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“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery

Introduction

According to American history, Harriet Beecher Stowe was an abolitionist and an American author. She lived during the Ohio period at Cincinnati which was across the river from where the slave trade took place. Therefore she got first-hand information on the slave trade. These incidences galvanized her to write the book because she had abolitionist sentiments. In this trade mostly the Africans were the ones being sold to the Americans and then later mistreated them. Her family members were also sentimental and therefore they could hide those slaves who run away. Therefore she wrote a novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which was also called life among the lowly. Having been a best-seller after the Holy Bible, this book just had to be translated to different languages. This happened in the 19th century. The book was considered a very important tool of antislavery because it led to the abolition movement.

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Stowe chooses Uncle Tom as the hero of the story and the person to reflect on among the other major characters (Stowe, p. 430). In the book, he was exploited but he remained firm in his beliefs and this made even his enemies admire his character. Eliza was the other major character in the book. She was a slave and a personal maid to an American woman called Mrs. Shelby. She escaped with her son to the north. Love and forgiveness are the themes of Eva’s novel. However, before she died she conceived her father to free Tom but fails to succeed. Simon Legree is a character who is associated with greed. As a character, he aimed to demoralize Tom so that he can break his Christian believes. He later killed Tom due to his unbreakable faith in God even though he was a slave. The novel also tells of how he left his mother at home and became a sea dweller.

Stowe believed that slavery was not only a political issue but also a moral concern. She also believed that women had to also contribute to the slavery debate. Therefore the novel was able to equate the victimization of children, slaves, and women. The essay discusses how these victims who sentimentality and morality are attributed and how Stowe in the novel was able to play upon the potential conversion of sentiment into political action.

Separation of families

According to Beecher Stowe, the major effect of slavery was to separate families. This was evil and immoral because a father could be separated from the family and hence the family is left suffering because most fathers were the ones to take care of their families. This is seen in the novel when an American white woman carries Tom in a steamboat to the southern states. This affected Tom’s friends such as, George who considered Tom as a friend and a mentor (Stowe, p. 433). In other cases, a mother could be separated from her husband and children. Therefore the children were left suffering because they had no one to take care of them. The Slave trade also saw children being sold off, giving permanent separation from their parents. This is well shown in the case of Eva who was separated from her mother when she was young and later met her mother when she was married and had a son. This issue was of concern to Stowe because she was motherly and therefore was not happy when she saw children suffering.

Moral power and sanctity of women

Moral Power is another theme that takes center stage in the book. Stowe believed that women had also a role to play in fighting against slavery in America (Stowe, p. 435). This is discussed through Eliza one of the major characters. She was a personal maid of Shelby and when she heard their discussion on selling Tom and Harry her son, she escaped with her son. She was determined to save her son because he was the only son she had. This initiative caused her to eventually unite with her family because she met her husband who had escaped a slave hunter and they went to Canada. Later she also met her mother who they were separated from when she was young.

The other noblewoman who is discussed in the novel was Eva (Stowe, p. 434). Seeing as she was a devout Christian, she would also spread this faith to the rest of the slaves. Through her death and vision, the other characters decided to change their lives. For example, Ophelia who had a personal prejudice against the blacks promised to change. Eva expressed how much she loved these people, even though they were slaves, especially Topsy, insisting that even slaves needed to be shown some love. In addition, before she died she persuaded her father to free Tom but she did not succeed. Women’s influence contributed to anti-slavery. Emily Shelby was also kind and had a moral influence upon her slaves and she was not happy when her husband sold their slaves because she had promised Eliza that her son would never be sold. These instances showed that women had an important part to play against the slave trade in America. Stowe believed that women were able to save their fellow people even from worse situations. In this novel, Stowe expressed the importance of women’s influence and it has also contributed to the women’s rights movement that lead to the liberation of women in America.

Christianity is a vice according to Christian principles and it has been explored to greater depths in the book. The theme of Christian theology is portrayed when the daughter of St. Clare died. Tom urges her to “look upon Jesus” (Stowe, p. 335). In addition during the burial of Tom, who was killed by Simon Legree, George Shelby said that “what a thing it is to be a Christian”. This was because he considered Tom as a friend as well as a mentor. He admired Tom’s character. These are Christian values that Tom holds dearly. Nonetheless, Tom does not even reveal their whereabouts to even Legree.

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This book was able to convince most of the American leaders. For example, Abraham Lincoln when he met Stowe he commented, “So this is the little lady who started this Great War”. This showed that he was convinced by Stowe’s book. Stowe’s book also gave a piece of insight to people like James Baird Weaver, who was a famous activist and abolitionist. Therefore slavery became an issue that was to be addressed by the public and most of the politicians were at the front. This was a great step towards the abolitionist movement and hence it lead to the freeing of the slaves.

Conclusion

Slave trade was rampant in America during the Ohio period. Most of the victims o this trade were Africans. In the 19th century, Beecher Stowe lived in Connecticut which was a city near the place where the slave trade took place. This lady saw the negative effects of the slave trade and she was pushed to write a book in 1852 called Uncle Tom’s Cabin or life among the lowly. Stowe wrote out of the experience she had and also from the stories she got from his friends who were slaves such as Tom. The title of the book and the style of writing attracted many and this led to the book being the second-best sold book from the Bible.

In the novel, Stowe believed that women were able to save people from slavery and also from other worse situations. This was because women in most cases they had great opportunities to the abolition slave trade in America for example, Eva and Eliza. This book was able to politicize slavery.

Works Cited

Stowe, Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cubin. New York: Spark education publishing, 2005. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 20). “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/uncle-toms-cabin-a-very-important-tool-of-antislavery/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 20). “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery. https://studycorgi.com/uncle-toms-cabin-a-very-important-tool-of-antislavery/

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"“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery." StudyCorgi, 20 Jan. 2022, studycorgi.com/uncle-toms-cabin-a-very-important-tool-of-antislavery/.

1. StudyCorgi. "“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery." January 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/uncle-toms-cabin-a-very-important-tool-of-antislavery/.


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StudyCorgi. "“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery." January 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/uncle-toms-cabin-a-very-important-tool-of-antislavery/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery." January 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/uncle-toms-cabin-a-very-important-tool-of-antislavery/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: A Very Important Tool of Antislavery'. 20 January.

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