A story with a purpose

Editors

In 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe published arguably one of the most important pieces of literature in history; Uncle Tom’s Cabin. An anti-slavery novel that was inspired by the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act which made it a criminal offense to help runaway slaves by housing them or transporting them. 

In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, we get introduced to some very well written and humane characters and some characters that resemble the absolute worst the human nature has to offer. Eliza is motivated to help keep her son from being sold to a southern trader and George is trying to get across the border so he can have a safe place for his family to come to. Uncle Tom whom we see change the lives of all the people he comes into contact with. Eva, who seems to embody the purer and innocent side of the human nature, and to me she kind of comes off as a Christ parallel in how she is always willing to see the good inside of people regardless of how they treat her. 

Mrs. Saint Clair is nearly the exact opposite of her daughter Eva. Unlike Eva Mrs. Saint Clair only seems to care for herself, she is constantly complaining about how bad off she is in way of health even when it is somethings as minor as a head ache, how her husband only cares about his own interests and doesn’t spend enough time with her, and she constantly goes on about Eva being such an “unusual” child and often neglects to spend time with her. 

The most polarizing character we meet is Simon Legree. From the moment he acquires Tom its clear that he is the worst of the people Tom has encountered on his journey. His constant degrading language toward Tom and the other slaves, the horrid living conditions he forces them to live in as well his constant abuse of his slaves really shows some of the worst sides of human nature. Even Tom who has usually been able to change the heart of the people he spends time with is unable to sway the horrid nature of Mr. Legree.