Nightfalltwen's Reviews > Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
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Sep 12, 08

bookshelves: fiction
Read in September, 2008

The first exposure I ever had to this story was the musical number within the movie The King and I.

You can obviously tell that this isn't a modern book by any standards. Although the best selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book after the Bible, it is completely dated. Some say even offensive for the stereotypes that it helped to create.

I say that when you're reading a book that was published in a different era you need to take into consideration the mindset of the readers of that time. The word "nigga" appears many, many, times in this book and it's meant to be derogatory but you'll notice that none of the characters flinch at the word because it's commonplace in that century. I can imagine Harriet Beecher Stowe sitting at her desk and writing this all out and never thinking twice about the word choices she makes.

It was an interesting read. Certainly not something I would have ever picked up from a store, but we had it lying in our living room and I'd packed all my other books.

I think I would have enjoyed the story more had there been more to it. Uncle Tom's Cabin is a very action/dialogue based story and I'm not surprised because it was initially published as a serial so the chapters have almost a recap and bounce back and forth. "As you recall we left so and so..." even though I had just read that only two chapters ago. It's a little choppy in that respect. But you still have to keep in mind of when it was published. And why.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Seone I agree with you in that when considering the book, we have to be mindful of the accepted socio-political standards, language and religious beliefs of time and look beyond what may seem offensive according to our modern standards to the author's intentions.

Daniel Berger I disagree with you about the use of "nigger." Sympathetic white characters never use it; only those who are indifferent or actively hostile to black people.

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