Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
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This paper explains that, without question, there are many troubling characterizations of African Americans in Harriet Beecher Stowe's, "Uncle Tom's Cabin". For example, the paper notes, the most articulate and "sympathetic" African Americans in Stowe's book are light-skinned, which clearly suggests that lightness of skin and personal merit were correlated in the mind of the author. The paper then argues that, in spite of these characterizations, Beecher Stowe generally sought to portray African Americans in a way that emphasized their humanity and potentiality. Thus, the negative stereotypes in the novel are outweighed by the book's many strengths.
From the Paper:"Obviously, besides the characters highlighted above, other black individuals in Harriet Beecher Stowe's most enduring work need to be looked at carefully - although there is really only room for one. That "one" is Tom, the apparent "accomodationist" whom critics have perceived for generations as a weak-willed and subservient individual who sought to ingratiate himself with whites as opposed to acting as a forceful leader of the African-American cause in his community."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Brown, Gillian. Domestic Individualism: Imagining Self in Nineteenth Century America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
- Gossett, Thomas F. Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture, Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1985.
- Levine, Robert S. Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass and the Politics of Representative Identity. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
- Roberts, Diane. The Myth of Aunt Jemima: Representations of Race and Region. New York: Routledge, 1994.
- Rosenthal, Debra. A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Cite this Book Review:
Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (2008, June 23) Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/harriet-beecher-stowe-uncle-tom-cabin-104759/
"Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin"" 23 June 2008. Web. 28 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/harriet-beecher-stowe-uncle-tom-cabin-104759/>