“So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!” This was a very famous quote spoken by President Abraham Lincoln to Harriet Beecher Stowe in regard to the Civil War and her most famous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This novel was written during the time of the Debates, which eventually led to the Civil War. This brought about a great social change during this time period. She instantly became a hero of the abolitionist movement, while Southern critics saw her as cowardly and incoherent.
This novel was a deliberate and carefully written anti-slavery argument by the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her inspiration for writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin was based upon the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and her intention was to convince Christians that slavery was evil and must be destroyed. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel relies on her own personal experiences and sightings to help convey the message that she is trying to get across to her audience. While witnessing the actions of southerners on slaves, she traces the passage of the slave Uncle Tom through three owners; each representing a southern figure.
During this time she was a very religious women and had lost one of her sons. Understanding the pain and sorrow of many black mothers, she began to connect that loss of her child to a slave woman as she watches her own child being taken away from her. Although Harriet was not part of the slavery movement herself, she felt anguish for those who suffered through it.
Stowe felt that slavery had made Christianity a hypocritical religion because of the discrimination and inequality that had began in the world. She goes about her feelings towards slavery and begins to write a novel displaying the torturous acts of southerners on the slaves, how it is unchristian, and a cruel institution.Harriet was a northern abolitionist, and this storyline is based on her outlook on slavery. She begins her novel in one setting and one story line, then eventually breaks it into two separate plots. This novel begins on Mr. Shelby’s plantation in Kentucky. In the first few beginning chapters, it shows the difference between the Northern and Southern men.
It focuses on the lives of two slaves who are under the ownership of Mr. Shelby, who treats his slaves with respect. Stowe uses the character Mr. Shelby to show that all practitioners of slavery, despite being respectful or kind to them, makes a villain of every follower, not just the brutal and relentless ones. Mr.
Shelby soon meets a man named Mr. Haley, who is a slave-trader. Haley presents himself as a man who treats his slaves very kindly and takes good care for them, but he disrespects and mistreats them instead. He wants two of Mr. Shelby’s slaves, one being the son of a woman named Eliza, and the other the being Uncle Tom. (ch.
1) Harriet helps gets her point across to her audience by showing the Northerners that to the southerners, slaves were not seen as anything more than property, and were only used for sacrifice and to produce financial gain. The reality of slavery can be shown by the acts of the white slave owners and their disregard for the slaves personal life. This is represented by how carelessly the owners of the slaves tore families apart. For example, Mr.
Shelby agrees to sell both Harry and Tom to a very harsh and disrespectful slave trader by the name of Haley. (ch. 4) Eliza and her son escape together, while Tom is eventually sold to Haley. This shows how easy it is for slave owners in the south who looked past the humanity of these men and women and only looked at them to sell and use them only in ways that would benefit their life. Harriet Beecher Stowe also writes and shows the disregard for the lives of slaves in Uncle Tom’s Cabin by depicting how the slave owners believed they knew what was best for their slaves. After St. Clare’s death, Marie, the wife of Augustine St.
Clare and mother of the Eva, decides that it is best for the slaves to be sold rather than granted freedom, and soon sends them to a slave warehouse (ch. 29). She thought that it was best to take the slaves away from their remotely “good life”, and soon sends them to new masters rather than granting them their freedom. While some owners in the South would free their slaves upon their death, it was likely that they would instead be passed on within the family.
Where they would be held in bondage, or sold off at an auction, which was likely for the slave to never be granted freedom. Harriet Beecher Stowe was an outstanding author who used her words and beliefs to lay down the foundations of the Civil War, and to open the eyes to not just the North and the South, but to to the entire world. Through her touching words, she addresses to her audience about the sinfulness and inhumane acts of slavery. She uses stories starting from the upper south, to the lower south to help show the reality and hate filled prejudices. However, it is through her depictions of the slave owners lack of respect and care for their slaves lives, and the abusive treatment that they dealt with on a daily basis that helped her form such a moving novel that shared the true horrors and realities of slavery.