The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin written by Harriet Beecher Stowe is very fascinating in a sense that it not only reflects a significant period of time in North American history, but it also applies today since racism has not completely disappeared from our society. The fact that Stowe was able to write such a controversial novel at that time is very astonishing. Also, because of context of the novel, it attracts readers from all different backgrounds and gives them a better understand of what it was like to be a black person ["negro", as referred to in the novel] during the 18th century in the United States. Some of the hardships that Stowe describes that black people had to go include: lack of respect, feelings of helplessness, and lack of choice.
To begin with, Stowe illustrates in her novel that since blacks were treated like slaves, they received absolutely no respect.
Not only that, but they were treated worse than animals, they were sold, traded, loaned, basically treated like assets rather than human beings. After reading this novel, at first, I refused to believe that anything of this sort could ever take place. But then I soon realized that I myself have seen it happen, maybe not to the same extent to what is being described in the novel.
Next, one of the themes in this novel is helplessness. It can be clearly seen when not only the slaves, but also their children are sold off to other slave-traders and all the parents can do is watch. They cannot protest, neither complain, fearing that it might result in more hardships for them to deal with. As if their lives' are not already harsh. I can also personally relate to Stowe's writing since I have gone through a period of time in my life when all the decisions were made for me without any consultation.
Lastly, in her novel, Stowe shows that slaves had absolutely no choice. They could not even choose whom they wanted to marry. They had no choice of religion, and many of the slaves were forced to convert to Christianity. I also liked the strong female characters in the novel. Characters such as: Mrs. Shelby [slave owner], and Eliza [Slave]. Stowe also used specific symbols to make the text more interesting. For example, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" symbolizes freedom and liberty, all the things that were held back from the "negros". The novel also criticizes the American culture. It does that so by showing how contradictory the laws were, where people were not even treated the same because of the differentiation in the color of the skin. This also reflects human nature, the fear of change and fear of the unknown. How people are willing to go to extreme lengths to "protect" themselves from the "unknown" rather than to question it and accept it as a fact of life.
In conclusion, the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe illustrates some of the different obstacles that blacks had to overcome to finally be accepted as real people. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in reading a novel of serious-nature that deals with the traditions of society, hardships of life and the bleak American history.