Uncle Tom's Cabin Essay

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In the following excerpt, Ammons discusses the important role of Stowe's female characters as opponents of slavery.

The opening episode of Uncle Tom's Cabin introduces Stowe's argument by portraying mothers, black and white, as active opponents of slavery. The system itself, this first scene makes clear, is basically masculine: white men buy and sell black people while the white woman stands by powerless to intervene. This may not be the pattern in every case but, in Stowe's opinion, it is the model, as her prime and detailed treatment of it suggests. When the slave-holder, Mr. Shelby, gets himself into debt and decides that he must sell some property, he settles on Eliza's son, Harry, and Uncle Tom. Shelby, it is true, does not want to sell the pretty child or the kind man who raised him from a boy; but sell he does, and to a trader he...

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This section contains 1,738 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide
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Uncle Tom's Cabin from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.