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The Narrative Drive Of Stowe S Classic Novel Is Often Overlooked In The Heat Of The Controversies Surrounding Its Anti Slavery Sentiments In Fact, It Is A Compelling Adventure Story With Richly Drawn Characters And Has Earned A Place In Both Literary And American History Stowe S Puritanical Religious Beliefs Show Up In The Novel S Final, Overarching Theme The Exploration Of The Nature Of Christianity And How Christian Theology Is Fundamentally Incompatible With Slavery I know, I know, it s a monumental artifact in American history, and the catalyst to the spread of the abolitionist movement to the masses I totally appreciate the historical and cultural significance of this book No question.But seriously, y all This book SUCKS as a piece of literature For real I just can t get past how bad the writing is the reason why I m such a voracious reader is simple I read books for aesthetic pleasure That s it I really don t give a shit about anything beyond entertainment when I read If I can be enlightened, challenged, whatever at the same time Fantastic But if your writing sucks, I frankly don t want to waste my time with your crappy ass book And Harriet Beecher Stowe exceeded my limit for melodramatic turns of phrase by page 3 Preferencing the book itself over what the book represents is an unpopular view in a literary culture obsessed with shattering the canon ironic, considering that UTC is as canonical as it gets in American literature , but that s why I m in the corporate world and not writing my disseration right now Hence, I m typing this review instead of beating my head against the keyboard while trying to make a connection between Heidegger s question of being and some random 17th century poem my committee chair discovered while on sabbatical in Bolivia I win. ONE READER S CONFUSION ABOUT WHY UNCLE TOM MEANS ANYTHING BUT HERO3.0 stars First, I am glad I have finally read this book given its historical significance and the very positive impact that it had on American history That said, from a literary perspective, I didn t find this book to be particularly well written and am doubtful of whether it would be much remembered or considered a classic but for the aforementioned historical significance and the creation of the character of Uncle Tom on that below The prose is not horrible, but neither is it exceptional It s just okay Since I assume everyone is familiar with the substance and background of the book I will not summarize it here Others have done a much bettermjob of it However, I do want to share an observation about the main character, Uncle Tom, that struck me pretty hard Prior to reading this book, if you would have asked me about the character of Uncle Tom, I would have said that he was a character portrayed as a weak willed slave who did everything he could to please his white master no matter what abuses were heaped upon him This opinion, wrong as I now think it is, would have been based in large part on the derogatory nature of the term Uncle Tom in the African American community as someone who has sold out their heritage and beliefs in order to be successful After reading the book, I don t think I can adequately express how STRONGLY I disagree with that characterization I would place Uncle Tom among the pantheon of truly HEROIC figures in American literature Granted, Tom was no Hollywood square jaw who ard up and went Braveheart on the slave holders slaughtering them by the bushel However, he was most definitely a HERO in the mold of Gandhi who NEVER ONCENEVER ONCE compromised his principals and belief in non violence and Tom CHANGED those around him both white and black for the better Tom s non violence came not from fear or cowardice, but from his deeply held Christian faith and his belief that he would rather suffer unjustly as Christ did than raise a hand to another Whether you agree with that philosophy or not, it is beyond debate that to accept hardship rather than compromise your inner compass is called INTEGRITYit s called COURAGE In one very memorable part of the book, Tom is ordered by his sadistic slave owner to whip a female slave Tom refuses and is savagely beaten Thereafter, Tom is repeatedly beaten because he continues to refuse to engage in conduct he finds reprehensible Despite this repeated abuse, Tom NEVER, NEVER backs down or compromises on his beliefs In fact, the book goes on to describe the slave owner s realization that while he may own Tom s body, he could never acquire his soul FOLKS, FOR ME, THAT IS A HERO How many people would subject themselves to that kind of abuse rather than rationalize their principals Reading that portion of the book, I was struck by the similarities between that scene and a speech given by Gandhi in the movie with Ben Kingsley which I loved While speaking to a group of South African s about the need for non violent protest Gandhi says I am paraphrasing somewhat This is a cause for which I am prepared to fight, but my friends there is no cause for which I am prepared to killHowever, fear not for we can not loseThey can beat my body, break my bones, even kill methen they will have my dead body, NOT MY OBEDIENCEI found Tom s struggle to be very similar and the character of Tom to be VERY HEROIC For that reason alone, I bumped this up to 3 stars and HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book. Wow I wish this was still required reading in schools Can you imagine a book that was credited by President Lincoln with bringing about the Civil War, and is known to have so affected the hearts of readers that it changed their opinions of slavery is hardly read in the country whose face it changed This book is one of the most moving, provocative pieces of literature I ve ever read, and it s the first time that I can recall being moved to tears from a book As long as I live, I will never be able to remove from my mind the vision of Eliza, panicked and frenzied, in the dead of the night with her baby boy in her arms, leaping across the frozen ice of the Ohio river to escape the trader her baby had been sold to And if anyone wants to read a profound and well written narrative for the view of a Black Slave, look to George s monologue on page 127 128, where he is at the Inn with Mr Wilson, disguised as a white upperclass gentlemen, and explaining to Mr Wilson how he feels about his country.I was involved in the book up to that point, but after that, this book owned me This should be required reading of every American Citizen, and it s in my top five of the most important books I have ever read For whatever the cause of the American people, it all comes down to When in the course of human events.

  • Paperback
  • 438 pages
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • English
  • 11 January 2019