Essay on Mightier Than The Sword : Uncle Tom 's Cabin And The Battle For America

Essay on Mightier Than The Sword : Uncle Tom 's Cabin And The Battle For America

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Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America is written by David S. Reynolds. Reynolds is a Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In this book, the author analyzes and discusses the effect of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in society. American history has been influenced through different works. However, as Reynolds claims, Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped shape the world’s public opinion about slavery and religion in more than one way. Therefore, no book could have more powerfully molded American history than Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut into a renowned religious family that did more to undermine Calvinist orthodoxy than any other in America. Her father, Lyman Beecher was recognized for his temperance movements in which Stowe and her siblings were also swept into. Stowe and her siblings were involved in various reform movements and even “...reformed Puritanism itself by challenging some of its harshest creeds” (Reynolds, 2011, p.6). Stowe was uninterested in the political issue created by slavery, she wanted to bring light upon the emotional and religious problems caused by it. Stowe was able to receive testimony from former slaves because of the close interaction she had with them. One of her housekeepers, Eliza Buck, was a fugitive slave and was able to tell her story. Eliza Buck, along with Stowe’s mother’s sister, were able to influence Stowe in her creation of the characters for Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The immense cultural importance produced by Uncle Tom’s Cabin is created through its emotional appeal. Stowe’s book aid “...rectify social injustice by affirming fairness and em...


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... South was also influenced, it strengthened their need to “defend slavery and demonize the North” (Reynolds, 2011, p.117). Southerners declared Stowe’s work was utterly false and demoralized the novel, some even prohibited its sale. Uncle Tom’s Cabin effect on the Civil War was brought on by influence on America’s public opinion. It created dramatic shifts in the already popular attitudes toward slavery in the nation.
Overall, this novel adequately discusses the importance of Uncle Tom’s Cabin for not only the nation, but also the world. It provides the reader with various different resources and criticisms Stowe faced. This novel is important because it provides insight to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Harriet Beecher Stowe, along with the impact it created. Reynolds’ novel would be recommended to a historian or student interested in the impact created by Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

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