Forgot your password?  

Introduction & Overview of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This Study Guide consists of approximately 92 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
This section contains 306 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide

Uncle Tom's Cabin Summary & Study Guide Description

Uncle Tom's Cabin Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Study and a Free Quiz on Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Introduction

When Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life among the Lowly was first published in 1852, no one-least of all its author, Harriet Beecher Stowe-expected the book to become a sensation, but this antislavery novel took the world by storm. It was to become the second best-selling book in the world during the nineteenth century, second only to the Bible, and it touched off a flurry of criticism and praise. Stowe had written the novel as an angry response to the 1850 passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, which punished those who aided runaway slaves and diminished the rights of fugitive as well as freed slaves. Hoping to move her fellow Americans to protest this law and slavery in general, Stowe attempted to portray "the institution of slavery just as it existed." Indeed, Uncle Tom's Cabin was nearly unique at the time in its presentation of the slaves' point of view.

Stowe's novel tells the stories of three slaves — Tom, Eliza, and George — who start out together in Kentucky, but whose lives take different turns. Eliza and George, who are married to each other but owned by different masters, manage to escape to free territory with their little boy, Harry. Tom is not so lucky. He is taken away from his wife and children. Tom is sold first to a kind master, Augustine St. Clare, and then to the fiendish Simon Legree, at whose hands he meets his death. Stowe relied upon images of domesticity, motherhood, and Christianity to capture her nineteenth century audience's hearts and imaginations. In spite of the critical controversy surrounding the book, the characters of Uncle Tom, Little Eva, and Simon Legree have all achieved legendary status in American culture. Often called sentimental and melodramatic, Uncle Tom's Cabin nevertheless endures as a powerful example of moral outrage over man's inhumanity to man.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 306 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide
Copyrights
Uncle Tom's Cabin from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook