Uncle Tom's Cabin Significance

682 Words3 Pages
The novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and published in 1852. It became largely popular across the country, stirring up controversy; The novel was bought and read by thousands. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was so significant during its time period because of the vivid and tangible picture it painted of slavery, and perhaps the cause of the Civil War. During the time period that the novel was written, slavery was a prominent practice in the United States, particularly in the South. It was described as the South’s, “peculiar institution,”—a way of life that was almost exclusive to that area. While slavery was widely practiced, few were fully aware of all it entailed. Uncle Tom’s Cabin brought the people of the United States to the realization of slavery. The novel follows the story of Tom, Eliza, and her son, Harry. They originally lived on a plantation owned by Mr. Arthur Shelby, but after they heard about Harry and Tom being sold to another plantation, Eliza and Harry set off in there hopes to become free. Tom is put on the slave market, and is sold to several different plantations. Throughout his journey, he meets other slaves and learns their stories; which Stowe uses to convey a real image of slavery to the American people. Tom is purchased by Mr. Augustine St. Clare, and is brought to live with them. Mr. St. Clare isn’t fond of slavery; he doesn’t like the idea. He only apart of it becausehe feels like he has to. Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves himself, described slavery saying it’s like, “holding a wolf by the ears,” meaning slavery is something that you don’t want to hold on to, but you know it could come back and bite you in the butt. After his time on the St. Clare plantation Tom is sold to Simon Legree... ... middle of paper ... ...d the heart-breaking effects of separation between the slave mothers and their children and the depths the mothers would go to just to be with their families Uncle Tom’s Cabin presented fragments of slavery to the American people. Showing slavery for what it really was, and not for what slave-owners tried to say it was. All of the issues were addressed in her novel the people’s overall view of slavery, the sexual abuse of slaves, the justification of Christianity, and the separation of slave families came together to express Stowe’s main point: slavery is a bad thing. Her point was significant because it made the American people think: whats so great about slavery? Uncle Tom’s Cabin provided a new perspective on slavery and how there was a better way to go about life without the need of slaves, all in which provided the United States with finding a new way of life.
Open Document