"Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Essay by kadib2mchHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2003

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Many people believe that a novel has a direct and powerful influence on American history. One such novel was written by a woman by the name of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The name of this novel is Uncle Tom's Cabin. The novel opens on the Shelby plantation somewhere in Kentucky before the Civil War. The Shelby's own numerous slaves all of whom they treat as though they are family. Unfortunately, at the opening of the book it is understood that Mr. Shelby has gotten into some financial difficulties, and the only way out of debt is to sell some of his slaves. He is left no other choice but to sell his most faithful and hardest working slave, Tom, and a little boy named Harry. Mr. Haley, a slave trader comes to the Shelby plantation one afternoon to finalize the deal, but the transaction is overheard by Eliza, Harry's mother.

From there the story takes you through trials that Eliza and Tom have to face, through there difference in personalities and attitudes as well as similarities.

After hearing the news Eliza goes into a panic and swears that she will not allow them to take her child, so she tries to persuade Tom to run away with her and Harry. Tom refuses because, being the loyal man that he is, he knows that Mr. Shelby is only doing what he has to do. This does not discourage Eliza from doing what she has to do, running away. Due to the separation of these two parties, Stowe spends the remainder of the novel updating their progress in designated chapters. Eliza and Harry leave the plantation as soon as they can get away, but their absence is discovered quickly, and this sends Mr. Haley searching for his property. At one point,