Issues Of Uncle Tom Essay, Research Paper
Analysis of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The book, Uncle Tom’s cabin, takes the reader through two very different insights of slavery: the conquest of freedom and the decline of Uncle Tom. Stowe places the reader in the story by including every aspect that a slave would live through. She expresses religion and mortality from both the south and the north. Stowe shows the treatment of slaves living in all kinds of conditions.
The book starts out in a calm, settling way. The slaves are with a nice family and are happy. Then, Stowe takes the reader through an ironic twist. A slave trader comes to Mr. Shelby’s house, and in return for a debt, he wants two slaves. The slave trader wants Tom, a hard working, religious man, and Eliza’s young child. Tom accepts what has happened, looks to the Lord and does what is expected. On the other hand, Eliza runs away and takes her son with her before the new owner could claim her. Ironically, the reader would assume that Uncle Tom is bound for freedom, and Eliza is bound for decline.
Stowe creates her characters in a way that describes each of her views, and each character resembles a real life situation
Like the majority of Stowe’s character, religion plays a major role showing the beliefs and faiths of northerners, southerners, the well-treated slaves, and the badly treated slaves.
Miss Ophelia is a character who resembles the north. She is a cousin of St. Clare, a rich man that treats his slaves fairly. Miss Ophelia arrives in the south with her northern views to help St. Clare manage his household. She is against slavery, but still does not feel equal to blacks. She expresses her views to St. Clare. “I tell you Augustine, I can’t get…. It’s a perfect abomination for you to defend such a system, -that’s my mind.” Page.222
Although she feels that slavery is wrong her misunderstanding of the race makes her feel uneasily around the slaves. “I’ve always had a prejudice against negros,” said Miss Ophellia, ”and …I could never bear to have that child touch me; but I don’t think she knew it.” Page. 284
Stowe expresses her views about the south in two ways. She shows the lenient slave holder compared to the extremely harsh slaveholders. The two families form the south that were lenient towards slaves were Mr. Shelby, Uncle Tom’s primary home, and
St. Clare, Uncle Tom’s second home. These families portrayed the thoughts of the south. They were kind to the their slaves as if they were pets, but still they were not treated humane.
Simon Legree symbolizes the evil-minded plantation owner of the south. He treated the slaves the worst. His slaves feared him greatly. He would punish them in the harshest ways. He would go as low as taking away the slaves beliefs in God, education, and moral beliefs. For example, Simon Legree whipped Uncle Tom to death because of Uncle Tom’s unwillingness to tell Legree where to runaway slaves were hiding.
Simon Legree doesn’t treat all his slaves the same. He suspiciously gives his attention beautiful girls. Though the book doesn’t quite say that he forces sexual activity, it is assumed.
A little slave girl by the name of Topsie because of her physical ugliness and her very low amount of education shows the effects that a mean slaveholder can have on a person. Topsie was bought by St. Clare to be given to Miss Ophellia for a challenge to change one slave’s life. When topsie was asked how old she was and who were her parents, she gave foolish answers because of her upbringing from a harsh master. Miss Ophellia asks Topsie how old she is and she replies. [“Dunno Misses”,said the image, with a grin that showed all her teeth. “Don’t know how you are? Didn’t any body ever tell you? Who was you mother?” “Never had none!” said the child, with another grin”] page.242
Uncle Tom is the image of a strong willed slave. He is the most important and respected character because of his spiritual attitude, and his honesty. He was brought up by Mr. Shelby, sold to St. Clare, and then, drastically lived in opposite measures that of Simon Legree. He like Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for others. He was hung up to what seemed a cross and whip almost to death.
Stowe mainly intended this book for whites to read about the cruelty of slavery. She evenly covers every imaginably aspect of that time. Therefore, I feel that the book was well rounded in every way.