Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a book published in 1852 to show the actual reality of slavery. It is seen as one of the books that lay the groundwork for civil war and fueled the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. The book became the best seller in the 19th century due to its emotional nature and ability to show the true nature of slavery while showcasing that Christian love can overcome the destructive nature of human enslavement. The novel revolves around the story of an African- American slave, Uncle Tom together with other characters. The book and plays it inspired are known to popularize stereotypes that people have carried for years.
The writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe, is a teacher from Connecticut who wrote the novel in response to the 1850 passage Fugitive Slave Act. Stowe is known for being deeply religious and substantially involved in the feminist movement. This is depicted in her book as she portrays women as being equal to men in spiritual strength, bravery, and intelligence. Stowe lived in Cincinnati, and this gave her a view of both sides of slavery as Cincinnati was split against and for slavery. She also did extensive research on slavery with the help of her black servants.
Her aim for writing the book was to convince people to end slavery. It was also a reaction to the Fugitive Slave Act that made it unlawful to lend a hand to fugitive slaves. She positions her views on race on religious through emphasizing the importance of Christian love in eradicating slavery. The book is dominated by moral codes followed by women as they provided advice to their husbands.
The novel starts with Arthur Shelby, a Kentucky farmer who due to a massive debt is on the verge of losing everything. He and His wife, Emily Shelby are pushed to sell their slaves, Harry, the son of Mrs. Shelby maid and Uncle Tom, to Mr. Haley to salvage their situation, but they are all against it for different reasons. Eliza learns of the sale and together with his son Harry, they run away to the North to look for independence with George her husband. Uncle Tom is not fortunate though and is sold.
The novel follows their journey through slavery, their various masters and evil of slavery. The different characters are used to pursue the reader on the evil of slavery, benefits of Christianity in eradicating slavery. The novel is set in a reasonably mild setting with a positive relationship between master and slaves like in Shelby’s house and St. Clares house. The writer showcases this individual as hypocritical as though they are kind to slaves; they still tolerate it.
The main reason why this novel gained favor from most people, including me is the inclusion of Christianity in its theme. The book is written explicitly for the protestant audience and illustrates the incompatibility nature of slavery and Christianity. The moral codes of Christianity oppose the system of slavery. She depicts Eva as a morally upright white character who fails to understand what different people see between blacks and whites. This story still has relevance until today. The general principle of universal love is not only crucial in the eradication of slavery, but love is the answer to most human conflicts.
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