Critical Reflection of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
August 14 2012
Christianity had an essential role in the abolition of slave trade in American Society. American Christianity impressively contributed to American Revolution (1775-1783) as well as Civil War (1861-1865) (Parfait 47). Even though, the role of Christianity in slavery remained abstruse as some Christians, especially from the Southern America supported slavery, its importance in anti-slavery struggle remained noteworthy. Slavery was generally a great evil that overwhelmed the American society since the early colonial era. In the Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), there is a comprehensive demonstration of the role of Christianity, especially in setting pace for the Anti-Slavery Revolutions, Abolitionism and Civil War in American society. Stowe illustrates the austere practice of Christianity through her characters, mainly Uncle Tom, who undergoes a prolonged suffering as a slave until his vicious death. Through him, Stowe manages to indicate moral codes of the Christian religion such as honesty, humility, forgiveness, endurance, faithfulness and suffering. In comparison to the vices, brutality and corruption that the slaves undergo, Stowe manages to establish the relationship between the slavery trade system and the religion, especially the Christianity, where they antagonize each other. Therefore, throughout the book, Stowe tries to explain that the incorporation of the moral or pious ciphers endorsed by a proper religious system is very essential in wiping out social injustices and evils from a society. In doing so, she demonstrates the importance of religion in shaping the American society. Generally, from reading the book, it is very clear that Stowe dominates it with anti-slavery ideas and feelings. Therefore, it is agreeable to say that Stowe objectively and purposefully wrote the book because of the foundation of abolitionism (Ryan 84). However, from her actual narration and choice of setting, it is also vibrant that the spirit of anti-slavery is harmonious with Christianity spirit. Actually, according to the novel with a further analysis of the Stowe’s demonstration, the spirit of anti-slavery and that of Christianity co-exist amicably. However, for the antebellum Americans, there was no conclusive agreement that Christianity and slavery were incompatible. For instance, the religious leaders from the South agreed that the bible approved slavery, and used this literal biblical elucidation to encourage slavery. Still, there were many other Christians including both Catholics and Protestants from the Northern America, Europe and Canada, who were perceptibly against slavery and its institutions. This promoted the Christianity spirit against slavery. This is the spirit that Stowe inclined to in her novel, being that she is from a steadfast Christian background (Weinstein 112). Stowe, being considered as one of the staunch anti-slavery activists and abolitionists (Posner 19), this person writes the sentimental novel by exploring the unwavering Christian perception, ideally to reinforce how the practice of Christianity can be integrated in the fight of the immoral societal phenomenon such as slavery. She uses religious sentimentalism to supports role of Christianity in the anti-slavery. Her viewpoint on Christianity and slavery is considered resulted because of how she demonstrates the practice of Christianity among the African slaves in America at that specific period. For instance, Uncle Tom, a black slave, demonstrates the inflexible and obstinate Christian credence and stand such as honesty and intelligence. Tom relents to hopelessness despite the severe tests to his Christian faith as he works in hardship on a Louisiana plantation (Stowe 41). This validates Stowe’s message about the power of practicing stringent religion, especially Christianity, to the society. It has to overcome supremacy of the individual...
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Posner, R.: Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline, page 239, USA: Harvard University Press,
Ryan, Tim. Calls and Responses: The American Novel of Slavery since Gone with the Wind.
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008.
Stowe, Harriet. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. USA: National Era & John P. Jewett and Company, 1852
Weinstein, Cindy. The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cambridge University
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