Slavery Essay

1095 WordsMar 7, 20155 Pages
In 1861, the United States entered into the Civil War, one of the bloodiest wars in history where over 500,000 soldiers died fighting to address slavery. The protest against slavery actually began well before this war through the written word. Three novels that had the most impact on the views of the American citizens include The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas by Frederick Douglas, Incidents of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The first two books were autobiographies of the authors who both were former slaves and they give a detailed description of their difficult and cruel life. Both of these books were well read and discussed. But the understanding of the severe difficulty of the life of a slave was really understood when, in 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published. This book was one of the most widely read books of all time and gave an emotional connection between the reader and the punishing life of a slave. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe uses several stereotypes in her story to support her views of the unjust and cruel conditions of the slaves during pre Civil War times. These stereotypes come into play with several characters including the slave trader, Mr. Haley, a slave named Sam, and Senator Bird. Mr. Haley is a slave trader. He sees slaves as a commodity and has no compassion for them. Stowe has him portrayed this way to show how cruel and heartless the traders need to be in order to maintain the trade institution. In the story, Mr. Haley is riding a cart sitting alongside Tom, who is one of the slaves. The author discusses what each may be thinking as they are traveling side by side. For Mr. Haley, she has him thinking of Tom as a thing, a possession to be sold. “As an example, Mr. Haley thought first of Tom’s length, and breadth, and height, and what he would sell for, if he was kept fat and

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