabin helped to turn the tide of public opinion against slavery in the 19th century. This controversial novel was initially written to question slavery and to convince people of its immorality. It was the first book that brought the problem of slavery in America to the attention of the world. It became not only a bestseller, but a social documentary of the lives of slaves. The closest parallel to the success of Uncle Tom's Cabin was Sinclair's The Jungle, but even The Jungle did not start an entire war.

The main characters in this story are Uncle Tom, Eliza and George Harris. Uncle Tom is a good man, trustworthy, a model slave. He refused to make trouble, and is accepting of an institution he cannot change. A very spiritual person, Uncle Tom tries his best to obey the Bible and to do what is right. He is the figure meant to show the good of man, and how that good was trampled by an unjust institution. Eliza is a beautiful slave owned by George Shelby, Sr., the same person who owns Tom. Eliza has a son, Harry. Eliza's husband, George Harris, lives on a nearby plantation. George is a brilliant man, and invented a machine that was used in the factory he works in. His owner became jealous and demoted George from his factory job to doing hard labor on the plantation. This is an allusion to other unjust practices of the time, and shows that the racial inequities that prevailed even outside the institution of slavery. This is one way that Stowe provokes the reader towards a cause for abolitionism, and show the need for change.

Because his Kentucky plantation was overwhelmed by debt, Shelby makes plans to trade some slaves to a slave dealer in exchange for debts being canceled. The dealer selects Uncle Tom as payment for the debt. Eliza quickly decides to run away, quickly followed by her husband George Harris. George just happens to go to the same place where Eliza and...

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Uploaded by:   mustbethemoney1

Date:   01/03/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (904 words)

Views:   1642

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