Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ – Against Slavery and for Equality

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Harriet Beecher Stowe, a African American author wrote the famous anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in 1852. It’s said to be known that she wrote more than 30 books in her time as an author but Uncle Tom’s Cabin was by far the most famous. She wrote this book after the Underground Railroad incident and in response to the very strict fugitive slave laws. The death of her 18-month-old son also heavily impacted her and the writing of this book. She said this tragedy helped her understand how mothers felt when their children were ripped away from them and sold. She eagerly wanted to see a change in slavery and change the way Americans viewed it, and that is exactly what she did.

Throughout Uncle Tom’s time as a slave, he had many slave owners. The first to be known were The Shelbys. The Shelbys thought high of their slaves, and treated them relatively well. As long as they obeyed Mr. Shelby and did their work, they were to be respected. Arthur Shelby, the owner of Uncle Tom, trusted and had so much respect for Tom that he would send him on trips to do business for him. And for Emily, Authur’s wife, she didn’t even really believe in slavery and was always trying to help the slaves. As you can imagine, they were definitely respectful of their slaves and on the nicer side of all slave owners. Since they thought high of their slaves, they always tried to keep them together and not sell them, in which they usually did. Well Mr. Shelby proved himself to be no better than any other slave owner when he sold Tom to Mr. Haley to pay off his own debt.

Mr. Haley was Tom’s next slave owner, and lets just say, Tom’s experience was very different under the rule of Mr. Haley than it was from The Shelbys. It wasn’t easy for Arthur to sell Tom to Mr. Haley, but he only did it because he thought Mr. Haley would treat Tom just well as he did. Well soon to find out, he was wrong. Haley wasn’t necessarily cruel to the slaves, but he wasn’t very generous to them either. He only did it for the business and keep them healthy so their prices stayed high. Just like how Mr. Shelby trusted Tom, Haley soon did the same. One day, Tom and a few other slaves went down to New Orleans and since Tom had Haleys trust, he was able to roam the boat freely. As he was roaming the boat, he met Ava, St. Claire’s daughter, and they became friends. After Tom saved Ava from drowning and her begging her dad to buy Tom, he finally did.

Augustine St. Clare was Tom’s next slave owner and he lived in New Orleans. Just like how Tom was close with Arthur’s son, George, Tom was also close with Ava, St. Claire’s daughter. St. Claire didnt believe in God and avoided to try and become a Christian because he feared that if he converted, he would start to believe in the abolition in slavery. With this being said, he knew slavery was wrong but he just didnt want to deal with the convictions, very similiar to The Shelbys. After 2 years of living with the Clares, Ava became sick and died. This lead to St. Claire setting Tom free but before he could do so, he got stabbed. So then his wife, Marie, sells Tom to a very cruel plantation owner, Simon Legree.

This book had a major impact on slavery and is known for ‘laying the groundwork for the Civil War’. I think Stowe did an overall really good on writing this book and getting her message across. She layed down the foundation of slavery and then went into specific details. I like how she included different types of slave owners all across the board from being very cruel to respecting and trusting their slaves. She helped me understand that all slaves were treated differently and all didn’t suffer. You could even say some slaves were happy, like how Tom was with the Shelbys. I also didn’t know that some slaves had so much freedom that they got to go on business trips for their slave owners, like Tom. I think Stowe did very well with the plot and set everything up nicely. For the most part, I was quite interested in the book and it kept my attention. While I enjoyed the book, I know it could’ve been better. I think she could have made it better by introducing Tom first in the beginning, and not open with Mr. Shelby and Haley. That sort of threw me off in the beginning but I quickly got back on track with it.

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