The Controversy Of Uncle Toms Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe

Superior Essays
Brandon Stevens

Mrs.Sarich

A.P. Lit

5 March 2015

The Controversy of Uncle Toms Cabin During the 1800’s, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the most influential novel whose popularity is surpassed by no other. Quickly during the 1800‘s Stowe became a pioneer for the anti-slavery and feminist movement. With the massive success attained by the novel, slavery soon became a pressing issue throughout society. Many literary works are incapable of entirely changing society as a whole, but novels such as, Uncle Times Cabin are able to create an awareness so vast that society finds ways to bring about change. The publication of the novel invigorated society to such an extent that congress held slavery as being a national rather than a regional issue.
…show more content…
With a large Protestant audience, Stowe draws attention in depicting that slavery and the morality of Christianity oppose each other. During the novel it is said that, “ No Christian should be able to tolerate slavery” (Stowe 45). But, after thorough review, Stowe’s novel also supports the notion of slavery through religion. Eva, who is characterized as the most morale character in the novel doesn’t seem to understand how one could view whites and blacks differently. Legree, who is characterized as being a social opposite to Eva, supports slavery, and is non-religious. Both characters representing the clashing opinions of slavery during the time period. Stowe explains that Christianity holds an opinion of “universal love” (Chait 61). Periodically, if this notion of “universal Love” was to be integrated throughout society, then it would be unethical to continue the practice of slavery. Thus, religion is a force that could adequately battle slavery. Throughout the book it is apparent that Stowe believed Christianity to be “ entirely conflicting with slavery” (Gilmore 63). For example, during chapter five Mrs.Shelby - an ethical Christian mistress-explains, “ This is gods curse on slavery!-a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing!-a curse to the master and a curse to the slave! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil.” (44). This quote representing the …show more content…
White women were not the only females that were highlighted throughout the book. Black women were also viewed within a positive light. Black women were depicted as being “strong, fearless, and proficient.” A prime example is the character Eliza. It is through Eliza that “ Some mothers mad society conform t maternal needs and expectations, rather than conform to social needs and expectations, rather than conform to social needs and expectations.” (Carney 17). Stowe also describes a certain duty in which all women are meant to fulfill ,that proves to be extremely impactful throughout society. For example, Mary tells her husband “ I can read my Bible, and there I see I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate; that Bible I mean to follow.”(85). Throughout the discussion Stowe is intent on describing to the readers that womanhood represents a power different from men. Hedrick portrays women and blacks as “ instruments of salvation” (319) Stowe stresses that women have the potential to break their social restrictions and influence not only their family, but society through their abolition of slavery. Throughout the novel Stowe uses a variety of characters to highlight the strengths of women and their impact on society, but Stowe

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Douglas saw his master tie up a young lady and whipped her until blood was dripping. The master justified his act by quoting a passage from the scripture stating, “He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.”3 Christianity and the misinterpretation of passages in the bible allowed the oppression of slaves to go on for a very long time. The interpretation of the Bible reflects the interest of those who interpret it, and it was done so to enact cruelty upon millions of slaves. The Christianity practiced by thee whites did not allow for the happiness or optimism of slaves. Douglas explains the difference between religious slaveholders and those who were not religious, implying that the non-religious slaveholders were not as mean, bitter, hateful, or evil.…

    • 902 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Douglass writes a song telling us the direct contradictions of slavery and religion. He says “We wonder how such saints can sing, Or praise the Lord upon the wing, Who roar, and scold, and whip, and sting, And to their slaves and mammon cling, In guilty conscience union.”. (Douglass 106) This shows yes, slaveholders should have a conscious, but if twisting the Bible to fit their needs speaks loud enough, it should reiterate to any comprehending person that they only used the precious Word to give them peace of mind. In conclusion, the pure and holy religion and southern religion of the nineteenth century directly contradicted each other. In summary, many used religion as a means of justification, means of assurance, and also a means of direct contradictions.…

    • 947 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” Lincoln is saying that those who support slavery have to experience what the slaves go through in order to be able to pro slavery. Most probably have not gone through being a slave. Thus, the effort to ending slavery will be the moral thing to do and unselfish. Every mankind deserves liberty and equality. America is mostly a Christian country, so the act of owning slaves is actually considered to be morally wrong in the region.…

    • 1004 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Christian religion stems from a nation that was constantly enslaved and rescued by their God. As a proverbial mouth piece of this God, a God who loves all equally, the churches were morally obligated to stand against slavery. Instead of supporting the anti slavery-movement, many churches “disregarded and trampled upon [the Bible]” and their own beliefs by hindering the Anti-slavery movement (Douglas). This rejection of their core beliefs, beliefs shared by many of the slaves fighting for their freedom, had a considerable negative effect on the national progress of the movement. This negative effect slowed the process of America bringing herself to justice.…

    • 950 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Kierkegaard and Nietzsche have different thoughts when it comes to Christianity. Kierkegaard says that religion shouldn’t be a system it should be like a leap of faith. Nietzsche says that Christianity is the worst plague to effect mankind. After explaining each philosopher’s individual account on Christianity I will decide which one I agree with and argue it. Kierkegaard says faith is extremely vital to the human condition.…

    • 701 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Evangelical Movement

    • 794 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Evangelical teachings suggested Masters and slave holders should free their slaves. They believed it was wrong to own, trade or sale slaves. African Americans felt as if white Christians were hypocrites and often pointed out the contradictions between God’s Word and slaveholders’ cruelty and inhumanity. William Wells Brown say, “Slaveholders hide themselves behind the Church. .…

    • 794 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Another way this is attempted is through the use of social entities - such as religion. In chapter sixteen of the novel, Tom’s new owner, St. Claire, and his mistress, Marie, have a discussion about religion and how it relates to slavery. The mistress, arrogant and oblivious, argues that the bible supports slavery and expresses that she is glad it exists. St. Claire, on the other hand, struggles with the idea and voices his contrasting opinion to Marie. “The whole frame-work of society, both in Europe and America, is made up of various things which will not stand the scrutiny of any very ideal standard of morality”.…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Slavery Hypocrisy

    • 1295 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The biggest reason for their actions was that it said in both the Old and New Testament that it gave permission to hold others as slaves. Religion was something driving slavery further, white Christian slaveholders said that slavery was a necessary evil because it would control the sinful, less humane, african american race. Henry Brinton, was a pastor at Fairfax Presbyterian Church, writes that the Bible was used by both the North and the South to back up their views. Slaveholders justified the practice by quoting the Bible, Brinton says." They asked who could question the Word of God when it said", "slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling" (Ephesians 6:5), or "tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect" (Titus 2:9).…

    • 1295 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Stowe directs her stance on slavery by including difficult situations that slaves because of slavery as it made their life harder. Stowe also includes how slavery caused slaves to face dangers when escaping, in order to liberate themselves from bondage. Lastly, Stowe used religion to emphasize that Christianity allowed individuals to reflect on the fact that slavery is sinful because it didn’t allow slaves to be viewed and loved the same as stated in the bible. Overall Stowe gives readers the appeal that nothing good came from slavery and that it only caused dreadful…

    • 1442 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Mr. Haley and Aunt Chloe highlight that Stowe, while she opposes the institution of slavery, does not think that whites and blacks are equal. The only reason Stowe is against slavery is because she believes the white people are sinning by owning slaves, and therefore diminishing their chances of getting to heaven. By viewing the world through a religious eye, Stowe is able to project her racism and anti-slavery views without being shunned by her community for participating in political debates, which are in a man’s domain. Utilizing the point of view of her characters, Stowe exhibits her racism, and fundamental ideal that white and blacks are…

    • 1438 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays