Stowe & Elkins Essay

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Stowe & Elkins

Just picture, a game of basketball played in a wheelchair: football, with no pads. According to Alexis Tocqueville and his transcendentalist ideals, this creates a tyranny of the Majority, and a separate society. From the annexation of Texas in 1845 to the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the institutions segregating blacks and supporting slavery continued and even expanded throughout territory in the United States. Laws and ordinances such as the Wilmot Proviso in 1846, which proposed new lands acquired from Mexico shall be free of slavery, were successful ideologically, but the pragmatic sense of the time period never produced a solid result such as abolition. Looking at
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His repressive, crooked personality is well depicted by Stowe, and can be compared with American leaders in the mid 1840's. James K. Polk was elected president in 1845, and received over 500,000 square miles of Mexican territory. Manifest destiny, two words that showed American ideology at the time, was a dominating force expanding into the West, although it exploited Native Americans; they were forced to abandon land for America's self-centered needs. Indeed, Polk is a perfect example of the greedy ideology which consumed America at this time. Legree is certainly a part of this voracious America, only concerned with his economic status - Stowe illustrates him capable of murder, just to find out about their escape plans. Losing slaves means less profit, and Legree's purpose is clear when he inquires about their planning. What other reason would Legree deny freedom to his slaves? Certainly not to drink tea and talk about current affairs. According to Elkins, the extreme control that Legree exercises over Tom, is the effect of society on the institution of slavery; what he calls "sweeping with an iron broom." Just like Stowe portrays Legree controlling Tom's life, the father portrayed by Elkins has complete control over his slaves, in an institution that has never seen another option. Elkins compares the treatment of a slave by his master to the

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