The Role Of Words On Society In Uncle Tom's Cabin

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The Role of Words on Society: The Distinction of Humans in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin Throughout history, humans have been instinctually prompted to divide themselves into a variety of groupings including but not limited to, civilization, religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds, and race. In Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Life Among the Lowly, I believe there is an apparent distinction based on race due to stereotyping. Through the words of the anonymous narrator and a wide array of characters, there are claims of humans feeling differently and possessing animalistic qualities due to their race. The stereotypes existing in Stowe’s work hold importance to the readers and how one can emphasize with the dialogue and description in the novel. With the use of stereotyping, readers can start to create opinions…show more content…
The words “creature” and “creatures” are used a combined 116 times throughout the novel, most often to describe the slaves and their actions. The slaves are stereotyped to possess more animal traits than human traits. Marie St. Clare refers to Topsy while speaking with her daughter, Eva, as “the worst creature” she ever saw (Uncle Tom’s Cabin 426). Marie speaks lowly of African Americans to her daughter, passing along the stereotype engraved in her own mind. Through the use of the wording Stowe uses, characters tend to believe that slaves fall into this category of “animal.” With this in mind, the novel makes characters such as Eva, stand out due to their uncommon way of imagining and describing people of other races. Through the use of this stereotype in Stowe’s work, readers can be given a choice; to side with these stereotypes Stowe is presenting but not necessarily agreeing with, or to gain empathy for how characters such as Eliza and Tom are being described and treated through language such as “creature” or

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