Shelby has arranged for his slave Tom to be sold in order to pay off debts that he has incurred. She has promised Eliza that her son would never be taken from her and yet Mr.
In order to accomplish this goal in an effectively dramatic fashion, she could not merely present slavery as a monstrous wrong, chewing people up and spitting out what remained of them, physically and spiritually; she had to show it in conflict with a force that she knew to be more than equally powerful: The theme of the novel then not a simple theme, either, because of the levels Donovan enumerates is this conflict.
Slavery is a powerful wrong. It is said to be wrong — in all cases, notwithstanding fair individual treatment of slaves — throughout the novel, first by George Harris, later and at length by Augustine St.
Clare, and always by the narrator, directly as well as indirectly through the use of irony. Such objectification is evil, in the kind of actions it permits and supports and in the spiritual damage it does to individuals.
Because Shelby, portrayed as a decent if somewhat shallow and thoughtless man, is in debt, he is forced — according to law, because he owns property — to sell some of that property.
Shelby and Haley are introduced as a pair of opposites, one a "gentleman," the other a crass materialist of no sensitivity or cultivation.
In fact, their participation in slavery makes them as Haley reminds young George Shelby the same. Haley sees all slaves, all the time, not as people but as profit or loss. Shelby sees them as such only when he is in serious money trouble, but this is a difference of degree, not kind.
Shelby tells Haley that he will not consider selling Eliza into sexual slavery not because he knows this would be wrong, but because his wife would never forgive himbut he scarcely hesitates to sell little Harry into what he knows is almost surely the same fate. Throughout the novel, Stowe shows slavery as hurtful and harmful to individual slaves, physically and emotionally; she knows this will have a wrenching emotional effect upon her audience.
Old Prue, in New Orleans, tells Tom she would rather go to hell than to a heaven where white people are; she is in despair, and she dies in this condition. Cassy, too, is in despair; she has committed murder and attempted murder, and she is ready to kill Legree.
The thousands of slaves sold into sexual slavery or used sexually by their owners are in grave moral danger.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin achieved its tremendous importance for good reason. We have relatively few antebellum abolitionist books (several states outlawed them), and this one certainly seems to be the best in terms of effective boosterism, agitprop, promotion, whatever one wishes to call it—for voluminous, spirited, multifaceted argumentation. May 09, · This dissertation charts the dramatic cultural transformation of Uncle Tom, the heroic Christian martyr of Harriet Beecher Stowe's antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (), into a commonly known slur for a submissive race traitor. Harriet Beecher Stowe, thought the theatre immoral, so much so, that when Stowe's permission was sought for dramatization of the novel, she refused it, noting that "If the barrier which now keeps young people of Christian families from theatrical entertainments is once broken down.
Children like Topsy, raised to think of themselves as objects, of no value, are being set up, through absolutely no fault of their own, for morally barren lives — and worse, for lives of sin: Modern readers, who may have relatively little awareness of or respect for moral and spiritual matters, in comparison with matters physical and emotional, are apt to see these dangers as less important than they seemed to Stowe and her nineteenth-century audience.
But to Stowe, the moral impact of slavery was among its chief evils, and to object that the moral responsibility belonged to the masters, not the slaves — who after all could not help themselves — would be a way of saying that these slaves were not adult human beings, people whose moral choices were their own to make.
Yes, Stowe would agree that the masters were to blame for giving them nothing but difficult choices; but the moral choice for any action or inaction is made, she would say, by the person himself or herself. Slavery is evil because it attempts to reduce to objects people who cannot be so reduced.
The slaves themselves, of course, are not the only people whom slavery attempts to reduce and whom it thereby injures. The most obvious example of a slave owner destroyed by the institution is Marie St. Clare, whose narcissism is a result of her having been raised from infancy to believe that she is a superior kind of being.
Shelby and his wife are both shallow, callous people — as they must be if they are to continue owning slaves. At the physical center of the novel is St. Even Legree, who as the personification of the institution is an almost inhuman villain, is someone whom slavery has allowed and encouraged to become truly evil, morally dead before he has died physically.
Only Tom loves Legree. This is the irony at the heart of the novel, the key to its thematic conflict. In order to understand what it means, we need to remember, first, that Legree personifies slavery, which is evil precisely because it reduces or attempts to reduce human beings to property — material objects devoid of spiritual existence and value.Uncle Tom's Cabin was written by white abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe and was the best selling book of its time, only second to the Bible, until it was banned by Democrats due to its anti-slavery theme.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is a landmark in two directions. It galvanized the antislavery movement at its publication and may have been largely responsible for the Civil War; it now enjoys notoriety as over-sentimental condescension, its .
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin specifically in order to illustrate the evil and inhumanity of slavery to her midth century American readers, for whom slavery was a current and heated political issue.
The novel illustrates not only the suffering and misery of the slaves themselves. Uncle Tom’s Cabin achieved its tremendous importance for good reason. We have relatively few antebellum abolitionist books (several states outlawed them), and this one certainly seems to be the best in terms of effective boosterism, agitprop, promotion, whatever one wishes to call it—for voluminous, spirited, multifaceted argumentation.
As Jane Tompkins has written about Uncle Tom's Cabin, "Stowe's very conservatism — her reliance on established patterns of living and traditional beliefs — is precisely what gives her novels revolutionary potential."* Harriet Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in , the sixth child of Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote.
The most famous American novel of the nineteenth century, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published in in serial form in the abolitionist newspaper National timberdesignmag.com’s novel sold an astonishing , copies in its first year, and was read by more than one million people by the time slavery was abolished.