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» » Uncle Toms Cabin

Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Toms Cabin
Title:
Uncle Toms Cabin
Author:
Harriet Beecher Stowe
ISBN:
1937028461
ISBN13:
978-1937028466
Size fb2:
1158 kb
Size epub:
1599 kb
Publisher:
Cherry Hill Publishing; Unabridged edition edition (December 15, 2010)
Language:
English
Other formats:
mobi azw mobi doc
Rating:
4.6
Votes:
780
Category:
Literature & Fiction
Subcategory:
Classics
There are nearly four millions of slaves in the United States; and the question now presents itself to every free born American citizen; what are we to do with them? The abolition party demand their immediate emancipation. Is it practicable, safe, or proper? What would be the consequences? What would be the consequence of turning loose upon ourselves four millions of human beings, to prowl about like wild beasts without restraint, or control, and commit depredations on the white population? Excerpted from A Review of Uncle Toms Cabin, by A. Woodward, M.D., 1853. Read by John Greenman, music by Kevin MacLeod.
  • Dogrel
I have heard about this book my whole life but never understood what it was about. If, like me you make the assumption that it is a book about a slave that "sells out his own race", which is the definition of Uncle Tom that I gathered by looking at television and hearing the term used, you will surely miss the entire point of this book. Instead, the book is about a slave that is steadfast in his beliefs and principles. A man that holds on to his faith in Jesus. I really don't get the common use of the term after reading this.

Every one should read this book. It can be a hard read as it is a glimpse into a dark period in history.
  • Bladecliff
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is a book worth reading. Inside the cover of this old time favorite, Stowe easily takes readers inside the minds the slaves, the slave owners, and those with abolitionist-like minds. She skillfully winds you through the different paths of characters and creates a mostly satisfying conclusion. One that does leave a bit of grief, questioning and enlightenment on both the heart and mind.
I would not recommend this book to those who are quickly angered by racial slurs or degradation of any kind. I think one of the most difficult things for readers in the present will be remembering that for the time period of this book, that the language used was part of the culture.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to feel enlightened and full of hope, despite the hardship you must follow in order to feel them. Uncle Tom himself is a beacon of true light and he honestly made me want be a better person. This book is smart, real and oddly uplifting. Because of some of the language used, I only recommend this to readers 15 and up.
You will not regret reading this truly heart wrenching and yet, inspiring story.
  • Kazigrel
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the 1852 novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is a well-written book with a lot of societal impact tied to it. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a fictional tale showing the cruelty inherent in the system of slavery, written in the hope of convincing its readers to turn their backs on slavery. The novel focuses on two main characters, Uncle Tom and Eliza, who are both slaves of the Shelby family. Their lives are suddenly thrown into mayhem when the Shelbys sell Tom and Eliza’s son Harry, and the rest of the novel deals with the aftermath of that decision. Uncle Tom’s Cabin saw huge success, and became well-known enough that it fostered a myth that Abraham Lincoln greeted Stowe, when they first met, by saying “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” However, there were a lot of abolitionist writings circulating around the same time--what is it about Stowe’s book that made it stand out, to the point that it is still widely read across the U.S.? There are many factors behind this, but I think a large one is how Stowe effectively wove together different tactics--such as a more nuanced portrayal of slaveowners, an appeal to religion, and a strong emotional familial appeal--to convey her anti-slavery message.

Stowe’s representation of slavery, specifically slaveowners, had a certain amount of nuance. She made it a point to include slaveowners with varying levels of decency. There were, of course, the most appalling of the bunch: the brutal actions of Legree, who said he’d “break every bone in his [Tom’s] body, but he shall give up!”, and the slimy, uncaring slave trader Mr. Haley, who parted families without a second thought (338). However, Stowe also presents slave owners with a certain amount of decency and affection towards their slaves, such as the Shelbys, Tom’s original owners. The Shelbys even make it a point to teach their slaves to read, so they could read the Bible. Stowe further implies that in the northern slave-states, there are many with similar attitudes, saying, “Perhaps the mildest form of the system of slavery is to be seen in the State of Kentucky” (8). Despite this more favorable representation, however, Stowe cuts the Shelbys no slack; they are shown to be fully complicit in the immoralities of slavery, especially when they agree to sell Harry and Tom away from their families to get out of debt. They appear weak-willed in the book, as they break explicit promises to their slaves without even accepting full responsibility for this breach of trust and decency. Mr. Shelby even bemoans the decision he made, but even that isn’t enough to change his mind; he ultimately prioritizes money over human lives. Had Stowe depicted slaveowners as universally brutal, her writing could have been dismissed as a series of uninformed northern stereotypes about slavery. Her more nuanced, yet firmly condemning portrayal of slave owners allowed her to convey her message against slavery to a larger audience, with more of an effect.

Stowe also threads a strong religious appeal throughout Uncle Tom’s Cabin, strengthening her argument for her pre-Civil War readers, most of whom would have been religious. She starts this appeal by creating a community of Christian slaves belonging to the Shelbys. The Shelbys’ slaves read the Bible, and fervently take its teachings to heart; Uncle Tom even leads regular prayer meetings in his cabin. By depicting the slaves as upstanding, devout Christians, Stowe humanizes them, and makes their situation more unacceptable to the readers. Eliza clearly shows this religious devotion when she is advising her husband George to not “do anything wicked” on his escape; “if you only trust in God, and try to do right, he’ll deliver you” (15). I would even argue that Stowe sets up Uncle Tom as a kind of Christ figure; he is willing to be sold south as long as that means his family and the rest of the slaves are safe and get to stay with the Shelbys (85). He willingly sacrifices himself without a fight for the sake of those he loves.

Stowe’s religious background explains a lot about her frequent references to religion, and her choice to portray the slaves as devout Christians. Religion was a very large part of her life; her father was a well-known preacher, and her brothers also became preachers. If that wasn’t enough, she also married a preacher. It was her religious beliefs that led her to believe that slavery was wrong, and so it makes sense that she incorporated them so strongly in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Writing these religious tones into the novel also shows that she was using a medium she knew well--it may not have been in a church, but she managed to preach her own message. These appeals to religion would have reverberated with her audience, most of whom would have been Christian themselves. Her story, and the weight attached to it due to her connections to respected preachers, caused her readers to analyze the issue of slavery through a different lens.

Stowe’s strongest literary tactic was, in my opinion, the strong emotional punch she was able to deliver. She focused very strongly on familial bonds, in particular the bond between mother and child. When Eliza finds out that her son will be sold away from her, she is devastated, and frantically acts to run away and avoid that situation. This response triggers a strong emotional response from the reader; it is hard to overlook the raw emotion in the novel and justify the cruel separation of families due to slavery. Stowe further drives this emotional scenario into the hearts of her readers by commenting, “If it were your Harry, mother, or your Willie, that were going to be torn from you by a brutal trader, to-morrow morning...how fast could you walk?” (46). This appeal to the emotions is so important for Stowe to emphasize that she breaks the 4th wall to do it. Statistics and logical arguments are important, but nothing sparks action more than a direct emotional appeal--in this case, the story of a young mother desperately trying everything she can to protect and stay with her child. This punch to the emotions is a key strength of Stowe’s novel.

Stowe’s strong literary tactics in Uncle Tom’s Cabin really helped her drive home her message of anti-slavery. They also contributed to the novel’s effect on society prior to the Civil War, and to its overall longevity as a novel. I would definitely recommend reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • Pad
This was a fine example not just of the story of this time. This was a fine encouragement of the power of are Great and Powerful Savior Jesus Christ! This is a story which goes through a number of the struggles of slaves and Masters in the south at a time of great struggle. Central character in the story is Uncle Tom. He is a true saint and follower of Jesus Christ. To me and reading this is that the name of Michael Tom is used in common parlance is a slander two black people who have supposedly given themselves over to the whims of whites. There is nothing about this character Uncle Tom that is not good righteous and perfect. This man is the author's example of Jesus in the flesh. I cried when he died. Saving Grace of Jesus Christ is as important today as it was in 1850 when this book was written. If you don't know Jesus take this book as an encouragement to find out who he is. Time is limited and Eternity is coming! There are only two places that we will all go and I myself I'm looking forward to an eternity with Uncle Tom.
  • Perius
Oh, my goodness. After all these years, while chasing through some research, I finally got around to reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. This fabulous book through its fascinating story examines every facet and argument about slavery. I cannot help but admire the woman Harriet Beecher Stowe as she nails it down as an author. Of course, if one purchases certain modern editions of the book with all the frontal commentary, and takes seriously those jaded words, she could possibly feel discouraged enough to toss the book down. But! Never mind that, and neve rmind the negative hype you may have heard in passing (probably from someone who didn't even read the book). This worthy story is a heart-capturing must-read. My only regret is I didn't read it sooner.