Harriet Beecher Stoowe Influence

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Published in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin influenced a generation of Americans and developed their opposition to slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War. This novel aided the abolitionist in their endeavor of expelling slavery. As an activist and abolitionist, Harriet Beecher Stowe helped provoke the Civil War when she published the controversial Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s adversities, early childhood, and later adult life became muses and inspiration for her work. One word that could describe all of Stowe’s life is “subservience” (Adams 19). Since she lacked the guidance and protection from a mother, as a little girl she was forced to oblige with her father’s, Lyman Beecher, strictness
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This modern Bible- as researched by British historian David Reynolds- introduced a new religion of equality, acceptance, and love for everyone no matter skin color, age, or economic status (1). Uncle Tom’s Cabin reformed the meaning of Christian religion during a period when most modern and corrupt churches weren’t standing against slavery, and sometimes encouraged it (Reynolds 1). As revealed in avid Civil War historian, Lyle Cullen Sizer’s work, Stowe’s animosity towards slavery emerged from her belief that it was un- Christian and her duty to end it (35). Stowe grew increasingly upset with the religious’ response to the strengthening of the fugitive slave law (Sizer 35). Previously, she thought that engaging in arguments of slavery was unnecessary, however, after seeing the minister’s response she said, “‘The time is come” when all must speak, “Even a woman or child’” (qtd. in Sizer). She continued to claim that the danger and distress in America caused by participation in slavery demanded that everyone, including women use their voice and writing (Sizer 34-35). Stowe denounced the actions that contradicted Christian values and revealed through Uncle Tom the proper way to approach religion. Whites in Uncle Tom’s Cabin held their religion close to them, but ironically Uncle Tom was the only one who faithfully followed their religion by standing up for his dignity and forgiving his…show more content…
According to Barbara Hochman’s analysis on Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe knew evoking emotion from white readers would require her to humanize the blacks in her story, which is something abolitionist writers had not done (26). She knew the information in her book would not be new to the people reading the Era newspaper because fugitive slave’s stories were printed so often that people were just sympathizing instead of feeling required to do something (Hochman 26). Writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe was challenged with the task of “‘defamiliarization”: how to tell a well- known tale so as to “make it new”’ (qtd in Hochman). Stowe was determined to lure the true attention of people who were accustomed and numbed to the many slave stories (Hochman 27). Immediately following its release, Uncle Tom’s Cabin ignited the passion and sympathy of the people who only thought of slavery as a practice they had no say in. The difference between these previous abolitionist works and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was that “‘ It [previous abolitionist works] didn’t carry conviction […] that results in action”’ (qtd. in
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