Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Back to the Classics - Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published in 1852.  Stowe was an abolitionist and wrote this novel as an attempt to educate her fellow citizens of the atrocities of slavery.  Here's a quote taken from the end of the novel:
"For many years of life, the author avoided all reading upon or allusion to the subject of slavery, considering it as too painful to be inquired into, and one which advancing light and civilization would certainly live down.  But, since the legislative act of 1850, when she heard, with perfect surprise and consternation, Christian and humane people actually recommending the remanding escaped fugitives into slavery, as a duty binding on good citizens, - when she heard, on all hands, from kind, compassionate and estimable people, in the free states of the North, deliberations and discussions as to what Christian duty could be on this head, - she could only think, These men and Christians cannot know what slavery is; if they did, such a question could never be open for discussion.  And from this arose a desire to exhibit it in a living dramatic reality.  She has endeavored to show it fairly, in its best and its worst phases.  In its best aspect, she has, perhaps, been successful; but, oh! who shall say what yet remains untold in that valley and shadow of death, that lies on the other side?"

According to this website, Uncle Tom's Cabin was banned at one point because "the contextual, historically and culturally accurate depiction of the treatment of Black slaves in the United States has rankled would-be censors".

This story was very moving.  It's kind of difficult to describe my feelings about it - it wasn't a hard read necessarily, but it wasn't an easy one, either.  There were times when I didn't want to pick it up because I wanted something lighter, but when I did pick it up, I quickly became engrossed in the story again.  There were tough things to read about (nothing gruesome, though, thankfully), especially knowing that events like these really did happen.

I know some may shy away from a book about this particular topic, but I'm glad I read it and highly recommend it, especially to Christians.  Stowe was obviously a Christian - the main character is a believer and the book is full of scriptural references.  It was chocked full of faith and trust in God.  And even though the topic of the book covers a difficult subject, it was also a very uplifting read.  I read it on my kindle and highlighted quite a bit.

Highly recommend.
5/5 stars

Linked up with the Back to the Classics Challenge

1 comment:

  1. This is on my list for this year also, Angela! I just haven't gotten to it yet! SOOOOOO many book, sooooo little time! :)