Thursday, November 4, 2010

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This was a fabulous book.  I was expecting it to be a bit more dramatic, but I realize that, at the time, it was and I have read quite a bit about this time period.  Therefore, the atrocities she was writing about were not a surprise to me, per-say.

Uncle Tom shows amazing character and strength during his trials as a slave.  From the beginning we see how well he handles being sold away from his family.  Though it hurt him, he maintained a strong appearance for his family.  I thought for sure he had hit "gold" when he was bought by the St Clair's.  I was ecstatic when St Clair told Tom he would free him, and devastated when he passed away so suddenly.  Even more so when his wife refused to free Tom and sold him instead to such a monster.  The courage he showed on the farm in the face of such cruel treatment is something we can all learn from.  He truly believed, with heart and soul, that the Lord would save him and take him home.  Not the home that "we" would think, but the true home, the home of our Lord.  In doing so he was reunited with his friend and companion, Eva.

Eva was a remarkable young woman (I use woman here because, although she was a child, she was extremely mature) who captured your heart in her very short time in the novel.  I was truly sadden by her death yet comforted by the strength she showed.  When the time comes for me to lay on my death bed, I hope to be as mature and as comforting as she was.

The ending surprised me quite a bit.  There was a lot a story weaving that caught me off guard.  Between characters finding out to be brother and sisters and mother and daughter, I was dumbfounded.  However, it was a "happy" ending in a world where happy endings were rare for slaves.  We got to see what hard lives those we enslaved lived, but we got to see what happened when we let them live as we did.  It definitely was a powerful novel and one I am glad to have read.

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