Role of the Quakers in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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The Quakers and Uncle Tom’s Cabin

In this paper, I will examine the choice of using the Quakers as the angelic figures that become the saviors for the black race during the slave movement in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. While examining this topic, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s background of Puritanism becomes the focus for her motivation to change the world around her and her strict discipline of keeping spiritual values as part of her daily existence. The next stage to be discussed is her conversion from conservative Calvinist views to liberal ideals of social reform. This reform captures the spirit of Transcendentalism, the idea of the individual as a divine being changing society to meet with those ideals. Finally, I will touch on the belief of the Quakers and their history and how they became the model of godliness that is portrayed in Stowe’s novel.

In the Haggadah, God creates the world by his word, the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet descending from the crown of God engraved with a pen of flaming fire on the mind of Man (Barnstone 15). Many great writers strive to tap into this inspiration of divine light or intellectual genius to produce works of literary art. The written word from these writers possessed enough power to start revolutions, change public sentiment, and alter the rational thinking of the times. One such writer that changed historical events during the American Renaissance is Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her literary masterpiece, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, caused such enlightenment of the general public to push the United States into Civil War to emancipate the black race from the bonds of slavery. The main source of inspiration for her writings comes from her own personal experiences of life and the deeply...

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Works Cited

Barnstone, Willis. The Other Bible. New York; Harper & Row, 1984.

Drake, Thomas E. Quakers and Slavery in America . Massachusetts; Gloucester, 1965.

Foster, Charles H. The Rungless Ladder; Harriet Beecher Stowe and New England Puritanism. New York; Cooper Press, 1970.

Miller, Perry. Errand into the Wilderness. Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. "Uncle Toms Cabin." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. 3rd ed. Massachusetts; Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 2310-2352.

Westra, Helen Petter. "Confronting Antichrist; The Influence of Jonathan Edwardâs Vision" The Stowe Debate; Rhetorical Strategies in Uncle Tomâs Cabin. Ed.

Mason I. Lowance, Jr., Ellen E. Westbrook, and R.C. DeProspo. 1st ed. Massachusetts; University of Massachusetts Press, 1994. 141-158.
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