litanalysis uncletom Essay

Submitted By mgdostalik
Words: 791
Pages: 4

Literary Analysis: Uncle Tom's Cabin Uncle Tom's Cabin written by Harriet Beecher Stowe is a powerful novel focusing on slavery. The novel's heroic protagonist, Tom, is an incredible slave who manages to retain his faith even when being beaten to death. When Mr. Shelby, Tom's owner, is forced to sell Tom, he subjects Tom to a long journey full of suffering. The novel features many different characters, from the evil master Simon Legree to the angelic Eva, daughter of one of Tom's masters. In Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe uses foils to illustrate the themes of both love and the cruelty of slavery. Young Eva St. Clair is wise beyond her years. Eva is a stong advocate against slavery in Uncle Tom's Cabin. She wholeheartedly believes that slavery is wrong. Eva's charater strikingly contrasts with that of her mother, Marie. While Eva truly loves all the slaves and wants them to be free, Marie views slaves as creatures whose sole purpose to to contribute to her comfort. At one point in the novel, Marie declares, “I know it's impossible to get along with some of these creatures. They are so bad they ought not to live. I don't feel a particle of sympathy in such cases. If they'd only behave themselves, it would not happen” (198). In comparison, Eva keenly feels the pain of the slaves. “I feel sad for our poor people; they love me dearly and they are all good and kind to me. I wish, papa, that they were all free” (235). Marie acts as a foil to Eva; her narrow-mindness emphasizes Eva's own compassion. Through comparing mother and daughter, it is clear how cruel Marie really is. Eva's compassion is even more significent in the story because of how she is raised. She is raised to believe that slaves are mere servants who are below her. The author's use of contrast helps the reader realize the inhumanity of Marie's beliefs. Additionally, since Eva is a loveable and attractive character, the concept of slavery being evil is further emphasized by the use of a positive character. Harriet Beecher Stowe again uses a foil in regard to the protagonist, Tom. When Tom is sold to the cruel Simon Legree, he faces countless trials attempting to defend his faith because Legree hates that Tom wholeheartedly trusts in God. The other slaves on Legee's plantation have long since given up hope. When Tom is praying, one of the slaves overhears him and declares, “There's no use calling on the Lord,--he never hears...all goes against us, heaven and earth. Everything is pushing us into hell. Why shouldn't we go?” (304) Legree's slaves have been pushed into wickedness. They are so hopeless and distraught that they decide they that do not care what happens to them anymore. This greatly distresses Tom who somehow manages to stay true to the Lord even in the face of death. “I will hold on to the Lord, and put his commands before all, die or live; you may be sure