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Uncle Tom's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe

1551 words - 6 pages

In Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe is trying to show the people that a blending of Christian values and politics will help change and unite the nation. According to Professor Eric Sundquist, “the novel was revolutionary in demanding that the sacred and secular realms be united, that the role of God be reinserted into an American political system that paid lip service to Christian ideals and constantly invoked them in its discourse but failed to act upon them seriously.” Stowe believes that transformation could occur through the power of Christian love. It would not be enough to just change the laws for the people to change their views that have been instilled in them for generations. The people have to change their views to respect and love one another no matter their race or gender so we could come together to become better nation.
The abolitionist wanted to end slavery and give the slaves their rights as an equal American. They believe that slavery was a sin and it "contradicted the values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence." (Foner 466) The movement had a chance to expand due to the development of technology and the increase of literacy. Many pamphlets, articles and books were published to help spread the abolishment of slavery. Uncle Tom's Cabin was a book that Stowe wrote in this time period to promote the abolishment of slavery. In the novel she explicitly expresses that slavery is evil and the power of Christian love could end it. After the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, Stowe found it ironic that it mandated "people in the free states to act in violation of the conscience of a Christian." (Brown 1331) Stowe felt that anybody could pass a law, but a "true" Christian would and should not be able to obey it. This is why Senator Bird of Ohio, who voted for the law, helped Eliza escape. (Brown 1331) Mrs. Bird the wife of the Senator was a devout Christian and felt it was her duty to help Eliza. She helps the Senator understand why this law is wrong; her Christian values are the pushing force that convince him help Eliza escape.
Foner states that people "believed that slavery and racism were so deeply embedded in American life, that blacks could never achieve equality." (Foner 465) Miss Ophelia was a prime example of this statement. She was a so called abolitionist, but was prejudice against blacks. Miss Ophelia doesn't even like them touching her. Stowe shows us that to be an abolitionist was not enough because many were racist like Ophelia. In Augustine's own way, he exposes Ophelia to slavery by putting Topsy in her care. Miss Ophelia starts to experience increased contact with a slave. She is suppose to train and educate her, but has difficulty doing so. Topsy is a mischievous slave, that lies and steals from Miss Ophelia. Topsy's entire life has been subjected to cruel and brutal punishment. She does not respond to any punishment that Ophelia gives her because she is used to being beaten. Topsy believes she is wicked because that's...

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