Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written in a time that, for better in some ways, and for worse in others, no longer exists. As stated by Colleen McDannell in her book, The Christian Home in Victorian America, 1840-1900, “For the good Christians of the nineteenth century the connection between religion and home was natural and inseparable” (XIII), and Stowe wrote her novel from this perspective. Yes, she was an abolitionist, but she was first a Chri...
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...abin is not perfect, but it does deserve a chance among the great American novels. Joy-Jordan Lake, in her book Whitewashing Uncle Tom 's Cabin : Nineteenth-century Women Novelists Respond to Stowe, points out that “One has only to mention Uncle Tom’s Cabin in a faculty lounge or classroom of any American university to provoke a flurry of strident responses, often from those who have never read it: some will assume that because Uncle Tom’s Cabin attacked slavery, it must contain no racist elements; some familiar with a particularly disturbing racist caricature or scene in the book will argue that it has no redeeming value socially, historically, or literarily” (xv). But, both of these views are naive and short-sighted, and if one truly reads the book with an open mind to Stowe’s time in history, they will better understand the true power and triumph of this novel.
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