Saturday, May 31, 2008

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin was and anti-slavery novel written before the Civil War. As the book opens, Kentucky farmer Arthur Shelby has been forced to sell two of his slaves because of debt.

The first, Uncle Tom, has a wife and children. He's sent to market down the Mississippi, but on the way he is befriended by a child named Eva St. Clare. After Tom saves her from drowning her father buys Tom. But circumstances eventually led Tom to be sold to Simon Legree. Simon Legree is one of the worst villains in literature. He beats his slaves, uses the women as sex slaves and fosters mistrust among the slaves. He's pure monster.

The second slave sold was a small boy named Harry. After his mother, Eliza, overhears the Shelbys discussing the sale she decides to run away with her son. She heads north to Canada in hopes of finding her husband. She finds them but by now they are being hunted by slave hunters. But the Underground Railroad is helping them along.

Uncle Tom's Cabin was a very influential book for a very short time.

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