Monday, December 31, 2012

UNCLE TOM'S CABIN by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of the classics I missed reading. I’d heard of little Eva, Eliza and Topsy and thought I knew something about the characters. However, this novel was very different from what I anticipated. Since it was first published in 1852, I expected to have to trudge my way through it. That was not the case at all. This book kept my interest throughout. It’s easy to understand why it was so successful.
An early printed report says that when they first met, Abraham Lincoln said to Mrs. Stowe, “Is this the little woman who made the great war?” Certainly her portrayal of the cruel treatment of Uncle Tom, and other slaves, had a great impact on society of that era. The Civil War was horrible, but it brought about an end to slavery in America.
I recommend that everyone read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It brings home what slavery was really like to those of us who are far removed from that period. At the end of the Kindle version I read there are notes about Mrs. Stowe’s background and it says her characters were gleaned from stories of real slaves and the trials they actually faced.

Harriet Beecher Stowe
As a young woman.

It surprises me that the term, “an Uncle Tom,” is meant as a negative slur today. Her character, Uncle Tom, does obey his masters, yet when one insists he give up his Christian faith Tom is a true martyr, willing to suffer pain and death before giving in. That and other acts of courage, make Tom a character to emulate, not denigrate.
It’s my belief that history will judge today's society as a time of great cruelty and moral apathy. Since I'm currently working on a novel, Cast Me Not Away, that shines a light on the horrors of abortion, I thought it appropriate to read the book that led to an end of another horrific period in American history. I have high hopes my novel will open people's eyes as Harriet Beecher Stowe's did.
God bless America and may this country once again choose to take the high road and get off the low road we’re presently on.
—Zara Heritage

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