We had a copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin on our bookshelf as a child. It was a number one book other than the bible in the mid 19th century. But just recently I became curious about the whole Uncle Tom thing. I’ve been looking at black issues a lot lately and sympathizing with thier present dilema’s and stigma’s. I hear the term Uncle Tom from both sides. Whites usually using it in a deragotory way toward blacks. Blacks using it as a derogatory for blacks…I decided to look into it for myself and make my own opinion.
I understand completely how Harriet Beecher Stowe meant for Tom to be the hero. I think a lot of people are totally missing her point.
It’s not the fact that he bowed down to the whites it’s that he endured to the end by putting God first. During all his hardships he kept his relationship with God first.
Christianity seemed to be a big theme in that day of the time. Stowe captures the way we’re supposed to be in our heart. I compare him to Job as far as enduring hardships.
That forgiving deep understanding that Uncle Tom has with the Lord is exceptional. I completely admire a character who gives his all to God especially because in my heart that’s the way I wish I could be. He was a pure soul.
Deep down inside I don’t think it matters if you have a soul you know somewhere deep within you what’s right and what’s wrong. I think this is why this novel revontated with so many people. We just become desensitized. As generations go on this desensitization becomes more familiar.
When he had Eva he had it all and it was understandable that he would stay. In the hands of Simon Legree you have to wonder why he didn’t run. If he had run I don’t think the book would have been as much as a success. It’s the emotion Uncle Tom brings out in the desire to see all things good and it conflicts with the thought that things end up good for good people as in true life it doesn’t.
But I digress. I completely admired Uncle Tom for his spiritual faith. His power to forgive his murderer’s as he is dying. I personally struggle with forgiveness so this really touched me. It moved me to strive to develop a deeper relationship personally with God.
I didn’t see Uncle Tom as a negative character at all. I’m so sorry for his hardships and really wish that the book had a good ending for Tom and he also won his freedom. In fact the emotional impact of all he went through and still held on to the one thing that was really important to him. His faith. He had total trust in God.
I mean there’s so much to look up to about this man I really don’t agree with the “Uncle Tom” of people who look at him as a whitey suck up. No I see him as a man with great inner strength. I wish I were more like him. I understand their point but I think they’re missing the one thing she was trying to portray. Yes he did what he was told and didn’t rebel. But that made my heart go out to him even more because of all he had to go through.
The fact in life is we are all on different paths and Stowe really portrays the heartache here (well in the whole story). She made his path and personality as such that he felt it necessary to endure his fate which is in the hands of the whites. This was how a lot of slaves were back in the day.
People usually do what’s expected of them and blacks at that time were expected to bow down to white man’s government. And the ways back then was that everyone in the south had black slaves.
I think she was trying to capture the common slave with an uncommon faith in Uncle Tom.