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Uncle Tom's Cabin

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The narrative drive of Stowe's classic novel is often overlooked in the heat of the controversies surrounding its anti-slavery sentiments. In fact, it is a compelling adventure story with richly drawn characters and has earned a place in both literary and American history. Stowe's religious beliefs show up in the novel's final, overarching theme—the exploration of the nature of Christianity and how Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with slavery.

438 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1852

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About the author

Harriet Beecher Stowe

1,458 books1,010 followers
Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe was an American author and abolitionist, whose novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) attacked the cruelty of slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential, even in Britain. It made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North. It angered and embittered the South. The impact is summed up in a commonly quoted statement apocryphally attributed to Abraham Lincoln. When he met Stowe, it is claimed that he said, "So you're the little woman that started this great war!"

Χάρριετ Μπήτσερ Στόου (Greek)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,356 reviews
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
June 26, 2011

3.0 stars. First, I am glad I have finally read this book given its historical significance and the very positive impact that it had on American history. That said, from a literary perspective, I didn't find this book to be particularly well written and am doubtful of whether it would be much remembered or considered a "classic" but for the aforementioned historical significance and the creation of the character of Uncle Tom (more on that below). The prose is not horrible, but neither is it exceptional. It's just okay.

Since I assume everyone is familiar with the substance and background of the book I will not summarize it here. Others have done a much bettermjob of it. However, I do want to share an observation about the main character, Uncle Tom, that struck me pretty hard.

Prior to reading this book, if you would have asked me about the character of Uncle Tom, I would have said that he was a character portrayed as a "weak willed" slave who did everything he could to please his white master no matter what abuses were heaped upon him. This opinion, wrong as I now think it is, would have been based in large part on the derogatory nature of the term "Uncle Tom" in the African American community as someone who has "sold out" their heritage and beliefs in order to be successful.

After reading the book, I don't think I can adequately express how STRONGLY I disagree with that characterization. I would place Uncle Tom among the pantheon of truly HEROIC figures in American literature. Granted, Tom was no Hollywood square-jaw who armored up and went Braveheart on the slave holders slaughtering them by the bushel. However, he was most definitely a HERO in the mold of "Gandhi" who NEVER ONCE...NEVER ONCE compromised his principals and belief in "non violence" and Tom CHANGED those around him (both white and black) for the better.

Tom's non violence came not from fear or cowardice, but from his deeply held Christian faith and his belief that he would rather suffer unjustly (as Christ did) than raise a hand to another. Whether you agree with that philosophy or not, it is beyond debate that to accept hardship rather than compromise your inner compass is called INTEGRITY...it's called COURAGE.

In one very memorable part of the book, Tom is ordered by his sadistic slave owner to whip a female slave. Tom refuses and is savagely beaten. Thereafter, Tom is repeatedly beaten because he continues to refuse to engage in conduct he finds reprehensible. Despite this repeated abuse, Tom NEVER, NEVER backs down or compromises on his beliefs. In fact, the book goes on to describe the slave owner's realization that while he may own Tom's body, he could never acquire his soul. FOLKS, FOR ME, THAT IS A HERO!!! How many people would subject themselves to that kind of abuse rather than rationalize their principals.

Reading that portion of the book, I was struck by the similarities between that scene and a speech given by Gandhi in the movie with Ben Kingsley (which I loved). While speaking to a group of South African's about the need for "non violent" protest Gandhi says (I am paraphrasing somewhat):
...This is a cause for which I am prepared to fight, but my friends there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill...However, fear not for we can not lose...They can beat my body, break my bones, even kill me...then they will have my dead body, NOT MY OBEDIENCE!!!...

I found Tom's struggle to be very similar and the character of Tom to be VERY HEROIC. For that reason alone, I bumped this up to 3 stars and HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book.

Profile Image for Laura.
121 reviews
August 18, 2014
Wow. I wish this was still required reading in schools. Can you imagine: a book that was credited by President Lincoln with bringing about the Civil War, and is known to have so affected the hearts of readers that it changed their opinions of slavery is hardly read in the country whose face it changed?
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 9, 2021
(Book 893 from 1001 books) - Uncle Tom’s cabin; or, life among the lowly, Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman.

Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Seminary and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings. ...

Uncle Tom's Cabin was first published as a footnote in a newspaper, and when it became a book, it sold millions of copies, not only in the United States but all over the world, and for years plays based on it, Performed on the stage of theaters around the world.

President Abraham Lincoln was told in a meeting, "So you are the little lady who caused the great war (the American Civil War)".

Because the Civil War began nine years after the book was published, some consider the publication of the novel to be the most controversial event in the history of novel writing. "This novel is one of the greatest products of the human mind," Tolstoy praised after reading the book.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «کلبه عمو توم (تم)»؛ «کلبه عمو تام»؛ نویسنده: هریت بیچر استو، انتشاراتی امیرکبیر؛ ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در دوره ی دبیرستان در یکی از سالهای دهه ی 1960میلادی، بار دوم ماه فوریه سال 1982میلادی

عنوان: کلبه عمو تم؛ نویسنده: هریت بیچر استو؛ مترجم: حسین کیهانی؛ تهران، ابراهیم رمضانی، 1315؛ در 164ص؛ موضوع داستانها ی نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 19م

عنوان: کلبه عمو تم؛ نویسنده: هریت بیچر استو؛ مترجم: منیر اصفیاء (جزنی) (مهران)؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، 1335؛ در هشت و 533ص؛ چاپ ششم سال1344؛ چاپ هشتم 1346؛ چاپ سیزدهم 1357؛

کلبه عمو تام، نخست به صورت پاورقی، در یکی از روزنامه‌ ها چاپ شد، و وقتی به صورت کتاب شد، نه تنها در «آمریکا»، بلکه در تمام کشورهای جهان نیز میلیون‌ها نسخه از آن به فروش رفت، و تا سالها نمایش‌هایی بر اساس آن، بر صحنه تئاترهای جهان اجرا شد؛ دیری نگذشت که در «آمریکا» خانم «استو»، از یکسو، به شخصیتی بسیار محبوب، و از سوی دیگر به چهره‌ ای بسیار منفور، مبدل شد؛ حتی در گرماگرم جنگ داخلی «آمریکا»، «آبراهام لینکلن» رئیس جمهور وقت «آمریکا»، در دیداری به ایشان گفتند: «پس شما همان خانم کوچکی هستید، که باعث جنگی بزرگ (جنگ داخلی آمریکا) شد»؛ به دلیل اینکه جنگ داخلی نه سال پس از انتشار کتاب آغاز شد، عده‌ ای انتشار این رمان را جنجالی‌ ترین رویداد، در تاریخ رمان‌ نویسی می‌دانند؛ «تولستوی» پس از خوانش این کتاب، در ستایش آن گفتند: «این رمان یکی از بزرگترین فرآورده‌ های ذهن بشر است.»؛ ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 17/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Tammy King Carlton.
224 reviews21 followers
September 8, 2008
This book is one of the most moving, provocative pieces of literature I've ever read, and it's the first time that I can recall being moved to tears from a book. As long as I live, I will never be able to remove from my mind the vision of Eliza, panicked and frenzied, in the dead of the night with her baby boy in her arms, leaping across the frozen ice of the Ohio river to escape the trader her baby had been sold to. And if anyone wants to read a profound and well written narrative for the view of a Black Slave, look to George's monologue on page 127-128, where he is at the Inn with Mr. Wilson, disguised as a white upperclass gentlemen, and explaining to Mr. Wilson how he feels about his country.
I was involved in the book up to that point, but after that, this book owned me. This should be required reading of every American Citizen, and it's in my top five of the most important books I have ever read. For whatever the cause of the American people, it all comes down to "When in the course of human events...".
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
August 1, 2020
Uncle Tom’s Cabin highlights the disgusting, evil, and immoral times of slavery in American history. This sentimental novel is fictional, but shares truth in what life was like for slaves and how they were treated during these dark times. It’s been said that this book helped lay the groundwork for the American Civil War.

This was a recommended read for my daughter’s American History curriculum but not a required one. I’ve always wanted to read it, and now I can say it’s one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read—both in the way it’s written and also the content. The sentence structure and word use made it hard to follow at times. Not only that, the story flips around between characters which I didn’t particularly care for. We found a narrator (Buck Schirner) that does an excellent job with the different voices which really pulls you into the novel, making the dialect easier to read.

The story follows Tom, a devout Christian slave whose owner (Mr. Shelby) has fallen into financial difficulties, having no choice but to sell Tom and other valuable slaves. Living with the Shelbys, Tom’s had many luxuries including a decent wardrobe, books, and a wife and children. He’s been treated decently and appreciates everything he has. He mourns having to leave them, and the family mourns the loss of him and the others as well. As time goes on and Tom is transferred from place to place, he meets new people, some kind and some callous.

This book isn’t just Tom’s story; there are other characters including some of the slaves who were living with Tom at the Shelby plantation who have now gone separate ways. Their stories sort of revolve around Toms. I felt for the characters and found myself on the edge of my seat at times—especially with Eliza on her journey with her young son, Harry.

There are other themes aside from slavery here including religion, righteousness, social roles of women, family, and freedom. The Christian theme is very strong which wasn’t expected. I was completely unaware that the author would connect Christianity with views on slavery.

As to how the book made me feel: it made me sick at times. The discussions between slave owners with their talk of ‘property’ and their complete disregard for humanity is hard to digest. Blacks weren’t expected to have feelings; in fact, they were expected to be tolerant throughout, come what may. These belief systems are insane. Perhaps what hit me the hardest was the nightmare of families being torn apart—for the mothers and children especially. As a mother myself, I can’t even fathom how some of the men and women during this time could stand back, so reserved, and truly believe that a person’s skin color made them less than human—not able to learn, love, or have any feelings for that matter—and then to watch these women’s children ripped away from them. The constant degradation of Blacks and the racial slurs were upsetting. For a melancholic person such as myself, I can say with certainty that this book stressed me out and made me angry. With that said, I was also uplifted and inspired by Tom’s unwavering strength and faith. It’s very thought-provoking how divided people were then, much the same as we are today. This book most definitely encourages discussion.

I’ll likely never want to read this book again, but I feel this is such an important read, and I’ll even go so far as to say that it should be required reading for upper grades regardless of the religious ideology.

Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,382 followers
August 29, 2018
It's not really this book's fault that it sucks. Harriet Beecher Stowe's heart was in the right place: she aimed to expose the evils of slavery. Abraham Lincoln is said to have called her the “little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.” That's patronizing and it didn't, but it didn't hurt either.

But it hasn't aged well. According to this book, here's

What Black People Are Like
- "The African, naturally patient, timid and unenterprising"
- "The negro is naturally more impressible to religious sentiment than the white"
- "The negro, it must be remembered, is an exotic of the most gorgeous and superb countries of this world, and he has, deep in his heart, a passion for all that is splendid, rich, and fanciful; a passion which, rudely indulged by an untrained taste, draws on them the ridicule of the colder and more correct white race."

I put more more quotes of this type in the comments below, if you're really interested.

This comes across as racist, because it totally is, and here's the thing: there were other people who wrote about slavery and did not make statements like these. Black people! Stowe's source for Uncle Tom himself, in fact, is Josiah Henson, whose real-life story you can read for free instead of this.

I know things were different back then, but I also don't think we need to over-complicate our historical relativism. If someone were to ask me what I'm reading and I were to feel compelled to explain myself - "I know it's racist, I'm not reading it because I like it..." then my conversation with the book as literature is condescending, and it's outlived its usefulness, and that's okay. It's okay if it did some good once and it's run out of good now. It's okay if it goes out of style. We don't have to, like, burn all the copies. But I do feel like when we have the opportunity to hear about oppression from the oppressed themselves, then that's better.

(It's true that slave narratives were written for white audiences, with specific goals and formulae, and often dictated to white ghost writers, so this isn't totally straight-forward. But slave narratives are anyway more authentic than Uncle Tom, I guess.)

Anyway, back to the actual book: Uncle Tom is frankly an Uncle Tom, but to Stowe's credit she also supplies lots of other perspectives. George and his Quaker allies have a "By any means necessary" approach to slavery, and Stowe goes out of her way to get us to root for their violent tactics. I wasn't expecting that, and I dug it.

Overall, the book is badly sentimental. Y'know, it's easy to make you have feels by describing, like, a woman whose children are stolen from her and then she gets raped. You don't have to be a good writer to make a scenario like that powerful. Stowe is an okay writer, but she pours on the pathos; she can't shut up about "isn't this awful?!" and I didn't really need it underlined. There are a couple people here who take like fifty pages to finish giving deathbed speeches about Jesus and you're like good lord, this makes Dickens seem aloof. It's annoying.

So look, this might be of interest to someone researching how white abolitionists felt back in the day; but it's not particularly good literature, and its ideas are woeful, and that doesn't leave much.
Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
March 25, 2018
"Talk of the abuses of slavery! Humbug! The thing itself is the essence of all abuse!"

I remembered this quote from Uncle Tom's Cabin all of a sudden when I accidentally paraphrased it in a discussion on gun control at school. Some issues can't be solved by half-measures. They have to be abolished.

There are books that shape who you are. I remember when I first read Uncle Tom's Cabin as a young girl. Before that, I had only a vague idea of slavery in America as a historical phase, something I imagined as an evil that was no more. With this novel, I entered the world of rage. Literature has the power to engage where statistics leave you cold, it has the power to make you feel what other people feel, and to see what abstract terms mean in real, everyday life.

Decades later, teaching slave trade and abolitionist movements in Humanities classes, I still felt the anger, the sorrow, the shame. And I realised that literature does that to you - it gives you a social conscience if you are brave enough to compare notes and check your privileges.

The horrors of white supremacy can hardly be better told than in this tale of love and suffering and rage, so shocking to read as a young adult, and yet so necessary. I shudder when I think of our current political climate of hostility and intolerance towards any human beings that are distinctly different from our own tribe. And I feel both rage and sorrow as I know there are far too few adolescents today who are willing to put in the time and effort to read about historical brutality and injustice. I shudder when I think that Anne Frank's diary is considered boring by my students, too slow and lacking "action" (read: violence). Where are we heading if we don't listen to the literary voices of those who experienced past horrors? Where are we headed if we let profit and individual advantage stand above ethical behaviour and compassionate humanity? Where are we headed if we don't think our rights apply to others as well?

Make people desperate, and they won't be afraid to fight. Take away too much and they have nothing to lose, and nothing to fear. When it comes to human rights, there can be no grey zones, there can be no two class system, no discrimination. There can be no exemptions. We are all equally entitled to a life in freedom and dignity. Wherever we do not guarantee that, there will be rage. Beware of the signs in mainstream society:

"The country is almost ruined with pious white people: such pious politicians as we have just before elections, such pious goings on in all departments of church and state, that a fellow does not know who'll cheat him next."

Let's not be cheated. Let's look through the pious surface and see the egocentric hypocrites in their entitlement for what they are - instigators of violence. Let's do what is right by humankind rather than what is personally enriching or convenient.

Uncle Tom's Cabin taught me that. And I have been in a reading rage ever since!
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,573 followers
September 12, 2017
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Uncle Tom's Cabin, written in 1852 by Harriet Beecher Stowe. For some reason, we didn't read this book in high school; possibly an excerpt or two was thrown in front of us, but I honestly don't really remember reading it until freshman year of college. Prior to reading it, the silly and uneducated man I was thought Ms. Stowe was an African-American telling the story about slavery in America, not all that different from The Underground Railroad stories. Please forgive me, as I had difficulty reading books that showed the harsh slices of life and cruelties people suffered. It just doesn't cross my mind that I could ever treat someone differently because of what they look like or where they came from... and the immature part of me avoided reading about those who did. But it's important to read these types of books as sometimes it is the only way to open another's eyes.

Then it was listed on our syllabus to read in our spring semester for an English course. And I dove in since it was required. As I got into it, I realized how great the book actually was. And you know what, that's not the story at all. Ms. Stowe came from a Puritanical and religious family. She was an abolitionist. She wanted to fix the situation. And this book was one way she attempted to do so, by showing how any Christian could not believe in slavery. Though some of her ideas were a little too vague, and at times, she may even cross the line by doing a few of the things she tells people not to do.... the book really shines a necessary light on what people were thinking at the time. I feel like we might need to read this book again as a country... to figure out what the hell we're doing going back 150 years in time. But I don't get political, so enough of that.

With this book, you need to have some understanding of society, religion and culture in America's history. I wouldn't take it on without have a decent background in knowing how things came together from 1776 to 1856. Those 80 years were very strong but also very disparate... two countries were forming, not one in America. Having some knowledge of Puritan life is helpful too. Perhaps reading The Scarlet Letter first might give you some background. Everyone needs to read this book just to see what was going on in some folks' minds at this time. It may not change your views on the entire situation, but it will give you more to think about when it comes to religion's place in government, society and daily life. And I mean that as a philosophical and sociological discussion, not placing blame or positives and negatives on different groups of people. It's just the kind of book to get you talking about something which needed to be radically changed and fixed.

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For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
Profile Image for Jayne Cravens.
Author 1 book4 followers
December 5, 2008
The main character of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and at least one of the minor characters, are frequently mocked by modern black activists, rappers and comedians. Therefore, when I began reading this novel, originally published in 1852, I was expecting a woefully-outdated story with painful, outrageous stereotypes and archaic language, and had prepared myself for a real struggle to navigate through it in order to see how this book mobilized people in the USA against slavery.

The story, its delivery and its characters turned out to be nothing like they have been portrayed to me over the years. Nothing. And more importantly, it is still a powerful call for justice and equality more than 150 years later.

It was a difficult read at first, but after the first 100 pages or so, I was hooked.

Harriet Beecher Stowe paints Tom not as subservient to white men -- or any men -- but as absolutely defiant, a man who serves only one master: Jesus Christ. Uncle Tom's defiance is in stark contrast to everything I've ever heard about him. Stowe never, ever implies in any way that slaves should work only to please their earth-bound masters and never pursue freedom or personal dignity -- contrary to what I've always heard. In addition to Tom, there's George, a representation of the intelligence and potential Stowe obviously felt every African American was capable. Stowe wasn't saying that Tom's way of defiance -- and his not pursuing escape -- was a better path than George's, who risks everything to escape with his family to Canada. Instead, she presents the myriad of ways people -- HUMANS -- react to and survive enslavement. Topsy isn't presented as I thought she would be -- a silly comic relief -- but as a girl who has never known anything but pain from and the contempt of others, and becomes whole only when she's offered full, unconditional love. There are NO one-dimensional portraits in the book -- the characters, white and black, portray a massive variety of values, philosophies, and thoughts of the time.

I was struck not only by how full, rich and diverse the characters were, but also, Stowe's condemnation not only of slavery itself, but of the North, for not wanting freed blacks to live among them, to work in their homes or live in their neighborhoods or attend their schools. She also condemns merciful slave owners, painting them just as bad as ruthless Is the book racist? By today's standards, yes, but no more than it's also sexist. It's dated, no question: the author will very occassionally say something about blacks -- or women -- that make me cringe. The slaves and freed men presented in the book are no more benign, lazy or lacking in values than most of the white people portrayed. But I challenge anyone who has READ the book to say that the stereotypes engrained into our psyche by various contemporary commentators were ever envisioned by the author. After reading the entry about the book on Wikipedia, I've surmised that the stereotypes we hear about regarding the story are actually from the widely-seen and woefully inaccurate dramatizations of the book. And her text drips with a sarcasm, often addressed directly to the reader, that is jarring at times -- this woman hated slavery with every molecule of her body, and she presents, and skewers, every argument of the time in support of it.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
December 9, 2018
I’m going to keep this one very short and relatively sweet.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a wonderfully forward-thinking book full of optimism, hope and one that captures the simple and honest nature that comes with a genuine hero who is faced with tyranny. It’s a monumentally important book, historically speaking this is one of the most influential pieces of literature ever written. It worked towards humbling a racist white culture and helped bring an end to slavery in America, and it comes with a compelling story and a very strong character.

It’s great reading material, though sometimes hindered by its clunky dialogue and Dickensian descriptions. Not something to be missed even if the prose is a little choppy at times.
Profile Image for Maede.
274 reviews396 followers
January 28, 2021

اولین کتاب پرفروش تاریخ

کلبه عمو تام پر فروش ترین کتاب قرن نوزدهم بعد از انجیل بود. چاپخانه ها با وجود تکثیر شبانه روزی از پس تامین نیاز برای این کتاب بر نمی آمدند. هریت بیچر استو از فعالان اجتماعی برای برانداختن بردگی بود که در ایالات آزاد شمالی زندگی می کرد و با نوشتن این کتاب، زنجیره ای از اتفاقات رو به وجود آورد که شاید خودش هرگز پیش‌بینی نمی کرد. داستان دراماتیک کتاب که برده داری و زجرهای بردگان رو شرح میده، به شدت در برانگیختن احساسات موفقه و همین مسئله باعث اهمیت این کتاب در زمان خودش می��ه

!روی تو رو کم می کنیم

فقط در سال اول بعد از انتشار این کتاب، دوازده کتاب از طرف نویسندگان طرفدار برده داری برای خنثی کردن اثرات این کتاب چاپ میشه که بازهم نشون دهنده ترس از تاثیر عمیق این کتابه

سفید ظالم، سیاه مظلوم

نه، برخلاف تصور غالب از این کتاب، داستان در مورد برده داران بی رحم و سیاهان بیچاره نیست. استو سه ارباب سفید با خصوصیات کاملا متفاوت رو توصیف می کنه که یکی خوب و دلرحم، دیگری خودش به نحوی مخالف برده داری و آخری یک فرد سنگدل و بی دینه. بردگان سیاه کتاب هم گاهی دین دار و با شرافت و گاهی هم نفرت انگیز هستند

چی بود، چی شد

استو برای زیر سوال بردن تفکر برده داری شخصیت تام رو خلق کرده که برده ای دین دار و وفادار با شخصیتی عیسی گونه است که زجرهای بردگی رو در سکوت به دوش می کشه. معروفیت کتاب باعث شد که تعداد زیادی نمایش و سال ها بعد نسخه های سینمایی با اقتباس از این داستان ساخته بشه. مشکل از جایی شروع شد که شخصیت تام در این نمایش ها، پیرمردی ضعیف، گاهی سرخوش و به شدت مطیع نشان داده شد و در واقع باورهای نژادپرستی به اجراهای کلبه عمو تام رسوخ کرد
عمو تام هریت بیچر استو بهترین کاراکتر به نمایندگی تمام بردگان سیاه نبود، ولی حداقل شخصیتی جوان، قوی و قهرمان گونه بود که تصمیماتش تحت تاثیر ایمان محکمش بود

!تو یک عمو تامی

کلمه "عمو تام" الان یک فحشه و توهینه. یک قرن و نیم بعد از انتشار این کتاب، کلبه عمو تام استریوتایپ هایی در مورد سیاهپوستان ایجاد کرد که حتی تا به امروز هم از بین نرفته و مورد تنفر افریکن امریکن هاست. عمو تام الان به سیاه پوستی گفته میشه که وفادار و مطیع سفیدپوستان هست یا برای منافع شخصی خودش، سیاهان دیگر رو قربانی می کنه. البته این استریوتایپ های مشکل ساز فقط در مورد شخصیت تام نیست و در مورد کاراکتر های دیگری هم مثل "ممی" و "ایوا کوچولو" اتفاق افتاده
در مجموع هرچند تاثیر این کتاب در زمان خودش انقلابی و بی نظیر بود، در امتحان گذر زمان شکست خورد، چون در خودش با وجود همه ی روایت های ضد برده داری، کلیشه های نژادپرستی رو پنهان کرده بود

پس باید خواندش؟

صد در صد! این داستان مهمه، زیباست و یک کلاسیک واقعیه که سرشار از نکته های جالبه. ولی در عین حال باید این روی سکه رو هم در نظر داشت. من نسخه صوتیش که در آدیبل مجانی شده رو گوش کردم که اجرای بی نظیری داشت و خواندنش رو خیلی برام راحت تر کرد

:یکی از بهترین مقاله هایی که در موردش پیدا کردم
The Tom Caricature

Profile Image for Amira Mahmoud.
618 reviews8,198 followers
March 16, 2017
قراء الروايات دومًا ما يجدون أنفسهم في زاوية يضطرون من خلالها الدفاع دومًا عن تلك الرغبة والعادة في قراءتها والاستمتاع بها، ورغم أن التفضيل الشخصي وضرورة الاختيار بحرية والمتعة التي يحصل عليها الفرد من قراءة الرواية هي جميعها أسباب لا تمنع قراء الكُتب من النظر بازدراء لقراء الروايات (أو حتى من تندمج قراءاتهم بين الروايات والكُتب مثليّ) فإن السبب الرئيسي والأقوى في رأيي هو ما تحدثه الرواية من أثر في نفس القارئ حتى وإن لم تكن رواية جيدة بالإجماع فيكفي أنها أثرت في حياة ووعي قارئ ما وفي نظرته للأشياء من حوله وهذا هو الفارق بين قراءة رواية وقراءة كتاب في علم النفس أو علم الاجتماع فبدلاً من أن تصل الفكرة بأكاديمية في شكل معلوماتي صرف تصل بإنسانية أكبر ترسخها داخل نفس قارئها بشكل أعمق.

وإذا أخذنا في الاعتبار حقيقة أن مثل هذه الرواية أثرت لا في فرد/قارئ واحد فقط بل في حياة فئة ما، وأن هذه الفئة هي فئة أقلية مضطهدة تعيش في مكانة أقل من مكانة الحيوانات حينها تصبح هذه الرواية هي أحدى أهم الأمثلة التي يجب أن نذكرها حين يحاول أحدهم التقليل من الشأن الرواية (والأدب بشكل عام) والأثر الذي يمكن له أن يحدثه في حياة البشر

بعض الأعمال تكون عصية على النقد والتقييم من الناحية التاريخية، من الصدى الذي تتركه في بيئتها أثناء صدورها وإذا أخذنا في الاعتبار حقيقة أن مثل هذه الرواية -والتي يجب أن ألح على أن كاتبتها امرأة- أقول أنها كانت سببًا في قيام الحرب الأهلية الأمريكية وتحرير العبيد حينها يُصبح مثل هذا العمل عصيّ على النقد نهايًا هذا فضلاً عن أنه لا يجب أن يخضع للتقييم، لكنني بدأتها كقارئ من مكان مختلف وبيئة مختلفة بل وزمان آخر تمامًا وعامل الزمن خاصة هو أحد أهم الأسباب التي تجعلني رغم احترامي لكثير من الكُتاب وقضيتهم وتأثير أعمالهم حين اقرأها أتعرض لها بالنقد وإذا حكمت على هذه الرواية من الناحية الأدبية سأقول أنها ضعيفة نوعًا ما

على الرغم من كثرة القصص التي تصف مأساة العبيد؛ بيعهم وشرائهم وكأنهم قطع أثاث، فصلهم عن ذويهم وكأنهم حيوانات بلا شعور بآلالام الفقد إلا أن تلك الكثرة لم تساهم في إيصال المأساة إلى نفس القارئ بشكل أعمق على العكس كنت أشعر أن القصص مفككة وأن الرابط بينهم ضعيف للغاية لا سيما حين ابتدأت القصة بحياة شخصين ثم انحرفت للتحدث عن أشخاص آخرين لتربطهم جميعًا بنهاية مفاجئة أشبه بنهايات الأفلام العربية السعيدة ولمّ الشمل، هنا شعرت أن الحبكة أيضًا ضعيفة وأن ما اقرأه هو شذرات لمخطوطة روائية ليس إلا.

رغم كل شيء، تبقى أهمية العمل ويبقى الأثر

Profile Image for Beverly.
805 reviews291 followers
December 17, 2017
Entertainment Weekly has an interview they do in which they ask famous authors, in this case Ursula K. le Guin, several questions in a one page format about who their favorite writers are, etc. In this article, le Guin said that she liked to reread Uncle Tom's Cabin. She said many are astonished at this preference and act as if she was extolling a racist screed. Having never read it and liking Ursula K. le Guin, I decided to try it. A polemic on the heinous, Uncle Tom's Cabinet is written in such a matter-of-fact way that it ascends to greatness.

I almost felt like I was reading an adventure story and couldn't wait until I found out what happened to Eva, St. Clare, George and Eliza, Cassie and Emelline and of course Uncle Tom. Harriet Beecher Stowe took real incidents and added them to the story for verisimilitude. It also reminded me of my beloved dystopian novels. In many of these, horrible things have become common place, such as children fighting to compete for food. I couldn't fathom that we in the U.S. used to sell people and own them and torture and kill them or have sex with them as we saw fit. The only reason I would not give it 5 stars is because of the extreme goodness of Uncle Tom in the midst of troubles that would destroy, even Job.
Profile Image for Corinne.
68 reviews185 followers
February 20, 2018
For me, the story is a sharp contrast between freedom obtained by George, Eliza, and their children in Canada versus what happens to Uncle Tom in bondage, i.e, his painful death, but in dignity. The two parallel stories increase the beauties of each other, enhanced further by Aunt Chloe's desperate efforts to save Tom till the end, and by the poetic justice delivered to the brutal slave owner at the end.

Add to that Stowe's understanding the heart of a mother: the more defective the child is, the more the mother loves. It's so true!

Via the vivid details surrounding separation of families imposed by slavery, also contrasted by acts of bravery from some whites along the way, Stowe has powerfully painted their depths of faith, without appearing preachy. And the sharp opposition between St Clare and his wife (Marie)! I can see such a snobbish, lazy, fastidious 'malade imaginaire' like Marie right here in France, even today. The death of Little Eva is a real heartbreaker, though.

I shall return to read this novel more than once.
Profile Image for Arianne Thompson.
Author 4 books106 followers
May 5, 2012
I think the saddest thing about this book is that everybody remembers Uncle Tom, even if only as a particularly ugly byword, but nobody remembers George Harris.

"I am George Harris. A Mr. Harris, of Kentucky, did call me his property. But now I'm a free man, standing on God's free soil; and my wife and my child I claim as mine... You can come up, if you like, but the first one of you that comes within the range of our bullets is a dead man."

He is a hell of a character, and one of the few here that could exit the pages of this book and stand his own ground in the pages of another one.

That's the difficulty with Uncle Tom's Cabin, at least for me: if you judge it by our modern sensibilities about what a novel should be and do, it doesn't hold up at all. The characters are mostly one- or two-dimensional figures, often exaggerated past all believability, who are sketched out to serve an obvious purpose. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote every page of this book to rail against slavery, and although she skewers her subject from a hundred different ways and angles, that is really her only aim. For us in the 21st century, for whom slavery has melted away from all but the darkest corners of the world, this is pretty much preaching to the choir.

Let me tell you why it's still an amazing book.

You might know that it was written in 1852 - a time in which the issue of slavery was boiling over in Congress and at dinner tables across the nation, but still almost ten years before the breakup of the United States and the start of the Civil War. In 2012, it is still FRIGHTENING to read this book, to listen to the author decry slavery by every means imaginable - from sarcastic narrative whispers to naked, screaming invective - and to almost hear the desperation in her voice as she throws herself bodily against this massive, monstrous evil, which for her has no imaginable end. In the last pages, she talks with faint hope about Liberia, where she imagines American slaves could go to construct a nation of their own, but that's it. At the time when she put pen to paper, this author went to bed at night and rose in the morning knowing that human beings were still suffering and dying by the millions. 160 years later, we've long since ended slavery in America, but that fear and anger and almost-hopeless despair is still fresh on the page.

So I guess what I'm saying is, absolutely do read this book - and when you do, read it less for the plot and more for the real, non-fiction people who inspired it.

And also for George Harris, 19th-century action hero.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
August 20, 2012
I decided to pick this 1852 book up because this was said to be the inspiration of our national hero, José Rizal (1861-1896) for writing his masterpiece novel, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) (published in 1887). I thought I would like to compare this with Noli to see how original or unoriginal Rizal was.

My verdict: Noli and Uncle Tom's Cabin are totally different from each other except for one thing and that is the lowly's fight for freedom from slavery. Lowly in Noli are the indios or native Filipinos. Lowly in Uncle Tom's Cabin are the black African slaves.

The story is about Uncle Tom who is a principled and dutiful slave, a husband to Aunt Chloe. At the start of the story, his cabin, when he was still with the Shelby's, was where the black slaves gathered to pray and sing songs of praise to the Good Lord. Some say that this book is just a big glorified religious propaganda and the characters are nothing but caricatures. I do not agree to both of these. Maybe because I just read Noli and I was able to relate the sufferings of the illiterate Filipinos with the black pre-Civil War slaves as they only have God to cling unto in their desperation to have freedom.

Many of the characters cannot be caricatures because they practically leaped out from the pages to my brain while reading. Some of them transformed in the course of the novel particularly Ophelia who is an abolitionist but secretly despises the blacks. I think most of us can relate to her character because it is sometimes easy to say that we condone discrimination but deep inside we harbor prejudices against a certain race, religion, gender, age and even sexual preference. It is only when Ophelia is asked by St. Claire to take care of Topsy that Ophelia develops a caring attitude towards blacks. With her character, Stowe made us all realize that sometimes, unknowingly, we harbor some bias against some people and it is only when we reach out to them that we get to have a good appreciation of who they are.

The book is surprisingly quite easy to read. There are many poignant scenes but the ones that got permanently etched in my mind are: first, the scene when Eliza and her small son are crossing the river and the son who is hungry, thirsty and sleepy keeps himself awake because he fears that his momma will give him to a man if he falls asleep. The scene is short but I had to pause and close the book because I was so sad; and second, the scene when the wicked sex-maniac slaveowner Leglee is asking Uncle Tom to whip another black slave. Tom refuses. Insulted, Leglee whips Tom until Tom is almost dead. This scene broke my heart that I have to stop reading this book in a day or two because it was too sad I had to start reading Dag Hammarskjold and ask where was God when the black African slaves were treated as commodities in America. Truly a sad phase in that great nation's history.

Now I understand how our national hero Jose Rizal was moved by this novel that he decided to sit down and write his own novel. Our Rizal wrote about the sad flight of his own people. If Harriet Beecher Stowe was this little woman who started the Civil War, Jose Rizal (5'2") as this little man who started the Philippine Revolution in 1896 against the Spanish colonizers.

Two short people. But two great tall books. Books that launched and propelled races to take arms and fight for what they believed was right.

Bravo to all the shorties of this world!
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews780 followers
May 11, 2016
I jist done readin thar book, why, Mas’r, it don’t make no sense to me. Why a man get treated like a dog by another man and the law is all right with that? I knoe it dont mean nuthin now we is all civilased with iPads and lor knows what, but whar was it ever OK?

Slave narratives are morbidly fascinating to me, it amazes me that slavery was ever “a thing” in civilized countries.

Uncle Tom's Cabin tells the story of a faithful, kind and extremely pious “Uncle Tom” and several characters associated with him. At the beginning of the book, Tom is one of the more fortunate slaves working for the very kind Shelby family who treat their slaves as human beings. Unfortunately, the head of the family, Arthur Shelby, is considerably less kind than his wife and son and one day decides to sell Tom, Eliza (a pretty slave girl), and Eliza’s young son Harry, to a slave trader. Eliza makes a run for it, taking her son with her, but Tom—incredibly pious man that he is—stays put and meekly goes with the slave trader. During his voyage with the slave trader down the Mississippi River Tom lucks out again and meets Augustine St. Clare, a very kind man traveling with his angelic little daughter Eva. Augustine buys Tom and takes him to his home in New Orleans where Tom lives happily for a couple of years, and is promised his freedom by Augustine. Before the emancipation could happen, however, Tom’s luck runs out. Augustine dies and Tom is sold again—in an auction—by the nasty Mrs. Marie St. Clare. This time, he is bought by the irredeemably evil plantation owner named Simon Legree, leading to the most harrowing part of the book.

Besides being fascinating Uncle Tom's Cabin is also harrowing, disturbing and heartbreaking. This is one of the most historically significant slave narratives ever, it played a major part in helping to bring about the abolition of slavery in the US. It reminds me of the TV adaptation of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the more recent film adaptation of Twelve Years a Slave. I have not read either of these books, though I found the TV series and the film very moving. The only other slave narrative I have read is Octavia Butler’s beautiful, harrowing and heartbreaking novel Kindred. What these narratives have in common is the shocking portrayal of an era when people are so unenlightened as to treat fellow human beings as mere tools; buying and selling them like animals, splitting up families, in order to sell the individual members as separate items. The slave traders put a price tag on the slaves on the basis of their physical attributes. One thought kept occurring to me, “why was this ever OK?”. OK, in the sense of "sanctioned by law", with certificates of "ownership" and everything, so the people can legitimately own what they could not possibly own; human beings are "unownable".

The book is not wall to wall “man’s inhumanity to man” however, Harriet Beecher Stowe put in some lighter moments to balance the grimness of the story. Still, the lighter moments are overwhelmed by the tragic lives of the enslaved characters. Besides being a slave narrative Uncle Tom's Cabin also clearly belongs to the Christian fiction genre. Any atheist reading this book to find out more about slavery in the nineteenth century America is likely to be put off by the Christian piety which underpins just about every page of the book. There are even scenes which verges on the miraculous or divine intervention. The book’s religiosity doesn’t bother me at all but I think it is fair warning for potential readers looking for a more secular narrative. The characters are very vividly drawn but the eponymous Tom, and the spooky little girl, Eva St. Clare, are too Christ-like to be entirely believable.

In any case Uncle Tom's Cabin, as a novel, is very readable, there is not a dull moment and Harriet Beecher Stowe knew what buttons to push to connect with the readers on an emotional level. However, the novel is literally “preachy” in many places—not to mention sentimental and melodramatic. If you are OK with all that then the book is highly recommended.

Audiobook credit: Free Librivox audiobook of Uncle Tom's Cabin, brilliantly read by Mr. John Greenman. Thank you!

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is, in some ways, a slave narrative, and as it is a Mark Twain book you don't have to worry about overwhelming piety!

• For some reason, the name “Uncle Tom” has become a derogatory term to suggest “a subservient fool who bows down to the white man”. This is not how Tom is portrayed in the novel at all, he meekly accepts abuses aimed at himself, but draws the line at being ordered to abuse other slaves. (Thanks for the tip Kevin!)

• There is a pro-slavery genre called Anti-Tom literature written by authors in response to Harriet Beecher Stowe's book. According to Wikipedia there are more than twenty books of this kind, they generally portray slavery as beneficial for the African Americans who will come a cropper without the white man's supervision. I don't know what these authors are smoking but I don't want any!


“These critters ain't like white folks, you know; they gets over things, only manage right. Now, they say," said Haley, assuming a candid and confidential air, "that this kind o' trade is hardening to the feelings; but I never found it so. Fact is, I never could do things up the way some fellers manage the business. I've seen 'em as would pull a woman's child out of her arms, and set him up to sell, and she screechin' like mad all the time;—very bad policy—damages the article—makes 'em quite unfit for service sometimes.”

“He was possessed of a handsome person and pleasing manners, and was a general favorite in the factory. Nevertheless, as this young man was in the eye of the law not a man, but a thing, all these superior qualifications were subject to the control of a vulgar, narrow-minded, tyrannical master. ”

“That is to say, the Lord made 'em men, and it's a hard squeeze gettin 'em down into beasts”

“For, sir, he was a man,—and you are but another man. And, woman, though dressed in silk and jewels, you are but a woman, and, in life's great straits and mighty griefs, ye feel but one sorrow!”

“I defy anybody on earth to read our slave-code, as it stands in our law-books, and make anything else of it. Talk of the abuses of slavery! Humbug! The thing itself is the essence of all abuse! And the only reason why the land don't sink under it, like Sodom and Gomorrah, is because it is used in a way infinitely better than it is. For pity's sake, for shame's sake, because we are men born of women, and not savage beasts, many of us do not, and dare not,—we would scorn to use the full power which our savage laws put into our hands. And he who goes the furthest, and does the worst, only uses within limits the power that the law gives him.”

“Why, because my brother Quashy is ignorant and weak, and I am intelligent and strong,—because I know how, and can do it,—therefore, I may steal all he has, keep it, and give him only such and so much as suits my fancy. Whatever is too hard, too dirty, too disagreeable, for me, I may set Quashy to doing. Because I don't like work, Quashy shall work. Because the sun burns me, Quashy shall stay in the sun. Quashy shall earn the money, and I will spend it. Quashy shall lie down in every puddle, that I may walk over dry-shod. Quashy shall do my will, and not his, all the days of his mortal life, and have such chance of getting to heaven, at last, as I find convenient.”
Profile Image for Marie.
Author 61 books88 followers
March 29, 2009
Wow. An important book, surely, historically, and I found the forward more interesting than most as it argued about the book's place in American Literature. (Though, sadly, like most academic forwards, rife with spoilers. Lady! I'm reading this for the first time, don't tell me who dies and who gets married and who goes to Africa!)

Stowe's strength is in her more merry passages, particularly when she can put her bible down for five seconds and turn a wry, Twain-like eye on popular culture. Sadly, these passages are too few and far between, drowning under gallons of preaching and an over-sentimentalized series of accounts that rob the actions of their innate horror. She did her homework, and the accounts of atrocities of slavery jive with those I've read in Frederick Douglas' autobiography, but I would recommend Douglas' work over hers twenty-to-one. It is more compassionate, more rooted in reality, and lest damn preachy.

Also, there are a few very very offensive passages that just made me gasp and want to look away...
Profile Image for Jessaka.
888 reviews121 followers
December 6, 2021
This was my second reading of this marvelous book. It could have received the Pulitzer Prize. I can understand why it helped bring an end to slavery. I suppose not every American knew what was going on in the South until this book was published. Common sense tells you that slavery is not humane. Often I heard that they were treated like animals, as if animals should have been abused.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,457 reviews8,563 followers
October 10, 2015
This book launched the Civil War, and at what cost? In her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe writes about the plight of enslaved individuals, and she relies on religion to advance her argument that slavery should not exist. The characters often appear as nothing more than archetypes. Stowe's writing comes across as propaganda more times than not. And yet the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin itself possesses an undeniable power, a strength fueled by outright sentimentalism and moralist rhetoric.

I wrote about ten pages of analysis of this book for my Social Protest Literature class. During that time I could not help but compare it to the Dove Real Beauty campaign. Dove promotes body positivity, and at the same it over-emphasizes the role of beauty and discounts a lot of diversity. Stowe opposes slavery, and she also includes sentiments of romantic racism and overt Christian bias in her book. If you read Uncle Tom's Cabin, I would recommend approaching it from a critical lens; it did a lot to progress racial equality, while still enforcing a slew of problematic ideas we still see in today's discussions of race.

Overall, an important book in our nation's history and one I would encourage people to read if they possess an interest in the institution of slavery or social protest literature in general. Not the most eloquent book ever written, but revolution does not always require a lot of eloquence, as evidenced by this story and many others.
Profile Image for Vahid.
296 reviews18 followers
December 7, 2019
نوشته‌ای بسیار شورانگیز و با احساس، از سر دردمندی و مسئولیت، اثر بی بدیل خانم هریت بیچر استو که در محکومیت برده داری نوشته‌اند و علی‌رغم اینکه ظاهرا برده‌داری برافتاده اما در دنیای امروز که برده‌داری مدرن به قوت خودش باقیست کتاب ایشون، به جرات می‌توان گفت که یکی از ماندگارترین کتاب‌ها در تاریخ خواهد بود.
Profile Image for Antoinette.
753 reviews39 followers
September 11, 2020
This is certainly a timely book that looks back on slavery in the 1850’s.
This is the kind of book that makes me shake my head at humanity. The way “Negroes” are thought of and treated is repulsive. So often I was brought to either tears or anger as I read.
Yes, for sure, the author depicts the good”white” people as well as the bad. That again seems to be our society today.
Why they were thought of as less than human, I will never understand. Even the kindly Mrs. Shelby says of them...”to do my duty to these poor, simple, dependent creatures.”
The author was an abolitionist , so this book is an anti slavery book. I can just imagine how it was received in 1852. She was also very pro Christianity. There are many references to religion and Christianity throughout the book. There were a couple of instances where I felt this bogged down the story, but for the most part, it did seem integral to the purpose of the book.

An important read that I feel should be read by many more people, especially with what is going on presently.
Profile Image for Issa Deerbany.
374 reviews406 followers
March 27, 2020
من روائع الأدب الامريكي والتي نالت شهرة عالمية. وكانت سببًا في تحريك مشاعر الناس وتحرير العبيد بل وخاضوا حربا شرسه من اجل ذلك.
لم تمعن الكاتبة كثرا في وصف المعانات والعذاب الذي كانوا يتعرضون له ولكن تركت لمخيلة القاريء ان يسرح بخياله كيفما شاء. مع أني ارى ان بيع الانسان وهو يقف لا يستطيع فعل اَي شيء من اكبر المآسي في تاريخ البشر.

Profile Image for Sohaib Ibn hossain.
62 reviews71 followers
September 27, 2017
كوخ العم توم، هي رواية تناولت الحياة القاسية التي عاشها الأمريكيون السود قبيل الحرب الأهلية. ونقلت صورة لما كانوا يعانونه أيام الاسترقاق...
Profile Image for Carmo.
654 reviews467 followers
June 13, 2019
Serviu de manifesto na luta contra a escravatura depois de Harriet B. Stowe, uma abolicionista convicta, ter reunido testemunhos recolhidos em conversas com escravos.
O livro tem um forte cariz religioso que poderá não agradar a toda agente, todavia, sejamos ou não crentes, assemelha -se às aulas de catequese da infância; não nos traz mal nenhum.
A narrativa corre lesta numa permanente dicotomia entre bem/mal, com personagens que habitam os antípodas do carácter humano.
Suficientemente revoltante e emocionante para nos apertar a garganta com frequência.
Profile Image for E8RaH!M.
177 reviews48 followers
January 4, 2020

ـ«خو عی چه عاموییه که تخم نِدارِن؟ مو ای 'عامو' رو نمی‌خوام. »ـ
غیظ می‌کند و دستش را به بالا پنجه عقابی می‌کند و از لای دندان‌های قفل شده می‌گوید:ـ
ـ«'عامو' باید عی قد تُخم داشته باشِن.»ـ

نوازش عامو
کتاب بیش از 160 سال پیش نوشته شده است. در روزگاری که برده داری در جنوب پر رونق و پر هوادار است و اما در شمال برده داری لغو شده است. بردگان از جنوب به شمال فرار میکردند اما توسط جنوبیها تحت تعقیب قرار می‌گرفتند. قانون اجازه تعقیب به کسانی میدهد که برده شان گریخته است. در نتیجه [عموما] درگیری و جنگ‌های شهری کوچکی بین تعقیب کنندگان جنوبی و پناه دهندگان شمالی رخ می‌دهد. در چنین جامعه ی پر تنش و متناقضی چنین کتابی نوشته می‌شود.
نتیجه ش میشود جنگ داخلی و عمیق تر شدن شکاف بین شمال و جنوب.
کتابی که حالا یک کتاب احساسی و تاثیر گذار قلمداد میشود در آن دوره مانیفستی سیاسی و تند و پر از پرخاش به نظام حاکمیت محسوب می‌شده. کتابی که ساختار حاکمیت را فاسد و فاقد وجاهت انسانی می‌داند.
شجاعت هریت بیچر برای خلق چنین اثری به ذاته قابل تحسین و تقدیر است.
آبراهام لینکلن در سال 1862 نویسنده کتاب، هریت بیچر را ملاقامت می‌کند و می‌گوید:

ـ”پس اون خانم کوچولویی که اون کتابی رو نوشته که چنین جنگی رو راه انداخته شمایی؟“ـ

طبیعی است که واکنش‌های تندی هم از طرف طیف مقابل به این کتاب صورت بپذیرد.


عمو رابین vs عمو تم
در سال‌های پس از چاپ کلبه‌ی عموتم، موافقین برده داری در جنوب هم بیکار ننشستند و کتاب‌هایی در پاسخ نوشتند. یکی از این کتاب ها با عنوان عمو رابین در کلبه‌ش در ویرجیانا و عمو تم آواره در بوستون بود. در داستان این کتاب دو برده‌ی سیاه به نام‌های رابین و تم (اشاره به شخصیت موجود در کتاب کلبه عمو تم) وجود دارند که یکی در پناه اربابش وفادار باقی می‌ماند و متنعم از امکانات اربابی، تبدیل می‌شود به یک برده‌ی مرفه و راضی، و دیگری (عمو تم) فرار می‌کند و دچار مشکلات بیشماری می‌شود، و تا زمان مرگ دربدر و بی چیز باقی می‌ماند.
مجموعا در دو سال بیش از 15 رمان و داستان در جواب کلبه‌ی عمو تم نوشته شد که احتمالا ما هیچ کدام را نه در نظر می‌گیریم و نه موفق می‌دانیم. همچنین روزنامه‌های موافق برده‌داری مقالات تندی علیه کتاب نوشتند و در بسیاری از این مقالات بیچر را هرزه و کثیف خواندند.


هریت بیچر اربابِ عمو تم
نکته‌ای که در کتاب به وضوح توی ذوق آدم می‌زند برداشتی است که خودِ نویسنده از سیاهان آمریکا دارد. سرنوشت سیاهان داستان محدود و محتوم است. یک برده‌ی سیاه میبایست یا تسلیم محض گردد، یا وحشیگری و عصیان بی خردانه کند و یا تبیعد شوند. جایی برای خردورزی و اعتراض متمدنانه نیست.
دو رگه های هریت بیچر جذاب و غمزده و ظریفند در حالی که آفریقایی‌های او وحشی و عضلانی‌اند. نگاه او به نحوی نژادپرستانه است و همراه با پیش فرضهای قرون وسطایی.
از همین رو هم هست که سرنوشتی متفاوت برای شخصیت‌های سیاه داستانش متصور نشده است. چرا نباید راه دیگری وجود داشته باشد؟ چرا مبارزه‌ای شکل نمی‌گیرد؟ چرا عمو تم با توسل به آموزه‌های مذهبی‌اش از یک نوع انفعال رنج می‌برد؟ اینها سوالاتی هستند که بسیاری از سیاهان مطرح کرده‌اند و از نویسنده به دنبال پاسخ بوده‌اند. بعدها شخصیتهایی در آمریکا نوعی از مبارزه را هویت بخشیدند که متکی بر قابلیتهای ذهنی و روحی سیاهان بود.
چیزی که تخیل هریت بیچر حتا نزدیکش هم نشده همین است. سیاهان می‌توانند با هم متحد شوند و به مقاومت مدنی بپردازند. می‌توانند به جای فرار بمانند و مبارزه کنند. این همان نگاه محدود و ساده انگار و مذهبی و رمانتیسیزم زده‌ای است که تخیل او را هم بَرده کرده است. و این اوست که عمو تم داستان را به اسارت گرفته و رنج و می‌دهد و آواره می‌کند.

عمو تمِ دستمال کش
در ادامه و بعد طول جنگ جهانی دوم عمو تم تبدیل به یک ضرب المثل آمریکایی می‌شود. کنایه از شخصیتی که در مقابل ظلم اربابان کاسه لیسی و تملق را در پیش می‌گیرد. در فارسی ما‌به‌ازاءهای بهتری برای این ضرب المثلل وجود دارد.
در کتاب موقعیتی ایجاد می‌شود که تم فرار کند یا حتا ارباب ظالم و ستمکارش را بکشد اما روح مذهبی او این اجازه را نمی‌دهد. حتا به همنوعان خودش هم کمک نمی‌کند تا فرار کنند. در ابتدای کتاب هم موقعیت فرار او فراهم است اما او وفادار می‌ماند و حتا به مخیله‌ش هم خطور نمی‌کند که یک ارباب می‌تواند بد باشد. این خوش خیالی تا جایی ادامه پیدا میکند که در جایی به او پیشنهاد میشود ارباب را به قتل برساند. پاسخ او منفی است و حاضر است دست خودش را قطع کند اما آزاری به کسی که قصد کشتنش را دارد نرساند. در تمام این موقعیت ها او به مسیح پناه میبرد و در مقابل سیلی آن سوی دیگر صورتش را پیش میکشد.
مالکوم ایکس از مبارزین حقوق سیاه پوستان در جایی گفته:
ـ”درست مثل آن زمانی که برده داران از عمو تم برای کنترل رفتار سیاهان استفاده می‌کردند، حالا هم عمو تم‌های جدید، عمو تم‌های قرن بیستمی کارشان کنترل و تحت نظارت داشتن اوضاع و احوال سیاهان است.“ـ

نکته‌ای که حامیان عمو تم بیان می‌کنند این است که اصولا عمو تم طراحی شده تا برگی باشد مقابل خشونت نژادپرستانه علیه رنگین پوستان آمریکا.


در انتها
در انتها اینکه؛ چه بخواهیم و چه نه کلبه عمو تم کتاب تاثیرگذاری بوده و هست. نه تنها در آمریکای آن زمان، بلکه در تمام دنیا. گفته میشود کتاب مورد علاقه ی لنین در کودکی بوده چنان که نویسنده‌ی زندگی‌نامه لنین می‌گوید:
ـ”معمولا وقتی می‌خواهیم منشا دیدگاه سیاسی لنین را بیابیم به آنچه در دوران نوجوانی و جوانی خوانده رجوع می‌کنیم. در حالی که قبل از اینکه نویسنده‌های مردِ روس و آلمانی بتوانند روی روحیه‌ی نوجوانانه‌ی لنین تاثیر بگذارند، ذهن جوان او [لنین] در کودکی تحت تاثیر یک نویسنده زن آمریکایی - هریت بیشچر استو- قرار گرفته بود.“ـ

خوشبختانه یا هر چی، من نسخه ی بسیار قدیمی (حول و حوش دهه 40 شمسی به قیمت 650 ریال) از این کتاب را دارم و خواندم. ترجمه‌ی خانم منیر جزنی علیرغم قدمت و سال نشر، خوش خوان و تمیز بود. و گویا همان زمان هم جایزه‌ای برای بهترین ترجمه‌ی سال دریافت کرده است.

63 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2008
Life-changing book. This was a great read-aloud with my kids. We finished it on Easter Sunday - very appropriate.
Profile Image for Shane.
Author 11 books253 followers
May 15, 2021
This book should become essential reading during these times of racial unrest. I saw the movie many years ago in another country and could not relate to the issues as well as I did when I finally bit the bullet and read the real deal during times of pandemic, MAGA, and Black Lives Matter.

Despite its archaic style that hinges on the sentimental and melodramatic, and the annoying tendency of the author to intrude frequently, directing the reader to the next scene or explaining that she is now going to leave one set of characters and move to the next, Harriet Beecher Stowe is overtly uncompromising in three key messages: slavery is evil, Christianity is redemption, and women would do a better job of running the show given their maternal leanings.

What is so stark is that the slave had no rights whatsoever; he or she could be bought, sold, separated from children and family at the master’s will, could be subject to torture, rape, and murder, and had no legal standing in court as a victim or a witness to a white’s inhuman behaviour. Slaves were whipped to be kept in line (some were even sent to special whipping houses); high performing ones were demoted back to the lowest menial labour if the master through they were getting too smart; they were on call 24/7, and if they wore down, well…they were just sent off to the slave auction and replaced. And heaven help the comfortable slave who suddenly experienced his benevolent master’s death, the world would suddenly be upended for all the master’s chattels, slaves included. The further south one travelled in the United States in the first half of the 19th century the harsher the conditions for slaves became, and the further north one went, they improved. Canada was considered nirvana for liberated slaves.

The book therefore cleaves north and south from the benign centre of Kentucky, the opening setting of the book, where slaves are treated well in the Shelby household. However, as finances get tight, Uncle Tom, the Christ-like figure who has been a loyal servant of his owner, is sold down the river to Louisiana, while Eliza and her family escape and head north to Canada. The story weaves back and forth between these two journeys.

Some great characters emerge, sharply delineated:
Uncle Tom: honest and loyal to a fault, uncompromising in his love of God and his ability to forgive those who trespass against him.
Evangeline (Eva): the young girl in the St. Claire household that Tom is sold to, who loves black and white alike but suffers the pain of the inhuman South’s treatment of its slaves.
Marie St. Claire: Eva’s hypochondriacal and self-obsessed mother who believes that the Bible allows for segregation of the races, and that blacks are a “degraded species.”
Topsy: the black slave girl who lies, steals and begs to be beaten, for she knows nothing else, and doesn’t even know how she was born—“I s’pect I grow’d.”
Sam Legree: the final master that Tom ends up with in the swamps of Louisiana – the epitome of evil. A man who treats his slaves like animals so that they behave like animals.
Cassy: the quadroon and discarded sex-slave of Legree, one who has given up hope that God exists, and would rather kill her offspring to prevent them coming into this world.
Ophelia: the northern pro-abolitionist, who is a paragon of order, propriety, and hard work, but whose sympathies are only intellectual, for she lacks the ability to touch the slaves.
Augustine St. Clare: Eva’s father and Ophelia’s cousin, who is a poet. He understands the problems of the South but is unwilling to take a stand. His lack of faith and resolve is his undoing, just as Tom, possessing both these qualities in abundance, is undone by them too.

This was a controversial book in its time, and just like the America of today that is deeply divided, a host of anti-Tom books emerged in the wake of Beecher-Stowe’s novel being published in 1852, contesting that slavery was needed and that slaves were treated better by their masters than if they had been left to their own devices. The stupidity of those counter claims ring true today when we see blacks exceed in all areas of endeavour if given the opportunity.

The author rings off the book by tying all the loose ends: those who head north live happily ever after, those left behind in the south are in a horrible situation. She also steps onto her political platform and overtly claims that this book was based on real people she knew and that the situations she depicted in the book have occurred, more or less. She then implores the North not to be complicit in slavery by reaping its economic rewards but staying non-involved. She must have touched a nerve, for this novel was the highest selling book next to the Bible during that period. I can understand why President Lincoln, when meeting Harriett Beecher Stowe in 1862 remarked, "So this is the little lady who started this great war."

Profile Image for Jessica Reese.
13 reviews11 followers
August 29, 2007
O.k. so I was supposed to read this in my high school a.p. class. I think my friend and I may even have taken turns reading parts of it, but it never really happened. But, this last semester I actually read it twice, because that's what my Amer. Romanticism professor suggested we do, and, to be honest I was kind of scared of him for a while...

But, here's the deal. It really isn't a great book. It started out as bed time tales for her kids, progressed to installments in a magazine, and then eventually became a famously historical book. That having been said, here are the things I find interesting.

1) The idea of stay-at-home feminism. Notice that Stowe, while she empowers women in many ways that were uncommon among her contemporaries she still places women within "their" sphere. And, it is the women who are successful within their sphere (caring for the children and husband, making sure the kitchen is neat and orderly (even if they don't actually do the cooking), having a well run household, etc.)that are "good". These are the women who succed in life. The other women, well, they tend to be the characters we hate.
**Also interesting... the female characters in this book have an uncanny resemblance to the female characters in Toni Morrison's Beloved. I could write a lot about this (I did a paper on it), but I would love to know if anybody else sees the same similarities I do. (Besides this one crazy woman who wrote an article saying Beloved was a rewrite of Uncle Tom's Cabin... I really didn't buy her argument at all, and I would hate to think she's the only one who agrees with me...)

2) Uncle Tom as Christ.

3) The unrelentingly Christian aspect of the novel. Either you're Christian and good or not Christian and bad. Or, you are struggling between the two, and trying to attain the title of Christian. Oh, and that the best Christians are really the slaves, because they are more "childlike" and vulnerable therefore closer to Jesus.
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