Various Cruelties Essay

721 words - 3 pages

The American slave trade was a bleak period in the country’s history. Travesties occurred daily as a result of treating people as if they were animals based on the color of their skin. In a nation priding itself on allowing freedom to all citizens, a person with one dissimilar characteristic was stricken of all freedoms granted to others. A man was reduced to being treated as if he were cattle. The practice of slavery tore families apart ripping children from mothers and husbands from wives. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass addressed many issues concerned with the barbarity associated with the business of slavery.
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fictional novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, brought attention to the cruelty of slavery. Chapter VII of Uncle Tom’s Cabin details the escape of Eliza with her young son, Harry, from the Shelbys’ plantation where she spent her life. Harry is only four years old, but he has been sold by Mr. Shelby to a vicious new owner. Though Eliza was fortunate as the mistress of the house had always been kind to her, it was enough to keep her child from being removed from her care. Eliza manages a daring escape before the new trader will take Harry. She crosses the Ohio River with her son to reach freedom in the northern United States, but the Fugitive Slave Law is still in effect. However, the separation of Harry and Eliza were not the only harsh acts presented by Stowe.
The chapter also described the plight of the slaves forced to travel with Mr. Haley, the slave trader. Sam and Andy were buying Eliza time and temporarily deceived Haley until he reached where she was hiding. Stowe described the angered experienced by Haley, but he was forced to suppress it. Once in the town, they signaled Eliza to escape while she still had the opportunity. When she fled across the pieces of ice in the river, they began to laugh. Their jovial nature towards Eliza’s flight deeply infuriates Haley. The slave trader makes moves to strike the men with his horse whip, but Andy and Sam evaded the whip. Harriet Beecher Stowe was not the only author to...

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