By Cindy Weinstein
This better half offers clean views at the often learn vintage Uncle Tom's Cabin in addition to on issues of perennial curiosity, similar to Harriet Beecher Stowe's illustration of race, her perspective to reform, and her courting to the yankee novel. Cindy Weinstein comprehensively investigates Stowe's impression at the American literary culture and the unconventional of social swap.
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Extra resources for The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe
As she often does, Stowe guides her readers’ responses to the scene, providing a surprising surrogate in Legree: “. . ” Like a strange snatch of heavenly music, heard in the lull of a tempest, this burst of feeling made a moment’s blank pause. Legree stood aghast, and looked at Tom; and there was such a silence, that the tick of the old clock could be heard, measuring, with silent touch, the last moments of mercy and probation to that hardened heart. 20 Stowe and race It was but a moment. There was one hesitating pause, – one irresolute, relenting thrill, – and the spirit of evil came back, with seven-fold vehemence; and Legree, foaming with rage, smote his victim to the ground.
This absence may deﬁne the limits of her literary interest or invention or it may result from her sense of the representational burdens of her conspicuous role as an opponent of slavery. Uncle Tom’s Cabin and A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin concern themselves with the “peculiar institution” and Dred points toward alternatives, but in both novels readers are given only a happily-ever-after glimpse of AfricanAmerican freedom either in Canada or in the north. In the preface to A Key, Stowe tells her readers that she had planned to include a section on “the characteristics and developments of the colored race in various countries and circumstances,” but had to omit it because it would not ﬁt in her already expanded volume and would be more appropriate for separate publication (v–vi).
Clare and Ophelia refer to as social “experiment” (203, 215). St. Clare describes how he subdued a deﬁant slave named Scipio through kindness (a story which sends Eva into a ﬁt of weeping), and Ophelia, in Chapter xx, begins her test of character with Topsy. St. Clare’s experiment is one-sided and paternalistic; Ophelia’s experiment opens up and then closes down. Stowe will rethink her ideas about revolution and experiment in her next anti-slavery novel, the aptly titled Dred. A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin In the last chapter of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, acknowledging that questions about her story’s veracity had arisen during its serial publication, Stowe describes actual parallels for some of the incidents and characters.
The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe by Cindy Weinstein