Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin Cecilia H. C. Liu American Literature I 10/1/2004 Outline Introduction to Harriet Beecher Stowe Before the Civil War and After: History of the Slaves in the U.S. Summary of the Novel Themes and Motifs in the Novel Harriet Beecher Stowe Born in 1811 Litchfield, Connecticut. Studied at Sarah Pierce’s girls’ academy during her adolescence. Began writing short stories and got married in 1836. Harriet Beecher Stowe 1849, the death of Samuel, her baby boy, and Passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 had influenced her writing tremendously. Turned to write the culture and history of New England in her later days due to the approaching of the Civil War. Passed away in 1886. Before the Civil War ― History of the Slavery in the United States 1619 The first slaves were imported to Jamestown, Virginia from Africa The slaves were most useful in the growing of indigo, rice, and tobacco; cotton was only a side crop. Slaves were most economically viable in plantation-style agriculture. This poster depicts the horrific conditions on slave ships was influential in mobilizing public opinion against slavery in Great Britain and the United States. About the Slave Ship Capacity An estimated 15 million Africans were transported to the Americas between 1540 and 1850. To maximize their profits slave merchants carried as many slaves as was physically possible on their ships. A House of Commons committee in 1788 discovered that one slave-ship, The Brookes, was originally built to to carry 451 people, but carried 600+ slaves. Chained together by their hands and feet, the slaves had little room to move. It has been estimated that only about ½ of the slaves taken from Africa became effective workers in America, while a large number of them died on the journey from diseases such as smallpox and dysentery. Many of the slaves become crippled for life as a consequence of the way they were chained up on the ship. By the 17th century slaves could be purchased in Africa for about $25. After the slave-trade was declared illegal, prices went much higher. Even with a death-rate of 50 per cent, merchants could still make tremendous profit. History of Racism in America (2) America was a former colonial plantation society, characterized by immigration, forced or voluntary. Ex: Slavery and foreign labor & Indians banished to reservations. European immigrants protected their interests, forcing exclusion of Blacks Ex: Radicalized discrimination on the Blacks in the most disadvantaged sections of the society & the segregation in 1960s. Cruelty Peter, a slave from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1863. The scars came from the result of severe whipping by the overseer, who was subsequently discharged. It actaully takes several months to recover from the beating. The Road to the Freedom of Slaves 1787 The United States Constitution was adopted 1793 Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin 1808 The United States Constitution banned the import of slaves The First Half of the 19th Century A movement to end slavery called “abolitionism”, grew in strength throughout the U.S. A scene from Uncle Tom's Cabin, history's most famous abolitionist novel. (Uncle Tom & Simon Legree) The Road to the Freedom of Slaves 1821 1854 Missouri Compromise Kansas-Nebraska Act, which led to the opening of the battale between Kansas and Nebraska— often referred as "Bleeding Kansas". The Election of Abraham Lincoln Many in the South also wanted to see the end of slavery, but in a more measured way. The combination of these factors Led the South to secede from the Union Those remaining states refused to allow southern states to leave The American Civil War began Brief Time Line of the Civil War 1861 February 1861 -The South formed a Government. February 1861 -The South Seized Federal Forts. April 1861 -Attack on Fort Sumter. July 1861 -First Battle of Bull Run. -General McDowell Is Replaced Brief Time Line of the Civil War 1862 In January, Lincoln took Action. In April, The Battle of Shiloh broke out In August, Pope's Campaign. 1863 January 1863 -Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in the Confederate States of America. Brief Time Line of the Civil War March—The First Conscription Act June-July—The Gettysburg Campaign. November—The Battle of Chattanooga 1864 May—Grant's Wilderness Campaign. July—Confederate Troops Approach Washington, D.C. In November, Abraham Lincoln was re-elected. Brief Time Line of the Civil War 1865 January 1865 -The Fall of the Confederacy April 1865 -Surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse. April 1865 -The Assassination of President Lincoln After the War Although blacks after the Civil War enjoyed freedoms and privileges that their slave ancestors could only dream of, they faced increasing discrimination during the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Alexix de Tocquevile, a French historian, predicted that changing the law to abolish slavery would be easy compared to changing people’s minds about slavery. Over 30 years after the Civil Rights Act, there are still problems that could be traced back to the days of slavery (Newman and E. Newman Layfield, 77). History of Racism in America (3) In the 1980s, economic fortunes of the Blacks have gone to extremes, but still can’t be compared with the Whites. Blacks account for only 4% with assets of $50,000 or more. While Black income is roughly 60% of the whites, the median net worth of black households in 1988 was merely 1/10 of the whites (Small, 40-50). Racism in America-- Jobs 70% of Black men (16+ in work force), compared with 77% of White men. 15% of Black men and 30% of the white worked in professional specialties in the 1980s, while women was 19% and 26%. Unemployment: 11.8% for Black men, 4.8 White. Black labor grow to 20% in 2000, and the greatest fear is US economy become 2-tier. Racism in America– Schools Occurrences of segregation, inferior faculties & limited resources. Ex: Washington D.C., Detroit and NYC at the end of 1980s. The performance of Blacks, in schools, is relatively problematic. Situation in the 1980s In 1986, 27.5% of black school children, and 30% Hispanic school children enrolled in 25 largest central city school districts. However, only 3.3% of all whites attend these schools (Small, 54). Racism in America– Health Care 2 studies show that treatment vary with the race of patients and not the insurance coverage of the patient. Ex: Dr. Katherine L. Kahn. Or, the Veteran Administration Hospitals. Dr. Kahn. ‘s Quote Within each type of hospital, patients who were black or from poor neighborhoods got less care (Newman and Eleanor Newman Layfield, 76). Dr. Eric Peterson Dr. Eric Peterson, a cardiologist, helped to conduct the studies, suggest that evidence seems to be that the disparity in treatment points to racism as a factor when patients have the same health coverage and socioeconomic backgrounds (Newman and E. Newman Layfield, 76). Uncle Tom’s Cabin 黑奴籲天錄 Story Summary Arthur Shelby VS. Emily Shelby ︴ Mr. Haley, slave trader / Uncle Tom \ Harry, (Eliza) My George~!! Uncle Tom Leaving Home Eliza’s Escape (chased by Loker and his gang) (saved by the Quakers) Eva & Augustine St. Clare St. Clare’s cousin, Ophelia, holds prejudice against blacks. Topsy Eva’s Death Tom sold by Marie to Legree’s Plantation Simon Legree Sex Slave: Cassy Emmeline Cassy & Emmeline George Harris’s sister Canada Eliza Cassy France Liberia (American slaves) George Shelby Kentucky farm Sets all the slaves free in honour of Tom’s memory.. Themes & Motifs Geography Eliza’s Leap The Evil of Slavery The Incompatibility of Slavery & Christian Values Christ Figures The Supernatural Uncle Tom’s Cabin The Moral Power of Women Geography ․Eliza and George’s flight to freedom—escape narrative (northward) – “She had often been [ . . . ] and the Canan of liberty on the other side” 794-795 (B1677-1678). ․Uncle Tom’s fall—slavery narrative (southward) – “On the lover part of a small, mean boat, [ . . . ] you’ve got to be as I say!” B1735-1736. There is a wide gap between freedom and slavery; as well as its parallelism and contrast in the making of political points. Eliza’s Leap A symbol of the dramatic moment in leaving slavery—heading for freedom – “When horses and vehicles [ . . . ] many a half mile (794, B1678). It is legally recognized as a division between the North and South Risk and heroism is as well involved in the slave’s journey to freedom – “On this presumption, [ . . . ] she found herself both weary and hungry (795 B1678). The Evil of Slavery Fugitive Slave Act 1850 It shows the contrast of the disadvantage of slavery even in best situation – Eg. The slaves at St. Clare’s “Catch me ever buying one of St. Clare’s people! Spoilt niggers [ . . . ]” (B1732). – Eg. The slaves at Shelby’s “It is impossible [ . . . ] as she went rapidly forward (793-794 B 1676-1677). The Incompatibility of Slavery & Christian Values “The system of slavery” and “the moral code of Christianity” oppose each other Christianity rests on the principle of universal love, as shown in the example of Uncle Tom “love thine enemy.” – “Something within the silent black man answered, “No! and, as if repeated by an invisible voice, came the words of an old prophetic scroll, as Eva had often read them to him—”Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name. Thou art MINE!” (B1736) The Moral Power of Women Early feminism Strength of the one oppressed group in helping to lessen the oppression of the other – “But stronger than all was maternal love [ . . .] and string the sines like steel, so that the weak become so mighty” (793-794 B1677). The traits of the idealized womanhood include strong, brave and capable Christ Figures Sacrificial death linked to Christ’s – Eg. Eva’s death – Tom’s death The narrator depicts Tom as someone carrying his cross behind Jesus. Tom’s death leads to Emmeline and Cassy’s escape and the freedom of all slaves on the Shelby farm. Eva’s leads to St. Clare’s deathbed conversion and Ophelia’s recognition of her own prejudice towards the Blacks. The Supernatural A higher order oppose slavery – “Sublime is the dominion of the mind of the body [ . . . ] becomes so mighty” (794 B1677). Resist /fight against slavery Disturbs the practices of slavery Uncle Tom’s Cabin Suggest the audience to lead a Christian life like Uncle Tom’s Persistent reminder of the sufferings Tom experienced as a slave The cabin becomes a metaphor for Uncle Tom’s willingness to suffer and sacrifice rather than harming or betraying against Christian values or his fellow slaves. Destructive power of slavery and Christian love The Meaning of “Uncle Tom” Its term is often used to huiliate those who humiliatingly subordinates to the Whites Raises related issues of racism in the U.S. The term is also used to refer to an inspiring feminist Reveals the idea of personal tragedies caused by the system of slavery Purpose of the Novel Stowe’s purpose in writing this novel is to inspire a strong emotional reaction of righteous anger the ending of slavery The novel of Uncle Tom’s Cabin emphasizes the importance of Christian love in eliminating oppression. References Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin <http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/utc/uncletom/utchp.html>. History overview <http://www.u-s-history.com/index.html>. Uncle Tom’s Cabin <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/uncletom/context.html>. Stowe <http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/Library/special/exhibits/clastext/clsp g149.htm>. Civil War <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_the_United_ States>. References <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/tl1861.htm>. <http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/post-civilwar>. Slave Ships <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASships.htm>. Small, Stephen. Racialised Barriers. London: Routledge, 1994. Newman, Gerald and Eleanor Newman Layfield. Racism: Divided by Color. Springfield: Enslow Publishers Inc, 1995. Summary of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. <http://www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Titles/uncletom/shor tsumm.html>.