"The World of Uncle Tom and Company" by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Essay by fabbHigh School, 10th gradeA-, December 1995

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Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this novel during the time of the debates that lead to the Civil War and near the time of the Compromise of 1850. The book provides a defiant protest against the social and political conditions of that era. The division between the northern industrial states and the southern agrarian states was very prominent and apparent. There was fierce competition between them. This lead to differing viewpoints about slavery. The competition helped the South justify it and gave the North reason to denounce it. Information like this is not provided by the author because her target audience at the time she wrote the story was living through these conflicts. To make up for this, I would suggest that before reading this work you have at least a minimal knowledge of the aspects of slavery and its geographical distribution in early America. Also, it is important to have basic understanding of the Christian faith and its two major kinds of believers at the time.

There were those who believed that all were equal and that all had souls that were to be treated with compassion, and those who argued that God had created them superior to all blacks. Keep in mind that Mrs. Stowe was living through all of what is in her story. So while providing social, political, and religious commentary, she also spatters her work with racism and subtle bigotry that would not be found in most modern writing.

Uncle Tom's Cabin is a novel about how trust in God can conquer great obstacles, including the pain of slavery. The main character shows this to us through the story of his life. He is a gentle, pious slave who has been promised freedom but is sold by his kind master to a hardened...