Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide

Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide

Original title:
Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life Among the Lowly
Published:
August 5th 1999 by Wordsworth Classics (first published March 20th 1852)
Setting:
Kentucky (United States)
ISBN 1840224029 (ISBN13: 9781840224023)

Anti-slavery movement is present in many aspects of American cultural life. Literature and journalism are ones of the most important of them. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is a well-known novel Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote as a manifest to the importance of the issue. 

What is the depth of the meaning to be free? And if today you might get lost in the variations of self-discovery and personal development aspects, not so long ago it simply meant being able to make your own decisions. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” actually points out that even if you don’t legally belong to anybody, that doesn’t always make you free.

The main protagonist of the story, Uncle Tom, is not a fierce abolitionist at all. At first, we see the character as a loyal servant, who will never abandon or contradict his masters. But despite a friendly relationship between the farmer and their slaves, due to debts Uncle Tom and some others are about to be sold to a coarse and cruel trader Mr. Haley. 

While some of the slaves escape and go on a dangerous adventure to make it to Canadian safety, Uncle Tom is transported to a slave market. He saves a girl from drowning and is bought into a new family, which really grows fond of him. 

The book uses many tools to reach its readers’ hearts, minds, and souls. Expect to see many racial stereotypes, cruelty towards those who “have no rights”, unlikely relationships and heroic actions. 

What you are holding in your hands is, first of all, a work of art. But don’t forget that it’s also a lesson for the Christian inhabitants of free states to stand up to the injustice of slavery, despite the legislations that prohibited even helping the fugitive slaves. It’s not a proven fact but very likely the book had a great deal of effect on the Civil War that broke between the North and South states. 
 

New Essays

Unfair Criticisms of Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Twentieth-century critics claim that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin expresses strong sentimentality and intrusive narrator’s/writer’s voice, which interrupts the story; however, Stowe cleverly uses these two techniques to convey her Abolitionist message. This message is full of Biblical...

Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Toms Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and its Impact on the 18th Century’s Anti-Slavery Years Celestine Best During the 1800’s, anti-slavery writings and articles were not very popular in the Deep South. It was also a time when women needed to stay in their domestic roles as wives and mothers...

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

The Realities of Slavery Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Incidents In The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs are two books which were written against slavery. Both authors are deeply against slavery and write these books to convince their audience that slavery is bad. They both...

Uncle Tom's Cabin Essay

Struggles of Slavery and the Economy The economy was the underlying factor affecting multiple aspects of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The novel takes place in the 1850’s antebellum era, when slavery was a large portion of the economy – especially in the South. The moral division between the North and South...

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