Uncle Tom 's Cabin, By Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

1289 Words Dec 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Jane Tompkins’ essay, Sentimental Power, offers the reader a brash, analytical perspective of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Tomkins details her thoughts on why Uncle Tom’s Cabin had little impact on feminism, has an unwarranted claim as a sentimentalist classic, and why it is an unrealistic depiction of death relying too heavily on religion. This essay with offer a counter argument to these three topics.
On page two of her essay, Tomkins states that, “Unwittingly or not, so the story goes, they [the female writers] were apologists for an oppressive social order”. It can be argued that Tomkins is offering this critical analysis from a modern perspective without taking into consideration the silent power behind Stowe’s female characters and how it was presented in an effective way to appeal to a broad audience when the book was published. If all male readers of Uncle Tom’s Cabin were met with strong-willed, obviously powerful female characters, it could possibly have been considered to be too unrealistic for many men to relate to, and subsequently alienate a part of her audience.
When looking at the emotional weight of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the female characters played some of the strongest and most relatable roles. For example, the remarkable, impassioned young black woman Eliza, who takes her life and her child’s life into her hands and saves her son Harry from a life of pain and hardship. Eliza is no damsel in distress relying on a man to save her and…

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