Uncle Tom's Cabin

Miss Ophelia Prays for Protest: Northern Responsibility in Uncle Tom's Cabin College

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in reaction to her own epiphany concerning the immorality of slavery, which accompanied the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law. Indeed, she developed a novel worthy of protest literature. With each character and scene depicted throughout the book, Stowe leaves no stone unturned as she appoints blame for the immoral situation across the United States. The author’s use of a character from the North, Miss Ophelia, aids in the novel’s ability to effectively protest slavery as well as the deep-seated prejudice against blacks in America. Miss Ophelia acts as an effective example of the validity of Stowe’s argument that it is not the solely the responsibility of the South to eliminate the system of slavery, but also that of the North.

Miss Ophelia St. Clare is, without a doubt, the most complicated female character in the novel. She is Mister St. Clare’s pious, hardworking, abolitionist cousin from the North and she is educated, independent, ambitious, and motivated by a certain sense of duty. Since she is single, and beyond marrying age, she agrees to accompany Mr. St. Clare to his Louisiana home to care for his daughter Evangeline and attend to the housekeeping while his wife Marie St....

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