"Uncle Tom's Cabin" and Symbolism
Examines the symbolism of the characters Eva and Marie in Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
# 26121 | 2,440 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2002 |
Published on Apr 25, 2003 in Literature (American) , Religion and Theology (Christianity) , English (Argument) , English (Analysis) , African-American Studies (Slavery)
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In the history of literature there have been many a Christ-like martyr, appearing flawless in order to save the damned human race. The paper shows that Harriet Beecher Stowe goes beyond this clich? in "Uncle Tom?s Cabin", creating an image of an angelic female child who embodies within her the supernatural strength needed to overcome the forces of sin. The paper shows that in the novel, slavery is doomed through Eva?s lasting effect on the reader?s emotional response to slavery. Little Eva?s fervent examples of compassion convey her power to reform the people whose lives she touches, while her sacrificial death leaves slavery in demand of urgent justification. The paper shows that lacking a valid excuse, the powerful metaphor of the scene of her death holds the readers responsible for letting her legacy of good will be instrumental to our own sense of righteousness, thus preventing outrages such as slavery from ever again being created.
From the Paper:"Despite the inadequateness of the world we live in, Stowe offers a strong plea not to judge all mothers by the example of Marie, and not to give up the all-American ideals of freedom on the basis of one defect occurrence such as slavery. We see the hope for a better future come to life in the character of Eva, a daughter born out of necessity for redemption. Eva's name Evangeline reveals her function in the novel, as it is "based on the root evangel, which means "gospel" and is derived from the Greek euangelion, "good news"" (Donovan 76). Indeed, Eva acts as an apostle of good fortune to all she comes in contact with, the most important event being her influential urging that St. Clare buy Tom, thus saving Tom from the auction. This will be counter balanced in the novel by Marie's cold determination to ignore her late daughter and husband's passionate resolutions to free Tom, because the despicable selfish "belle" cannot be troubled by such trivialities while suffering from her own sense of loss (Donovan 81)."
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