Uncle Tom's Cabin Feminist Analysis

1386 Words 6 Pages
In Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author communicates to the reader the wrongs of slavery by showing the strength of female morale in abolitionists, the wrongs of tolerating slavery but still being Christian, and the fact that slaves have more humanity than whites do. Stowe used female abolitionists and their morale to convey the message that slavery is wrong. The two core women in this novel, Mrs. Shelby, and Ophelia St. Clare, and one supporting character, Mrs. Bird, perfectly help to show the women believing in abolition. Mrs. Shelby, wife of Master Shelby, is the first women seen that seems to truly care for her slaves. This is shown by her refusing to even think about selling her personal slave Eliza Harris (ch. 1). Master …show more content…
Clare, is more of a realistic portrayal of northern white women: she opposes slavery, but is still very racist and prejudiced to blacks. This is most clearly seen when Ophelia first takes on the command of educating a black slave. Ophelia feels obligated to do so, yet cannot even bear to be touched by the slave (ch. 19). This is how most women in the north tended to behave, and Stowe is using this character to almost call them out on their hypocrisy. However, Stowe gives this character a well developed ending: Ophelia learns to fully love and care for Topsy, moving past her racism to help this slave grow spiritually (ch. 25). This furthers Stowe’s argument of feminist morale because we see Ophelia, a white woman, learning to love and accept those of a different color.
As for the minor character, Mrs. Bird, Stowe uses her to show that the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was morally wrong (ch. 9). Eliza Harris, having run away from her master, comes upon the Bird’s doorstep just after he signed the slave law into effect. Mrs. Bird proves her point that one cannot morally follow this law by having the man who just signed it into action help out a runaway slave. This also fits in with the argument that the women in this novel are more human than the men because Mrs. Bird goes directly against her husband and wishes to help
…show more content…
For example, Uncle Tom is a “good [and] pious fellow” (ch. 1). He is very trusted by his first two masters Shelby and St. Clare, so much so that he becomes in charge of the finances of the St. Clare plantation ( ch. 18). While at St. Clare’s, Tom befriends a young girl named Eva; he and Eva become near inseparable like father and daughter. Sadly, Eva dies, and Tom is forced to have the maturity and faith to stay strong as everyone else crumbles around him (ch. 27). It was a common stereotype that slaves are inhuman, but by Stowe portraying Uncle Tom as this saintlike man, she effectively demolishes this notion and replaces it with the fact that slaves have

Related Documents