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The Influence Of Harriet Beecher Stowe´S Novel: Uncle Tom´S Cabin

980 words - 4 pages

“Is this the little woman who made this great war?” Lincoln said as he greeted the renowned author, Harriet Beecher Stowe. This abolitionist writer created her famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in response to the Fugitive Slave Law and the politics about slavery in the South. Some Americans even believed that Stowe and her book brought on The Civil War (Reynolds). Because of this, Harriet needed a way to attract more citizens into the anti-slavery cause. With her book, Stowe showed everyone the truth about slavery, even though not everyone agreed with her. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin left imprints on many 19th century Americans, which helped to strengthen the abolitionist ...view middle of the document...

It shaped the political scene by making the North, formerly largely hostile to anti-slavery reform, far more open to it. The novel and its tie-in merchandise, like card games, handkerchiefs, and jigsaw puzzles, paved the way for the public's openness to an anti-slavery candidate like Lincoln (Reynolds).

Not only did it build up anti-slavery, but Uncle Tom’s Cabin also had an effect on readers personally with its vivid pictures. The book consists of these “images” with different components that imprinted the minds of Americans, which later rippled to affect society. While Harriet Beecher Stowe was working on her novel, she wrote to her editor that she intended to “paint pictures” for her readers because “there was no arguing with pictures”. Some moments in the book tap into Christian iconography which pulled in the readers of religious belief. Other imagery is strikingly harsh to make the consumers feel hatred toward the villain, a slave owner, and more indirectly the pro slavery supporters. Stowe's verbal pictures and their popular variants became magnets for cultural fascination, which helped to catalyze the identifications and exclusions of an imagined abolitionist community. Abolitionism spread and consolidated in the following decades. Together Stowe's novel, its pictures and the early popular culture associated with them, helped to constitute an imagined national community of abolitionists (Goldner). Because of the powerful impact it left, many people were interested in joining the abolitionist movement to help free slaves. “Indeed, many people who had celebrated the recapture of fugitive slaves in the early 1850s did an about-face by the middle of the decade” (Reynolds).

Because the abolitionist movement was becoming more popular, The South’s hatred for abolitionists and dependence of slavery grew. This severely divided the two regions. The South refused to support the book in sales and some even criminalized it. Most Southerners feared the book would have negative...

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