Uncle Tom's Cabin is the story of the slave Tom. Devout and loyal, he is sold and sent down south, where he endures brutal treatment at the hands of the degenerate plantation owner Simon Legree. By exposing the extreme cruelties of slavery, Stowe explores society's failures and asks a profound question: “What is it to be a moral human being?” And as the novel that helped to move a nation to battle, Uncle Tom's Cabin is an essential part of the collective experience of the American people.
With an Introduction by Darryl Pinckney
and an Afterword by Jonathan Arac
Since its publication in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel has been instrumental in shaping American attitudes about slavery and race. Throughout its long publication history, this remarkable novel has been both beloved and criticized, and its impact on antebellum cultural attitudes cannot be denied.
With a diverse and memorable cast of characters, this sentimental novel depicts both the grim realities of slavery and the tremendous strength of character that can triumph over adversity. In Uncle Tom, a noble and pious slave, readers see a man whose dignity, morality, and goodness are never compromised even by the horrors of slavery. Personifying the evils of the institution of slavery is Simon Legree, a ruthless plantation owner.
This deeply affecting novel remains a cornerstone of American history.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
‘One thing is certain, - that there is a mustering among the masses, the world over; and there is a dis irae coming on, sooner or later.’
Viewed by many as fuelling the abolitionist movement of the 1850s and laying the groundwork for the Civil War, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sentimental and moral tale of slaves attempting to secure their freedom was one of the most popular books of the nineteenth century. Centred round the long-suffering Uncle Tom, a devout Christian slave who endures cruelty and abuse from his owners, Tom is often celebrated as the first black hero in American fiction who refuses to obey his white masters. With other strong protagonists such as Eliza, a courageous slave who flees to the North with her son when she learns that he is to be sold, Beecher Stowe highlighted the plight of southern slaves and the breaking up of black families. Not without its controversy, more recent criticism has suggested that the novel contributed negatively to the stereotyping of the black community.