Beth's Reviews > Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
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Jan 11, 09

Read in January, 2006

Aside from the important and sensitive subject matter: Yes, the writing is sometimes overblown. Like Charles Dickens novels, Harriet Beecher Stowe wants to impart (very!) important moral lessons, prodding with scenes of heartwarming carrots and heartwrenching sticks of degradation. Stowe's literary talents don't quite match Dickens', so the overdone kitch is kind of like a Precious Moments figurine compared with a rare Meissen figurine from Dickens.

But I'm not immune, and I did sob. I loved reading Uncle Tom's Cabin and appreciated what I imagine was a fair amount of courage, conviction and candor for the time.

I also appreciated some of what I remember as Stowe's instructional, but less sentimental points. A young slave, Topsy, is at first treated with prejudice and without much respect as an incorrigible imp. But ultimately she emerges as an intelligent, valuable and trustworthy person. This illustrated - in an 1852-kind of way - how prejudice works, and how equal opportunity can change it.

I do not at all intend to downplay the bigger message of slavery, pernicious stereotypes and a broader history of racism in the U.S.
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