Uncle Tom's Cabin

Denial of Womanhood in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, written during the period of boiling tumult that was to erupt into the Civil War, has struck it's readers in more ways than one. Wildly popular, Uncle Tom's Cabin was made into theatrical pieces and children's books. Advertisers, using Uncle Tom sentiment for their own devises, employed Stowe's unforgettable characters to sell their products. The nation was inundated with Uncle Tom. Although widely criticized by the southern press for a so-called lack of facts and over-reliance on sentiment, Stowe's novel succeeded not only in moving people to sympathy for the enslaved but also fostered political action. The influence of her novel is great because it draws forth powerful sentiments and convinces the reader that these sentiments transcend racial differences. Stowe deftly draws from many sources of growing sentiment to do this. However, her portrayal of motherhood and her direct addresses to female readers on this topic was very powerful to 19th century mothers. Motherhood in Stowe's time, with it's newly evolved emotions and duties is presented by Stowe as something that can and does transcend race. No doubt envisioning her mother readers, Stowe...

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