Slavery in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is a historical novel which depicts life during the American Civil War. In this story, Stowe explains the narrative of Uncle Tom, as well as several other slaves and their experiences through the agony of slavery. She consolidates morals, recovery, religion, and favoritism and presents her audience with a tremendously incredible book that radiates a sensational message. To summarize, a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby risks losing everything he owns. Him and his wife, Emily Shelby, have a personal and caring relationship with their slaves. In order for Shelby to make money, he decides to sell two of his slaves; Uncle Tom and Harry.

Uncle Tom is a middle-aged man with children and a wife on Shelby’s farm. Harry is the young son of Mrs. Shelby’s maid Eliza. However, Eliza and Harry escape and venture to a Quaker settlement where they are transported to safety in Canada. Sadly, Uncle Tom is forced to leave his family and the Shelby farm. He gets on a boat with a slave owner named Mr. Haley who transports Uncle Tom to the salve market. On the boats, a little girl named Eva fell into the river, Tom dives in after her and saves her life. Eva’s father, Augustine St Clare, later decides to buy tom from Mr. Haley for helping his daughter. Tom travels with the St Clares back to their home in New Orleans.

After tom stayed with the St Clares for two years, the daughter Eva began to get very sick. Her health never improves, and she then passes away. After her death every is hurt and grieving. Mr. St Clare decides to try to let Tom free. Before he got to do so, he got into a brawl and was fatally stabbed. This leaves St Clare’s unsentimental wife, Marie in charge and she decides to sell Tom instead of letting him free. Tom gets sent to a brutal plantation in rural Louisiana, with an owner named Simon Legree. The owner quickly grows to dislike Tom when Tom refuses to whip another slave. After this Tom receives a vicious beating and Legree makes Tom question his faith in god.

At this plantation, Tom meets a girl named Cassy and they grow close and share their life stories with each other. Legree continues to test Tom’s faith but Tom builds spiritual strength and courage. He then encourages Cassy to escape the plantation, which she then does with another slave names Emmeline. Legree finds out that Cassy and Emmeline have escaped, and he tries to get answers from Tom but Tom refuses to cooperate. Legree then orders his foreman to beat him. George Shelby then comes and tries to buy Tom’s freedom, but by the time he arrived Tom was already on his death bed.

As Cassy and Emmeline travel on a boat towards Canada they meet other freed slaves. Cassy then meets Eliza and she then realizes that Eliza is her long-lost daughter. They then travel to France to live free in a nation created by former slaves. George Shelby goes back to Kentucky and in honor of Tom’s memory he frees all of his slaves. He tells them to remember Tom and all of his sacrifices and to lead a faithful life as Tom did.

Overall, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a greatly written historical novel about a few of the struggles that slaves would have normally dealt with. Stowe goes through the lenses of children slaves all the way to middle-aged man slave owners. She touches on everything in between from the separation of families to being a slave used for sex. This book is a pretty easy read, it goes in chronological order from beginning to end and has a understandable plot line throughout the novel. While Stowe touches on all of these aspects of life throughout the Civil War she uses exaggeration so show emphasize on certain parts about the time period and events that took place.

This book is written for a widespread audience including professional historians, and for the general public. Stowe wrote this book in such a way that it can be processed and analyzed n several different environments. For example, the sources that Stowe had used for this book are credible because she shows great knowledge about the events taking place. Stowe offers a whole group of people touched by one slave and she used methods to show how this one slave could override some people’s opinions about slavery.

Since Stowe touches on different walks of life throughout the book, I think she uses her different sources to her advantage in writing this story. This book shows diverse sides on the society in which Uncle Tom lived in and the faith he lived for and Stowe used this diversity to benefit her audience by explaining the story of his life and the story of many others lifes as well.

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Slavery in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe. (2021, Dec 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/slavery-in-uncle-toms-cabin-by-harriet-beecher-stowe/

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