The Importance Of Slavery In Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was a catalyst for the Civil War due to its depiction of slavery as harsh and brutal. The main character, a slave named Uncle Tom, and one of the slave owners, Simon Legree were used to attack the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the institution of slavery that it protected. Throughout the novel, characters, scenes and plots were Stowe’s persuasions to the reader that slavery is evil, un-Christian, and should not be tolerated. She illustrates the fact that slavery and Christian values oppose each other and are not in any way compatible. Uncle Tom’s Cabin outraged the southerners and made the northerners more aware of the brutality of slavery. Ultimately, the novel used Uncle Tom and Simon Legree as…show more content…
The characters are used to show that northerners are contributing to the growth of slavery just like the southerners. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Uncle Tom is the central figure and he possesses a trait that makes him different from the rest of the characters. Uncle Tom 's faith is his source of strength throughout the novel that helps him through all the suffering, grief, and hardships. Stowe uses Tom to show that if the horrible white slaveholders of the novel were to achieve Tom’s faith of Christianity that slavery would be impossible. Stowe attack the institution of slavery by showing that being a Christian would not allow such cruelty of other human beings despite their color. Stowe portrays him like a Christ figure in the novel. He introduces God to people through his love for them, his sacrifices, and finally in his…show more content…
The South was outraged by Stowe’s novel as well as by her attempt to plant the abolitionist roots of her fiction in Southern reality (Beau 672) John R. Thompson, the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, said she had “volunteered officiously to intermeddle with things which concern her not – to libel . . . a people from among whom have gone forth some of the noblest men that have adorned the face – to foment heartburning and unappeasable hatred between brethren of a common country” (Gossett 189). Some Southerners were worried about the novel leading to slave rebellions. In Abolitionism Unveiled, Henry Field James predicted that the South would be devastated by blacks who acted in the spirit of Stowe’s militant slave George Harris (Reynolds 151). Southerners felt threatened that it seemed necessary to challenge it in every genre, even poetry. Anti-Tom novels rose and their theme was a defense of slavery, arguing that the South’s enslaved blacks were far better off than either poor whites or free blacks in the North (Reynolds 155). As Southerners came back with defensive literature or protests, the North would comment back. The novel created a constant protest between the North and South which was a factor towards the sectional strife.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was a catalyst for the Civil War due to its depiction of slavery as harsh and brutal. She uses Tom, St. Clare and Legree to
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