Uncle Tom in Uncle Tom’s Cabin
An analysis of the character of Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, `Uncle Tom’s Cabin`.
This paper analyzes the development of the character of Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin`, and shows how he is an example of how the author viewed the role of the diligent and loyal slave during the pre-Civil War era. The paper discusses how the book portrays Uncle Tom as a very honest and hard-working individual who worked to change the perception of slaves in the reader’s eyes.
Stowe set out to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin after an extended visit to the South at the height of the slave trade, during the mid 1840s. She returned to her home in Cincinnati, and began to question what she had seen during her time in the South. Stowe watched as slaves and former slaves spoke out against the treatment they had received and fled north to Canada, and she saw how many of the escaped slaves were hunted down like animals. The inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin came as a result of the fugitive slave laws, or those laws put into effect that enabled all black people suspected to be escaped slaves to be returned to their owners in the South. Stowe saw how these laws were abused, where free men and women were taken prisoner and sent South to plantations, or where escaped slaves were killed for disobedience. Stowe wrote her book as a means of making the Northern public aware of this situation.