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Uncle Tom’s Cabin Summary
Uncle Tom’s Cabin pdf; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in two volumes in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the U.S., and is said to have “helped lay the groundwork for the [American] Civil War”.
Stowe, a Connecticut-born woman of English descent, was part of the religious Beecher family and an active abolitionist. She wrote the sentimental novel to depict the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love could overcome slavery. The novel focuses on the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of the other characters revolve.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel and the second best-selling book of the 19th century, following the Bible, and is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. The impact attributed to the book was so great that a likely apocryphal story arose of Abraham Lincoln meeting Stowe at the start of the Civil War and declaring, “So this is the little lady who started this great war.”
The book and the plays it inspired helped popularize a number of negative stereotypes about black people including that of the namesake character “Uncle Tom”, with the term now used to describe an excessively subservient person. These associations with Uncle Tom’s Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a “vital antislavery tool”. However, the novel stands as a “landmark” in protest literature with later books such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson owing a large debt to it.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin pdf and Paperback – Buy Online
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Author – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American author and abolitionist. Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, she was raised in a deeply religious family and educated in a seminary school run by her elder sister. In her adult life, Stowe married biblical scholar and abolitionist Calvin Ellis Stowe, who would later go on to work as Harriet s literary agent, and the two participated in the Underground Railroad by providing temporary refuge for escaped slaves travelling to the American North. Shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Stowe published her most famous work, Uncle Tom s Cabin, a stark and sympathetic depiction of the desperate lives of African American slaves. The book went on to see unprecedented sales, and informed American and European attitudes towards abolition. In the years leading up to her death, suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, Stowe is said to have begun re-writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin, almost word-for-word, believing that she was writing the original manuscript once again. Stowe died on July 1, 1896 at the age of eighty-five.
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Uncle Tom’s Cabin pdf Book Information
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 266 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1508480125
- ISBN-13 : 978-1508480129
- Item Weight : 1.07 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.44 x 0.6 x 9.69 inches
- Best Sellers Rank:
- #78,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #184 in Black & African American Historical Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
- 4.5 out of 5 stars
- 558 ratings
Uncle Tom’s Cabin pdf Characters
Uncle Tom, the title character, was initially seen as a noble, long-suffering Christian slave. In more recent years, however, his name has become an epithet directed towards African-Americans who are accused of selling out to whites.Stowe intended Tom to be a “noble hero” and a praiseworthy person. Throughout the book, far from allowing himself to be exploited, Tom stands up for his beliefs and refuses to betray friends and family.
Eliza is a slave and personal maid to Mrs. Shelby, who escapes to the North with her five-year-old son Harry after he is sold to Mr. Haley. Her husband, George, eventually finds Eliza and Harry in Ohio and emigrates with them to Canada, then France, and finally Liberia. The character Eliza was inspired by an account given at Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati by John Rankin to Stowe’s husband Calvin, a professor at the school. According to Rankin, in February 1838, a young slave woman, Eliza Harris, had escaped across the frozen Ohio River to the town of Ripley with her child in her arms and stayed at his house on her way farther north.Evangeline St. Clare is the daughter of Augustine St. Clare. Eva enters the narrative when Uncle Tom is traveling via steamship to New Orleans to be sold, and he rescues the five- or six-year-old girl from drowning. Eva begs her father to buy Tom, and he becomes the head coachman at the St. Clare house. He spends most of his time with the angelic Eva. Eva often talks about love and forgiveness, convincing the dour slave girl Topsy that she deserves love. She even touches the heart of her Aunt Ophelia. Eventually Eva falls terminally ill. Before dying, she gives a lock of her hair to each of the slaves, telling them that they must become Christians so that they may see each other in Heaven. On her deathbed, she convinces her father to free Tom, but because of circumstances the promise never materializes.
Simon Legree is a cruel slave owner—a Northerner by birth—whose name has become synonymous with greed and cruelty. He is arguably the novel’s main antagonist. His goal is to demoralize Tom and break him of his religious faith; he eventually orders Tom whipped to death out of frustration for his slave’s unbreakable belief in God. The novel reveals that, as a young man, he had abandoned his sickly mother for a life at sea and ignored her letter to see her one last time at her deathbed. He sexually exploits Cassy, who despises him, and later sets his designs on Emmeline. It is unclear if Legree is based on any actual individuals. Reports surfaced in the late 1800s that Stowe had in mind a wealthy cotton and sugar plantation owner named Meredith Calhoun, who settled on the Red River north of Alexandria, Louisiana.Rev. Josiah Henson, inspiration for the character of Uncle Tom, said that Legree was modeled after Bryce Lytton, “who broke my arm and maimed me for life.”
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Themes
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is dominated by a single theme: the evil and immorality of slavery. While Stowe weaves other subthemes throughout her text, such as the moral authority of motherhood and the power of Christian love, she emphasizes the connections between these and the horrors of slavery. Stowe sometimes changed the story’s voice so she could give a “homily” on the destructive nature of slavery (such as when a white woman on the steamboat carrying Tom further south states, “The most dreadful part of slavery, to my mind, is its outrages of feelings and affections—the separating of families, for example.”). One way Stowe showed the evil of slavery was how this “peculiar institution” forcibly separated families from each other.
One of the sub themes presented in the novel is temperance. Stowe made it somewhat subtle and in some cases she weaved it into events that would also support the dominant theme. One example of this is when Augustine St. Clare is killed, he attempted to stop a brawl between two inebriated men in a cafe and was stabbed. One other example is the death of Prue, who was whipped to death for being drunk on a consistent basis; however, her reasons for doing so are due to the loss of her baby. In the opening of the novel, the fates of Eliza and her son are being discussed between slave owners over wine. Considering that Stowe intended this to be a subtheme, this scene could foreshadow future events that put alcohol in a bad light.
Because Stowe saw motherhood as the “ethical and structural model for all of American life” and also believed that only women had the moral authority to save the United States from the demon of slavery, another major theme of Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the moral power and sanctity of women. Through characters like Eliza, who escapes from slavery to save her young son (and eventually reunites her entire family), or Eva, who is seen as the “ideal Christian”, Stowe shows how she believed women could save those around them from even the worst injustices. While later critics have noted that Stowe’s female characters are often domestic clichés instead of realistic women, Stowe’s novel “reaffirmed the importance of women’s influence” and helped pave the way for the women’s rights movement in the following decades.Stowe’s puritanical religious beliefs show up in the novel’s final, overarching theme—the exploration of the nature of Christian love] and how she feels Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with slavery.
This theme is most evident when Tom urges St. Clare to “look away to Jesus” after the death of St. Clare’s beloved daughter Eva. After Tom dies, George Shelby eulogizes Tom by saying, “What a thing it is to be a Christian.” Because Christian themes play such a large role in Uncle Tom’s Cabin—and because of Stowe’s frequent use of direct authorial interjections on religion and faith—the novel often takes the “form of a sermon”.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Read Book Excerpt Online
His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentleman; and the arrangements of the house, and the general air of the housekeeping, indicated easy, and even opulent circumstances. As we previously stated, the two were in the midst of an earnest conversation.
“That is the way I should arrange the matter,” said Mr. Shelby.
“I can’t make trade that way—I positively can’t, Mr. Shelby,” said the other, holding up a glass of wine between his eye and the light.
“Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow; he is certainly worth that sum anywhere,—steady, honest, capable, manages my whole farm like a clock.”
“You mean honest, as niggers go,” said Haley, helping himself to a glass of brandy.
“No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible, pious fellow. He got religion at a camp-meeting, four years ago; and I believe he really did get it. I’ve trusted him, since then, with everything I have,—money, house, horses,—and let him come and go round the country; and I always found him true and square in everything.”
“Some folks don’t believe there is pious niggers Shelby,” said Haley, with a candid flourish of his hand, “but I do. I had a fellow, now, in this year’s last lot I took to Orleans—‘t was as good as a meeting, now, really, to hear that critter pray; and he was quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched me a good sum, too, for I bought him cheap from a man that was ’obliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him. Yes, I consider religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when it’s the genuine article, and no mistake.”
“Well, Tom’s got the real article, if ever a fellow had,” rejoined the other. “Why, last fall, I let him go to Cincinnati alone, to do business for me, and bring home five hundred dollars. ‘Tom,’ says I to him, ‘I trust you, because I think you’re a Christian—I know you wouldn’t cheat.’ Tom comes back, sure enough; I knew he would. Some low fellows, they say, said to him—Tom, why don’t you make tracks for Canada?’ ’Ah, master trusted me, and I couldn’t,’—they told me about it. I am sorry to part with Tom, I must say. You ought to let him cover the whole balance of the debt; and you would, Haley, if you had any conscience.”
“Well, I’ve got just as much conscience as any man in business can afford to keep,—just a little, you know, to swear by, as ’t were,” said the trader, jocularly; “and, then, I’m ready to do anything in reason to ’blige friends; but this year, you see, is a leetle too hard on a fellow—a leetle too hard.” The trader sighed contemplatively, and poured out some more brandy.
“Well, then, Haley, how will you trade?” said Mr. Shelby, after an uneasy interval of silence.
“Well, haven’t you a boy or gal that you could throw in with Tom?”
“Hum!—none that I could well spare; to tell the truth, it’s the only hard necessity that makes me willing to sell at all. I don’t like parting with any of my hands, that’s a fact.”
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Reviews (amazon.com)
5.0 out of 5 stars
Should be required reading for all high school students
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2018
Oh, my goodness. After all these years, while chasing through some research, I finally got around to reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This fabulous book through its fascinating story examines every facet and argument about slavery. I cannot help but admire the woman Harriet Beecher Stowe as she nails it down as an author. Of course, if one purchases certain modern editions of the book with all the frontal commentary, and takes those jaded words, she could possibly feel discouraged enough to toss the book down. But! Never mind that, and neve mind the negative hype you may have heard in passing (probably from someone who didn’t even read the book). This worthy story is a heart-capturing must-read. My only regret is I didn’t read it sooner.
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK FROM AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING COMPANY. I was purchasing this book for my homeschooler and was extremely disappointed to discover small typeset and very “off” margins. This copy would be extremely difficult for anyone to read. When I realized that Uncle Tom’s Cabin was now free domain and I had mistakenly ordered a copy from an independent publisher who took no time to edit the format, I immediately returned the book. This is an AMAZING book, but purchase from a reputable publisher and not one willing to slaughter the book for a quick buck.
Considering that my great great grandmother wrote this, I give it every star available!! written well and quite informative on the times. Every one should take the time to read this book or portions of it.
Reading this book again at 77, remembering it from school days, struck me how powerful it must have been in the US when published in times of slavery. I dont think in my childhoos it was emphasised strongly enough what slavery meant, as in my country there were no African slaves like in the US. This novel read by an adult in modern times is devastating. What a genius the way the author portrayed the social situation.
Of course the book itself was great. However I purchased for a class and was disappoint that the only thing between the covers was the story. There is not table of contents, publishing information and so on. Since I had purchased this book for a class, I had to google an online version to do citations on. I wish they would have specified there was no information aside from the actual story and not even a table of contents.
I read the book to understand what it literally meant to be termed an “Uncle Tom.”
Well, let me say, it would the utmost compliment to any true Christian.
I always thought the term meant someone who turned their back on their own people. But nothing could be further from the truth.
This is a story of selflessness, integrity, hope, peace, and above all- God’s love and forgiveness.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Review of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Reviewed in Canada on July 8, 2021
It arrived earlier than expected and it was a great book.
What surprised and disappointed me was that the publisher didn’t include any of the fascinating history of the book. The fact that Abraham Lincoln when he met Harriet Beecher Stowe said something like, “So you’re the person who wrote the book that started this great war.”
And also that the author was also involved in the Underground Railroad. Information that should be made known to all readers!
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