Book Review: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

 

ImageHarriet Beecher Stowe, 1852, 411p

Literary Merit: Seven out of a possible ten Shakespeare points.

Favourite Quote: ‘the Lord gives good many things twice over; but he don’t give ye a mother but once.’ p 91

Review: A chapter of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was assigned to me as part of a history topic on the American Civil War, and I decided to read the whole book after enjoying the drama of that one chapter. I read it with an eye of how this book would have been viewed in the era, and how it would have impacted the abolition movement. During the period, there was much discussion of this work and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the emerging voice of women in politics. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is inherently political, and is an out and out condemnation of the institution of slavery.

On a more personal note, I found this work to be very easy to read – with flowing prose and an interesting plot. I disliked that we left Eliza and George for so long, but found that the conclusion to their story to be very satisfying. About half way through the novel it became clear to me that certain events were in the works, especially as HBS was obviously entwining biblical plots into her work, but when the climax came, it was still deeply touching. The religious rigmarole of the novel is quite dense and at times it alienated me from the plot, but as it is important to the story and the characters, plus an aspect of the politics and social expectations of the time, therefore it was enlightening.

Certainly an interesting read, and I am glad I tackled it. I probably wouldn’t read it again, but did enjoy the first reading immensely.

Overall Enjoyment Rating: Eight gold stars

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