Early American Literature

respond to ONE of the following questions related to Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe:

1. It is a common complaint that the characters of Stowes novel are stereotypes, wholly good or wholly evil, and that such characterization was deliberately used as a means of increasing the novels force as propaganda. Do all the characters appear as stereotypes?

2. History has reversed the nations idea of Uncle Tom, changing him from a compassionate, nobleeven heroicforbearing Christian into the embodiment of the submissive, groveling lickspittle. How might have changing societal values contributed to this understanding of Toms character?

3. Early in the novel, Uncle Tom refuses to escape to freedom and is sold down the river. Toms action is balanced by Elizas flight northward to freedom. Eliza has many of the qualities of the conventional heroine of the sentimental fiction of the day. Compare her with Tom.

4. Important characters (such as Legree, St. Clare) are introduced late in the novel. What does Stowe gain by that? And lose?

Please indicate the number of the question you’ve chosen at the top of the page.

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