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Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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Harriet Beecher Stowe’s epic novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is quite possibly the most significant novel about slavery in the United States to ever have been written. A staunch abolitionist, Stowe wrote the book as an indictment of slavery. Though the term “Uncle Tom” is now often used as a pejorative term to ridicule blacks who cater to whites, Stowe’s original intent was to write a story about her faith and about the common nature of all mankind, regardless of skin color or gender.

The novel follows the journey of Tom, a slave who lives with his wife and children under Arthur and Emily Shelby. Shelby, a farmer, has accrued a significant amount of debt In order to save his farm, he decides to sell two of his slaves, Uncle Tom and the young son of his wife’s servant, Harry. Tom, a devout Christian, sadly but nobly accepts his fate and bids his family goodbye. He boards a boat down the Mississippi where he is to be sold at a slave auction. There, he befriends an angelic child named Eva. When Eva falls into the river, Tom dives into save her. Evas father Augustine St Clair, offers to buy Tom from Shelby. Tom goes to live with the St Clares, who, with the exception of the cruel Mrs St Clare treat Tom like family. Eva and Tom share a bond founded on their common strong Christian faith

Things take a turn for the worse when young Eva becomes ill and dies. Her death makes her loved ones confront the idea of humanity; Augustine St. Clare resolves to free Tom, realizing that slavery is wrong and knowing it would be what Eva wanted. Before St. Clare gets the chance to free Tom he is killed in a brawl and the cruel Mrs St Clare sells Tom yet again into the hands of the sadistic Simon Legree

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was acknowledged even by President Abraham Lincoln who famously said upon meeting Stowe, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”This compelling novel rightfully remains one of the most important in Americas literary canon

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