Otherness In American Literature

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The concept of otherness in American literature
The concept of otherness can take numerous forms; it may be somebody who is of a dissimilar race, gender, culture, religion, class or sexual orientation as Meriem Webster-Online defines otherness as the quality or the state of being other or different. The reactions to those forms differs from a country to another taking as an example the American canon because it fits the study we are doing. In addressing this matter, writers often lean toward using binary oppositions to better highlight this theme. What makes the American Canon striking and exceptional is its rich history and diversity. Nevertheless, many writers risked alienation in writing about otherness but without their contributions on
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The idea of hierarchy is highly pointed out in the title because it reflects the low status of the black Americans. In the prologue of the novel, Stowe describes the African Americans as “an exotic race, whose ancestors, born beneath a tropic sun, brought with them, and perpetuated to their descendants, a character so essentially unlike the hard and dominant Anglo-Saxon race, as for many years to have won from it only misunderstanding and contempt” (Uncle Tom’s Cabin volume 1). Both these groups have different descriptions throughout the novel, the differences being evident in abilities, beauty, and accomplishments. This made the gap between them drastically huge. During the whole work the black race was the ignorant, submissive and inferior Other. The author builds the black characters as stereotypical others, but she portrays the light-skin characters as better both culturally and physically while blacks are downgraded to the…show more content…
One of the most famous stereotypes concerning blacks in Uncle Tom’s cabin is that of the mammy. Aunt Chloe, Dinah and Mammy are assembled as mammies, the perfect servant. The mammy stereotype is one of the most famous stereotypes about slave women in the United States. The mammy was depicted as a satisfied slave: overweight, overbearing, coarse, and asexual, with special stress on their ability to bear the labour and the suffering.
Moving on to the major stereotype among all in the book, the protagonist Uncle Tom, is pictured as having female characteristics not quite fitting the Victorian standards of the hero, the strong powerful intelligent protagonist, Uncle Tom in the novel speaks in “in a voice as tender as a woman” (Uncle Tom’s Cabin I, 151) not so much of a traditional hero clearly compelling him to a sense of domesticity that only by virtue women
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