Harriet Beecher Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin Essay

Harriet Beecher Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin Essay

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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 on who to empathize with while reading Stowe’s work. No matter the human, every person holds thoughts that are morally good and bad. Stowe displays this idea through stereotyping and is able to show how ones’ thoughts can have an effect on others.
From the slave trader, Mr. Haley to wife and mother, St. Clare Marie, many characters in Stowe’s novel have the opinion that people of a darker complexion experience feelings differently than those of caucasian color. The characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin who have created a division of people based on race, are displayed to believe that depending on a person’s skin tone, one can feel differently about ideas such as having freedom or loving others. At the very beginning of the novel, Haley comments about family values, stating that African Americans “ain’t like white folks” and “they gets over things” (Uncle Tom’s Cabin 20), referring to how he believed Harry ...


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...ans, I believe there is stereotyping throughout the novel. This is present in the way white characters describe humans that are unlike themselves and in how many characters believe African Americans feel differently. Not every character who carries these stereotypes is inherently a bad person, these people just do not know another way. The way Stowe uses certain language and presents dialogue gives readers an underlying choice to agree with the stereotypes so many characters possess or to empathize with the humans being treated, in my opinion, poorly. Understanding how and why these stereotypes are important is what makes Uncle Tom’s Cabin so enticing. Readers can learn from both the good and the bad humans can see in each other. Stowe presents a novel that can help a reader make their own choices about society and the ways opinions can be manipulated and controlled.

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