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  1. Uncle Tom's Cabin for Children by Stowe Harriet Beecher
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Wilson how he feels about his country. I was involved in the book up to that point, but after that, this book owned me. This should be required reading of every American Citizen, and it's in my top five of the most important books I have ever read. For whatever the cause of the American people, it all comes down to "When in the course of human events View all 7 comments. Jun 25, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-to-read-before-you-die. The thing itself is the essence of all abuse! Some issues can't be solved by half-measures. They have to be abolished.

There are books that shape who you are. I remember when I first read Uncle Tom's Cabin as a young girl. Before that, I had only a vague idea of slavery in America as a historical phase, something I imag "Talk of the abuses of slavery! Before that, I had only a vague idea of slavery in America as a historical phase, something I imagined as an evil that was no more. With this novel, I entered the world of rage. Literature has the power to engage where statistics leave you cold, it has the power to make you feel what other people feel, and to see what abstract terms mean in real, everyday life.

Decades later, teaching slave trade and abolitionist movements in Humanities classes, I still felt the anger, the sorrow, the shame. And I realised that literature does that to you - it gives you a social conscience if you are brave enough to compare notes and check your privileges. The horrors of white supremacy can hardly be better told than in this tale of love and suffering and rage, so shocking to read as a young adult, and yet so necessary. I shudder when I think of our current political climate of hostility and intolerance towards any human beings that are distinctly different from our own tribe.

And I feel both rage and sorrow as I know there are far too few adolescents today who are willing to put in the time and effort to read about historical brutality and injustice. I shudder when I think that Anne Frank's diary is considered boring by my students, too slow and lacking "action" read: violence. Where are we heading if we don't listen to the literary voices of those who experienced past horrors? Where are we headed if we let profit and individual advantage stand above ethical behaviour and compassionate humanity?

Where are we headed if we don't think our rights apply to others as well?


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Make people desperate, and they won't be afraid to fight. Take away too much and they have nothing to lose, and nothing to fear.

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When it comes to human rights, there can be no grey zones, there can be no two class system, no discrimination. There can be no exemptions. We are all equally entitled to a life in freedom and dignity. Wherever we do not guarantee that, there will be rage. Beware of the signs in mainstream society: "The country is almost ruined with pious white people: such pious politicians as we have just before elections, such pious goings on in all departments of church and state, that a fellow does not know who'll cheat him next.

Let's look through the pious surface and see the egocentric hypocrites in their entitlement for what they are - instigators of violence. Let's do what is right by humankind rather than what is personally enriching or convenient. Uncle Tom's Cabin taught me that. And I have been in a reading rage ever since! View all 23 comments. Published in , the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman. Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Seminary and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve.

T The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings. View 1 comment.

Uncle Tom's Cabin for Children by Stowe Harriet Beecher

Aug 07, James rated it really liked it Shelves: 1-fiction , 4-written-preth-century. For some reason, we didn't read this book in high school; possibly an excerpt or two was thrown in front of us, but I honestly don't really remember reading it until freshman year of college. Prior to reading it, the silly and uneducated man I was thought Ms. Stowe was an African-American telling the story about slavery in America, not all that different from The Underground Railroad stories.


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  8. Please forgive me, as I had difficulty reading books that showed the harsh slices of life and cruelties people suffered. It just doesn't cross my mind that I could ever treat someone differently because of what they look like or where they came from But it's important to read these types of books as sometimes it is the only way to open another's eyes. Then it was listed on our syllabus to read in our spring semester for an English course. And I dove in since it was required.

    As I got into it, I realized how great the book actually was. And you know what, that's not the story at all. Stowe came from a Puritanical and religious family. She was an abolitionist. She wanted to fix the situation. And this book was one way she attempted to do so, by showing how any Christian could not believe in slavery. Though some of her ideas were a little too vague, and at times, she may even cross the line by doing a few of the things she tells people not to do I feel like we might need to read this book again as a country But I don't get political, so enough of that.

    With this book, you need to have some understanding of society, religion and culture in America's history. I wouldn't take it on without have a decent background in knowing how things came together from to Those 80 years were very strong but also very disparate Having some knowledge of Puritan life is helpful too. Perhaps reading The Scarlet Letter first might give you some background. Everyone needs to read this book just to see what was going on in some folks' minds at this time.

    It may not change your views on the entire situation, but it will give you more to think about when it comes to religion's place in government, society and daily life. And I mean that as a philosophical and sociological discussion, not placing blame or positives and negatives on different groups of people. It's just the kind of book to get you talking about something which needed to be radically changed and fixed. About Me For those new to me or my reviews I write A LOT. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings.

    Thanks for stopping by. View all 4 comments. Shelves: fiction. The main character of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and at least one of the minor characters, are frequently mocked by modern black activists, rappers and comedians. Therefore, when I began reading this novel, originally published in , I was expecting a woefully-outdated story with painful, outrageous stereotypes and archaic language, and had prepared myself for a real struggle to navigate through it in order to see how this book mobilized people in the USA against slavery.

    The story, its delivery and i The main character of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and at least one of the minor characters, are frequently mocked by modern black activists, rappers and comedians. The story, its delivery and its characters turned out to be nothing like they have been portrayed to me over the years. And more importantly, it is still a powerful call for justice and equality more than years later. It was a difficult read at first, but after the first pages or so, I was hooked. Harriet Beecher Stowe paints Tom not as subservient to white men -- or any men -- but as absolutely defiant, a man who serves only one master: Jesus Christ.

    Uncle Tom's defiance is in stark contrast to everything I've ever heard about him. Stowe never, ever implies in any way that slaves should work only to please their earth-bound masters and never pursue freedom or personal dignity -- contrary to what I've always heard. In addition to Tom, there's George, a representation of the intelligence and potential Stowe obviously felt every African American was capable.

    Stowe wasn't saying that Tom's way of defiance -- and his not pursuing escape -- was a better path than George's, who risks everything to escape with his family to Canada. Topsy isn't presented as I thought she would be -- a silly comic relief -- but as a girl who has never known anything but pain from and the contempt of others, and becomes whole only when she's offered full, unconditional love. There are NO one-dimensional portraits in the book -- the characters, white and black, portray a massive variety of values, philosophies, and thoughts of the time.

    I was struck not only by how full, rich and diverse the characters were, but also, Stowe's condemnation not only of slavery itself, but of the North, for not wanting freed blacks to live among them, to work in their homes or live in their neighborhoods or attend their schools. She also condemns merciful slave owners, painting them just as bad as ruthless Is the book racist? By today's standards, yes, but no more than it's also sexist.

    It's dated, no question: the author will very occassionally say something about blacks -- or women -- that make me cringe. The slaves and freed men presented in the book are no more benign, lazy or lacking in values than most of the white people portrayed. But I challenge anyone who has READ the book to say that the stereotypes engrained into our psyche by various contemporary commentators were ever envisioned by the author.

    After reading the entry about the book on Wikipedia , I've surmised that the stereotypes we hear about regarding the story are actually from the widely-seen and woefully inaccurate dramatizations of the book. And her text drips with a sarcasm, often addressed directly to the reader, that is jarring at times -- this woman hated slavery with every molecule of her body, and she presents, and skewers, every argument of the time in support of it. View all 11 comments. Dec 08, Sean Barrs the Bookdragon rated it really liked it Shelves: book-challenge , 4-star-reads.

    It worked towards humbling a racist white culture and helped bring an end to slavery in America, and it comes with a compelling story and a very strong character. Not something to be missed even if the prose is a little choppy at times. Apr 25, Brooke rated it did not like it. I know, I know, it's a monumental artifact in American history, and the catalyst to the spread of the abolitionist movement to the masses. I totally appreciate the historical and cultural significance of this book.

    No question. But seriously, y'all? For real. I just can't get past how bad the writing is--the reason why I'm such a voracious reader is simple: I read books for aesthetic pleasure. That's it. I really don't give a shit about anything beyond en I know, I know, it's a monumental artifact in American history, and the catalyst to the spread of the abolitionist movement to the masses.

    I really don't give a shit about anything beyond entertainment when I read. If I can be enlightened, challenged, whatever at the same time? But if your writing sucks, I frankly don't want to waste my time with your crappy-ass book. And Harriet Beecher Stowe exceeded my limit for melodramatic turns of phrase by page 3.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin Told to the Children

    Preferencing the book itself over what the book represents is an unpopular view in a literary culture obsessed with shattering the canon ironic, considering that UTC is as canonical as it gets in American literature , but that's why I'm in the corporate world and not writing my disseration right now.

    Hence, I'm typing this review instead of beating my head against the keyboard while trying to make a connection between Heidegger's "question of being" and some random 17th century poem my committee chair discovered while on sabbatical in Bolivia. I win. View all 39 comments. While being transported by boat to auction in New Orleans, Tom saves the life of Little Eva, whose grateful father then purchases Tom. Eva and Tom soon become great friends. Dec 17, Beverly rated it really liked it. Entertainment Weekly has an interview they do in which they ask famous authors, in this case Ursula K.

    In this article, le Guin said that she liked to reread Uncle Tom's Cabin. She said many are astonished at this preference and act as if she was extolling a racist screed. Having never read it and liking Ursula K. A polemic on the heinous, Uncle Tom's Cabinet is written in suc Entertainment Weekly has an interview they do in which they ask famous authors, in this case Ursula K.

    A polemic on the heinous, Uncle Tom's Cabinet is written in such a matter-of-fact way that it ascends to greatness. I almost felt like I was reading an adventure story and couldn't wait until I found out what happened to Eva, St. Harriet Beecher Stowe took real incidents and added them to the story for verisimilitude. It also reminded me of my beloved dystopian novels. In many of these, horrible things have become common place, such as children fighting to compete for food.

    I couldn't fathom that we in the U. The only reason I would not give it 5 stars is because of the extreme goodness of Uncle Tom in the midst of troubles that would destroy, even Job. View all 5 comments. May 20, Alex rated it it was ok Shelves: rth-lifetime , , novel-a-biography.

    It's not really this book's fault that it sucks. Harriet Beecher Stowe's heart was in the right place: she aimed to expose the evils of slavery. But it hasn't aged well. According to this book, here's What Black People Are Like - "The African, naturally patient, timid and unenterprising" - "The negro is naturally more impressible to r It's not really this book's fault that it sucks.

    According to this book, here's What Black People Are Like - "The African, naturally patient, timid and unenterprising" - "The negro is naturally more impressible to religious sentiment than the white" - "The negro, it must be remembered, is an exotic of the most gorgeous and superb countries of this world, and he has, deep in his heart, a passion for all that is splendid, rich, and fanciful; a passion which, rudely indulged by an untrained taste, draws on them the ridicule of the colder and more correct white race.

    This comes across as racist, because it totally is, and here's the thing: there were other people who wrote about slavery and did not make statements like these. Black people! Stowe's source for Uncle Tom himself, in fact, is Josiah Henson, whose real-life story you can read for free instead of this. I know things were different back then, but I also don't think we need to over-complicate our historical relativism. If someone were to ask me what I'm reading and I were to feel compelled to explain myself - "I know it's racist, I'm not reading it because I like it It's okay if it did some good once and it's run out of good now.

    It's okay if it goes out of style. We don't have to, like, burn all the copies. But I do feel like when we have the opportunity to hear about oppression from the oppressed themselves, then that's better. It's true that slave narratives were written for white audiences, with specific goals and formulae, and often dictated to white ghost writers, so this isn't totally straight-forward. But slave narratives are anyway more authentic than Uncle Tom, I guess. Anyway, back to the actual book: Uncle Tom is frankly an Uncle Tom, but to Stowe's credit she also supplies lots of other perspectives.

    George and his Quaker allies have a "By any means necessary" approach to slavery, and Stowe goes out of her way to get us to root for their violent tactics. I wasn't expecting that, and I dug it. Overall, the book is badly sentimental. Y'know, it's easy to make you have feels by describing, like, a woman whose children are stolen from her and then she gets raped. You don't have to be a good writer to make a scenario like that powerful.

    Stowe is an okay writer, but she pours on the pathos; she can't shut up about "isn't this awful?! There are a couple people here who take like fifty pages to finish giving deathbed speeches about Jesus and you're like good lord, this makes Dickens seem aloof. It's annoying. So look, this might be of interest to someone researching how white abolitionists felt back in the day; but it's not particularly good literature, and its ideas are woeful, and that doesn't leave much. View all 40 comments. Feb 20, Corinne rated it it was amazing Shelves: constructive , favorites , courage , classic , compassion.

    For me, the story is a sharp contrast between freedom obtained by George, Eliza, and their children in Canada versus what happens to Uncle Tom in bondage, i. The two parallel stories increase the beauties of each other, enhanced further by Aunt Chloe's desperate efforts to save Tom till the end, and by the poetic justice delivered to the brutal slave owner at the end. Add to that Stowe's understanding the heart of a mother: the more defective the child is, th For me, the story is a sharp contrast between freedom obtained by George, Eliza, and their children in Canada versus what happens to Uncle Tom in bondage, i.

    Add to that Stowe's understanding the heart of a mother: the more defective the child is, the more the mother loves. It's so true! Via the vivid details surrounding separation of families imposed by slavery, also contrasted by acts of bravery from some whites along the way, Stowe has powerfully painted their depths of faith, without appearing preachy.

    And the sharp opposition between St Clare and his wife Marie! I can see such a snobbish, lazy, fastidious 'malade imaginaire' like Marie right here in France, even today. The death of Little Eva is a real heartbreaker, though. I shall return to read this novel more than once. Apr 17, Apatt rated it really liked it Shelves: classics. Why a man get treated like a dog by another man and the law is all right with that? I knoe it dont mean nuthin now we is all civilased with iPads and lor knows what, but whar was it ever OK?

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    At the beginning of the book, Tom is one of the more fortunate slaves working for the very kind Shelby family who treat their slaves as human beings. Eliza makes a run for it, taking her son with her, but Tom—incredibly pious man that he is—stays put and meekly goes with the slave trader. During his voyage with the slave trader down the Mississippi River Tom lucks out again and meets Augustine St.

    Clare, a very kind man traveling with his angelic little daughter Eva. Augustine buys Tom and takes him to his home in New Orleans where Tom lives happily for a couple of years, and is promised his freedom by Augustine. Augustine dies and Tom is sold again—in an auction—by the nasty Mrs. Marie St. This time, he is bought by the irredeemably evil plantation owner named Simon Legree, leading to the most harrowing part of the book. Besides being fascinating Uncle Tom's Cabin is also harrowing, disturbing and heartbreaking.

    This is one of the most historically significant slave narratives ever, it played a major part in helping to bring about the abolition of slavery in the US. I have not read either of these books, though I found the TV series and the film very moving. What these narratives have in common is the shocking portrayal of an era when people are so unenlightened as to treat fellow human beings as mere tools; buying and selling them like animals, splitting up families, in order to sell the individual members as separate items.

    The slave traders put a price tag on the slaves on the basis of their physical attributes. OK, in the sense of "sanctioned by law", with certificates of "ownership" and everything, so the people can legitimately own what they could not possibly own; human beings are "unownable".

    Still, the lighter moments are overwhelmed by the tragic lives of the enslaved characters. Besides being a slave narrative Uncle Tom's Cabin also clearly belongs to the Christian fiction genre. Any atheist reading this book to find out more about slavery in the nineteenth century America is likely to be put off by the Christian piety which underpins just about every page of the book. There are even scenes which verges on the miraculous or divine intervention. The characters are very vividly drawn but the eponymous Tom, and the spooky little girl, Eva St. Clare, are too Christ-like to be entirely believable.

    In any case Uncle Tom's Cabin , as a novel, is very readable, there is not a dull moment and Harriet Beecher Stowe knew what buttons to push to connect with the readers on an emotional level. If you are OK with all that then the book is highly recommended. John Greenman. Thank you! This is not how Tom is portrayed in the novel at all, he meekly accepts abuses aimed at himself, but draws the line at being ordered to abuse other slaves.

    According to Wikipedia there are more than twenty books of this kind, they generally portray slavery as beneficial for the African Americans who will come a cropper without the white man's supervision. I don't know what these authors are smoking but I don't want any! Now, they say," said Haley, assuming a candid and confidential air, "that this kind o' trade is hardening to the feelings; but I never found it so. Fact is, I never could do things up the way some fellers manage the business.

    I've seen 'em as would pull a woman's child out of her arms, and set him up to sell, and she screechin' like mad all the time;—very bad policy—damages the article—makes 'em quite unfit for service sometimes. Nevertheless, as this young man was in the eye of the law not a man, but a thing, all these superior qualifications were subject to the control of a vulgar, narrow-minded, tyrannical master.


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    And, woman, though dressed in silk and jewels, you are but a woman, and, in life's great straits and mighty griefs, ye feel but one sorrow! Talk of the abuses of slavery! And the only reason why the land don't sink under it, like Sodom and Gomorrah, is because it is used in a way infinitely better than it is. For pity's sake, for shame's sake, because we are men born of women, and not savage beasts, many of us do not, and dare not,—we would scorn to use the full power which our savage laws put into our hands.

    And he who goes the furthest, and does the worst, only uses within limits the power that the law gives him. Whatever is too hard, too dirty, too disagreeable, for me, I may set Quashy to doing. Because I don't like work, Quashy shall work. Because the sun burns me, Quashy shall stay in the sun. Quashy shall earn the money, and I will spend it. Quashy shall lie down in every puddle, that I may walk over dry-shod. Quashy shall do my will, and not his, all the days of his mortal life, and have such chance of getting to heaven, at last, as I find convenient.

    View all 19 comments. Aug 01, K. Shelves: classics , feminist , core , apartheid , historical-fiction , race , crime , drama , saddest. I thought I would like to compare this with Noli to see how original or unoriginal Rizal was. My verdict: Noli and Uncle Tom's Cabin are totally different from each other except for one thing and that is the lowly's fight for freedom from slavery.

    Lowly in Noli are the indios or native Filipinos. Lowly in Uncle Tom's Cabin are the black African slaves. Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I've thought and thought about them. Papa, isn't there any way to have all slaves made free? If I had my way, now, I'd send that child out, and have her thoroughly whipped; I'd have her whipped till she couldn't stand! There can't nobody love niggers, and niggers can't do nothin'! I don't care. I love you, because you haven't had any father, or mother, or friends;--because you've been a poor, abused child!

    I love you, and I want you to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while; and it really grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try to be good, for my sake;--it's only a little while I shall be with you. I can love you, though I am not like that dear little child.

    I hope I've learnt something of the love of Christ from her. I can love you; I do, and I'll try to help you to grow up a good Christian girl. A fine word for such as she! I'll teach her, with all her airs, that she's no better than the raggedest black wench that walks the streets! She'll take no more airs with me! Keep a negro under the care of a master, and he does well enough, and is respectable; but set them free, and they get lazy, and won't work, and take to drinking, and go all down to be mean, worthless fellows. I've seen it tried, hundreds of times.

    It's no favor to set them free. An't I yer master? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash, for all there is inside yer old cussed black shell? An't yer mine, now, body and soul? What made 'em cruel? No, no, Missis! I've lost everything,--wife and children, and home, and a kind Mas'r,--and he would have set me free, if he'd only lived a week longer; I've lost everything in this world, and it's clean gone, forever,--and now I can't lose Heaven, too; no, I can't get to be wicked, besides all!

    Now, I'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and night; they keep pushing me on and on--and I'll do it, too, some of these days! I'll send him where he belongs,--a short way, too,--one of these nights, if they burn me alive for it! But be careful, for I've got the devil in me! When he came to himself, the fire was gone out, his clothes were wet with the chill and drenching dews; but the dread soul-crisis was past, and, in the joy that filled him, he no longer felt hunger, cold, degradation, disappointment, wretchedness. New York; R. R Bowker. Cobb, James. New York: Oxford University Press.

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