Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

While Uncle Tom’s Cabin is primarily an anti-slavery tract, Stowe has both good and bad things to say about the North and the South.  How and why does she portray various characters from the two regions, and what do those portrayals say about the two communities?  Do you think that Stowe sees the issue of abolitionism as one of natural human qualities or that of sinfulness and religion? Why or why not?

You are to write your essay on the topic at the bottom.  Make sure that you focus on the question and that you do not write a summary of the book.  Even more importantly, do not plagiarize from any source (the book, another student’s work, or the internet). Do not use other outside material, especially Wikipedia.  When paraphrasing or quoting, be sure to cite the book and page number using the MLA format: (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/02/).

While reviewing this material, you need to note several important ideas and issues.
•    How religion and the 2nd Great Awakening affected the abolitionist movement.
•    The historical context of Stowe’s ideas and world (Changes in early 19th century America: Westward expansion, Republican ideals, Domesticity and Family, Political changes).

Prompt: You can write your paper on either of the topics below, but do not write a paper about both.

1.    While Uncle Tom’s Cabin is primarily an anti-slavery tract, Stowe has both good and bad things to say about the North and the South.  How and why does she portray various characters from the two regions, and what do those portrayals say about the two communities?  Do you think that Stowe sees the issue of abolitionism as one of natural human qualities or that of sinfulness and religion? Why or why not?
2.    Examine the fate of different characters (black, white, and in-between).  To what extent are the slaves who escape different from those that either are unable or unwilling to escape.  Are there any symbolic or physical features that Stowe uses to differentiate between those who are “worthy” of freedom.  For those who do escape, how does Stowe get around the sticky issue of having free blacks living in the American Republic?

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