Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the most popular novel of the nineteenth century. While the novel certainly propelled the abolitionist movement in the nineteenth century, and bolstered support for the abolition of slavery, many 20th and 21st century scholars have criticized the novel for its patronizing portrayals of African American characters. In the short excerpts we have read for our class, discuss either or both of these aspects (abolitionism in the novel and Stowe’s depiction of the African American experience).