Uncle Tom's Cabin

Igniting the Spark: The Power of Uncle Tom’s Cabin College

March 20th, 1852 was an important day for the United States of America. Harriet Beecher Stowe finally published her much debated story, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, on this exact date. Recent stringent changes in fugitive slave laws had inspired the creation of this anti-slavery novel. The author described the story as a series of sketches depicting slave life on a plantation. Uncle Tom, Arthur Shelby, and Emily Shelby are the central characters of this story. Uncle Tom is a very religious black man who prays to God regularly to help keep his spirits high in his sufferings as a slave. Although there seems to be a large prevalence of religion as the main theme of the novel, there is an assembly of others that include race, gender, and oppression. This novel served as a cry for help to support abolitionism through the use of rhetorical devices and dramatic story-telling. After this novel was published, the beginning of the American Civil War followed nine years later. It has been a popular belief among historians that Stowe’s controversial novel was a final tipping point that brought our country into the American Civil War. During this time period, southerners held strong disgust for the novel and author. Uncle Tom’s Cabin not only serves...

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