Analysis of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Historians have said that the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin had such a great impact on the public so that it led to the Civil War, from which slavery was abolished. It is said, that when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe he declared: “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war “(Bennett, 284). Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in 1811 in England, but spent much of her life Ohio, a State that was firmly against slavery. The publication of the novel, in 1852, was an event that changed a nation that was already undergoing major changes. Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the nineteenth century and the second best-selling book of the century, after the Bible (Smith 221). The book helped to feed the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after publication, it sold 300,000 copies in the United States. The book is structured in many layers that are combined, creating a surprising novel that can be read at any age.

The first layer is the story itself, perhaps the one most often followed by the child in a summer vacation. This later is represented by the places in which Uncle Tom, a black, gentle and very faithful slave from Kentucky gets, by the parade of colorful, very talkative and always well-defined characters and their words and emotions, because all the people in the novel, white or black, are always ready to express themselves. The second layer is the one of the thoughts, speeches and diatribes against slavery and its foundations. The tone is often very sentimental and naïve. Only an insensitive reader would make a stylistic literary dissection on such a text and would label as embarrassing the narrator’s direct addressing to some potentially mother- readers. If the swirling...

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...l system to remove the stain of slavery and to vaccinate people against similar excesses of dehumanization.

Works Cited

Aiken, George L. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. New York: Garland, 1993, Print

Bennett, William John. America: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War, 1492-1914. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2006. Print

Jordan-Lake, Joy. Whitewashing Uncle Tom's Cabin: Nineteenth-Century Women Novelists Respond to Stowe, Vanderbilt University Press, 2005. Print

Tompkins, Jane. In Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790–1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. Print

Smith Gail K. The Sentimental Novel: The Example of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing, Cambridge University Press, 2001, Print

Stowe Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Vintage Books. Modern Library Edition, 1991. Print
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