Uncle Toms Cabin:Good Vs. Evil Essay

990 words - 4 pages

When judging the traits of various characters, it is said that there is good, evil, and a "gray area". This argument, I'm afraid, is very deceptive. A person is either good, or evil, there is no in between. However, on each side of the spectrum lies a ladder of just how good and how evil one truly is. Harriet Beecher Stowe gives us a perfect example of this in her book: Uncle Tom's Cabin.This book was written in the nineteenth century and portrays slavery in the south. It presents you with the common life of slaves as well as the trials and tribulations they are faced with every day. This book was purposely written to be very covertly persuasive. Throughout the book Stowe aspires to compel the reader to step out of their skin, their comfort zone, and realize what is really going on around them. In regards to good and evil, Stowe does a magnificent job illustrating each step of the ladder.At the very top of the "ladder of goodness" we will find Uncle Tom knocking at heavens door. Uncle Tom is portrayed to be more human than slave-like, and more angelic than human. He is by far the embodiment of goodness. Instead of seeking revenge, he prays for the person who inflicts pain and horror upon him. The sacrifices he makes, and the hardships that he swallows depict Christ himself. He is wholesome, harmless, and extremely forgiving.Stowe uses religion as a weapon to keep the audience attentive, while making them feel in some way connected with the characters in the story. At the time this book was written it was I Flores 2 dyllic to be a "good" Christian. What other people thought and said mattered. Impressing others was the "norm" and appearing to be a wealthy, humane, Christian was looked up upon greatly. Individualism was seen as rebellionism."Mas'r George" is second on the ladder, helping to prevent Uncle Tom from falling. He is innocent and pure, unscathed by the outside world. He lets his heart guide him to what is right. He is very sincere and very loving to the people his parents call slaves. He teaches Uncle Tom to read and sits with the slave family for dinner without a second thought. His position as a child automatically helps us connect with him, because of the fact that we see no evil in children.The Birds and the Shelbys cannot be classified together as couples. It is clear that Stowe purposely places the women (Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Shelby) as the voices of morality and humanity. Therefore, Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Shelby are third on the "goodness ladder". Their role is to submissively influence their husbands, as well as the audience of what is truly good, and what is truly evil. Considering the time period written, Stowe realizes that women are not seen as equals to men, so in using...

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