This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Feminism In Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe

1027 words - 4 pages

Feminism in Uncle Tom’s Cabin  

While Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin overtly deals with the wrongs of slavery from a Christian standpoint, there is a subtle yet strong emphasis on the moral and physical strength of women. Eliza, Eva, Aunt Chloe, and Mrs. Shelby all exhibit remarkable power and understanding of good over evil in ways that most of the male characters in Stowe’s novel. Even Mrs. St. Claire, who is ill throughout most of the book, proves later that she was always physically in control of her actions, however immoral they were. This emotional strength, when compared with the strength of the male characters, shows a belief in women as equals to men (if not more so) uncommon to 19th century literature.

In 1848, the first ever Women’s Rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. Though Stowe did not attend, many of those who were strong in the abolitionist movement, such as Fredrick Douglas and Amy Post, did. Thus a correlation was drawn between the abolitionist movement and women’s rights. Both fights were about equality, so naturally those who were supportive of emancipation were supportive of gender equality as well.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin not only follows the life of Uncle Tom, spanning from the time he is sold from his longtime master until Tom’s death, but also follows the life of Eliza, another slave who lives on the Shelby plantation with Tom as the novel begins. But unlike Tom, Unlike Tom, who is a pacifist and will not question the choices his masters make concerning his life, Eliza will not stand for the life of a slave any longer, especially when Mr. Shelby sells her son Harry in order to pay off his debts. In a show of this strength, Eliza makes a run on the Underground Railroad from Kentucky through Ohio and the northern United States in order to make it to Canada. The trip is one of enormous emotional and physical pain, but Eliza never quits.

...she vaulted sheer over the turbid current by the shore, on to the raft of ice beyond….The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake;--stumbling—leaping—slipping—springing upwards again! Her shoes are gone—her stockings cut from her feet—while blood marked every step, but she saw nothing, felt nothing...(Stowe 94)

Not only did Eliza continue to jump from ice block to ice block, cutting her feet along the way, but the three men following her did not attempt to do the same. Instead, they "instinctively cried out, and lifted up their hands" (94). Haley and the bounty hunters do not exhibit the same strength Eliza does; they give up on catching Eliza when peril presents itself, but Eliza continues on regardless of the physical consequences.

Another female in Uncle Tom’s Cabin who exhibits enormous strength is Eva...

Find Another Essay On Feminism in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

2609 words - 10 pages Published in 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was an answer to the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had declared that all runaway slaves that were caught were to be brought back to their masters. Stowe used the Fugitive Slave Act as “the stimulus for showing [her] white readers how slavery threatened American culture” (Robbins 534). Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an anti-slavery novel, and Stowe

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe

877 words - 4 pages 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

Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

1048 words - 4 pages I read Uncle tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. A slave named tom gets sold to a man named Mr. Shelby, but not long after he was put on a slave boat. On the boat to the slave market, Tom meets a kind little white girl named Eva. When Eva falls into the river, Tom dives in to save her, and her father, Augustine St. Clare, buys him. After Tom has lived with the St. Clare's for two years, Eva grew very sick. She slowly dies and St. Clare

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

676 words - 3 pages Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" reveals the lives and deaths of many characters. Each death in this story is representative of a particular theme: the loss of a child, a story of redemption, the pain of a soulless man, a repressed servant, and a symbolic Christ Figure. Because each death tells a separate story, the question of redemption and salvation is brought into the scenario. Who will be saved? Can a life fraught with sin be redeemed? The

Source Evaluation of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

1343 words - 5 pages criterion for a good novel is Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe may well be one of the critical controversial novel of its time. Regarding Uncle Tom’s Cabin, I collected sources about the critical controversy about the novel. In my findings, there is Norton Critical Edition, A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on the novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet B. Stowe, lastly “The Little Cabin of Uncle Tom” by Egbert Oliver. I classified each

Influence of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

1634 words - 7 pages In an era of Rush Limbaugh and a historic presidency, racism is a topical and controversial issue. People struggle to examine their own racial prejudice. The largest obstacle is not the understanding racism is wrong, rather the ability to pry open the hearts of the prejudice to show how their prejudice affects more than those they stereotype. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs wrote narratives to abolish slavery

The Christian Stand Taken in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

2299 words - 9 pages her love towards all who suffer. The father figure in many of her writings is authoritative and protective towards his family, but often cannot understand the concerns of women towards other people. It is these concerns for slaves through the eyes of every mother that motivates Stowe and propels her message. In the concluding remarks of Uncle Tom's Cabin Stowe states, "·And you, mothers of America, --you who have learned, by the cradles of

Slavery as an Attack on Domestic Life in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

3114 words - 12 pages sphere, when accepted and unchallenged, tragically deny a domestic, happy home life. In her novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe uses kitchen imagery to demonstrate to Northern, white female readers that the patriarchal institution of slavery, deeply ingrained in America's belief system, accepted by Southerners and slaves, and supported by separate social spheres and hierarchical structure, eliminates the opportunity for a true domestic

Role of the Quakers in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

1950 words - 8 pages . Stowe, Harriet Beecher. "Uncle Toms Cabin." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. 3rd ed. Massachusetts; Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 2310-2352. Westra, Helen Petter. "Confronting Antichrist; The Influence of Jonathan Edwardâs Vision" The Stowe Debate; Rhetorical Strategies in Uncle Tomâs Cabin. Ed. Mason I. Lowance, Jr., Ellen E. Westbrook, and R.C. DeProspo. 1st ed. Massachusetts; University of Massachusetts Press, 1994. 141-158.

Tom and Christianity in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

970 words - 4 pages There are times in our lives when we are confronted with challenges that we feel we can never overcome. We are left with a sense of emptiness, hopelessness, and defeat; it is often in these situations that our religious faith is tested and is either strengthened or weakened. In Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, she demonstrates how her protagonist, Tom, upholds his ideals and dedication as a Christian despite the cruelties he

The Influence of Little Eva in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe

1162 words - 5 pages righteousness and was a perfect example of a true Christian. She was faithful to her religion and held it close to her heart until her life faded away. Eva played an important role in the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe because she touched the lives of many people. Tom, Augustine St. Claire, Topsy, and Miss Ophelia were some of the characters in the story that was influenced by this "angel", Little Eva.Tom, the main character in

Similar Essays

Uncle Tom's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe

1736 words - 7 pages Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been explained as being a history of harmful acts towards Blacks in America for a period of a hundred and thirty years (Stowe, “Nineteenth”). 51).The book Uncle Tom’s Cabin was one of History’s favorite books (Stowe, “Nineteenth” 1). It talks about how Tom would do anything for the white man (Stowe, Uncle 1). The southerners did not give Harriet Beecher Stowe and credit for writing the book (Piacentino 1). Uncle Tom

Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe

1670 words - 7 pages Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe      In the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom, the main character, possesses a trait that sanctifies him from the rest of the characters. Uncle Tom's faith is his source of strength throughout the novel. This is portrayed socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Uncle Tom relies solely on his faith in God to assist him in all the trials, tribulations, and

Uncle Tom's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe 1958 Words

1958 words - 8 pages the public opinion of forced servitude which ultimately had a significant effect on the already sectionalist nation. Although most southern slave owners disagreed with her opinion, Harriet Beecher Stowe accurately represented the practice of slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Known by Abraham Lincoln as “the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war”, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut

Uncle Tom's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe 1551 Words

1551 words - 6 pages mischievous ways. The power of Eva's love is also shown in the transformation of her cousins mistreated slave, Dodo. "Eva wins her gratitude by kind words and a tender smile."(Brown 1334) The kindness that Eva shows to all people including slaves shows the ability of transformation through the power of love. Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin to show the people in the nation the evils of slavery. Stowe's novel shows that religion needs to be united with the