Southern and Northern Ways as Contrasted in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.'

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'Uncle Tom's Cabin' is a book dominated by a single theme - the evil and immortality of slavery. Stowe challenges conventional dichotomies between black and white, male and female, and North and South. Circumstances of geography and birth may decide whether a person practices slavery, but Stowe does not allow circumstances or chance to excuse these slaveholders. All people possess some measure of evil, and therefore all people are capable of the evil of owning slaves. Depending on the circumstances of one's birth, the evil in one's life takes different forms. The question of slavery is introduced first in domestic surroundings in which slaves and masters have seemingly positive relationships. At the Shelby's house and at the St. Clare's, the slaves have kind masters who do not abuse or mistreat them. Though Shelby and St. Clare possess kindness and intelligence, their ability to tolerate slavery renders them hypocritical and morally weak. Even under kind masters, slaves suffer, however, most of them try to find a relief in God. Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with slavery, but it makes slaveholders more sensitive and provides a safe haven for slaves. In contradiction to circumstances presented above, the Legree plantation is the place, where the evil of slavery appears in its most naked and hideous form. Slaves suffer beatings, sexual abuse, and even murder in this harsh and barbaric setting. If slavery is wrong in the best of cases, in the worst of cases it is a nightmare and very inhuman. Stowe deflates the defense of the pro-slavery by showing the evil of the best kind of slavery and then she presents her own case against slavery by showing the shocking wickedness of slavery at its worst. The system of slavery and the moral code of Christianity oppose each other. No Christian should be able to tolerate slavery. Throughout the

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