An Analysis Of Uncle Tom's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin Term Paper

Slavery is a huge part of American history. However, it was a time of suffering and hardships. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Beecher communicates not only the physical hardships slaves faced, but the mental hardships slaves face when forced to make drastic, often life or death, decisions. The author portrays this terrible mistreatment, by showing the harsh physical treatment of slaves, the dehumanization of slaves, and the tough choices that had to be made by slaves, and even sometimes by masters. Physical abuse of slaves, usually by their own masters, was extremely common. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, masters often took out personal hardships on slaves by physically harming slaves, or would physically
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A prime example of this dehumanization, is the common occurrence of slaves being separated from loved ones through being sold. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, this horrid act occurs when Eliza hears her son has been sold to go to plantation in the South (10). (The South being know for it’s especially harsh treatment of slaves.) It is as if the master who bought the child had not considered the feelings of a Eliza, as a mother losing a child. Another way slaves were dehumanized was by being talked down too and physically abused and then expected to still obey their masters (352). Slaves were also often abused and then left for dead as if they were a dying animal in the pasture (352). This occurs when Tom was practically beat to death and spent two days, laying in a shed, only lengthening his suffering before his death. Slaves were also dehumanized by being forced to inflict punishment on fellow slaves. This takes place in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, when after Legree had beat Tom nearly all night, he orders two of his other slaves to continue harming Tom (350). This also shows that because of slaves being dehumanized to such an extent, they were willing to take orders of seriously injuring another human being. The fact that slaves were treated as less than human is arguably what made slavery so horrendous. People were treated as property and were expected to cope with it, or expected to believe they deserved the torture. This dehumanization innocent human beings is arguably what made slavery arguably the most horrendous chapter in American

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