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Uncle Tom's Cabin (English Edition) Format Kindle
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Every one should read this book. It can be a hard read as it is a glimpse into a dark period in history.
Then I get to the last Chapter where our author brings to account both the North and the South. Both are held responsible, both are guilty. The South for carrying out the atrocities and the North for standing by allowing it to continue. But our author didn't stop there. She went on to throw blame and guilt on the leaders of Christianity for twisting God's Word to justify the actions of both North and South. Both sides could not be right and the treatment of slaves in the North was not what it should have been if one believed in the Word of God. After reading the last Chapter I applaud Harriet Beecher Stowe for having the courage to write such a book in such a trying time as our nation was living then. She was truly a woman of courage and inspiration. I wish I had read this years ago and I highly recommend it to all who are interested in the history of this country.
Now, having read the entire book, I am ashamed at having never taken the time before. The power in the narrative and the characters in the story is enough to keep you turning the pages to see what happens next! To my surprise, even though it is more than 150 years old, it was not difficult to understand...
UTC essentially tells two stories at once--two slaves are set to be sold from a Kentucky plantation/farm they have lived all their lives. One is the older, well-respected Uncle Tom, and the other is the young, pretty Eliza. Tom accepts his fate, confident in his faith that God will protect him. Eliza, fearful of losing her child (with good reason) decides to run away to Ohio, where she hopes to find freedom.
Along the way, both of these good souls have trials and tribulations...times of fear, hope, friendships and pain. Nothing is guaranteed for them....and sometimes their travels through life are blessed, and sometimes they are shook by sudden, unexpected pain.
Tom's journey from Kentucky is primarily south; to a land where generally slaves are subject to much rougher conditions than in his native border state. Eliza, of course, is going north to Ohio, and eventually, she hopes, to Canada. But fugitive slaves are still hunted in Ohio, so there are no guarantees.
The most difficult part of the reading for me was getting acclimated to the style in which Stowe portrays the conversation of the slaves. Because the language is more coarse, uneducated and casual, it took a little while to completely understand what a slave was saying. At times, I had to stop and "sound out" what the words were, just to get the jist of what was meant. After a little while, though, this became easier.
The most surprising aspect of the story...and perhaps this explains the current absence of Stowe's novel in the modern mind...was the unambiguous and unapologetic Christian timber replete throughout the pages. Stowe rightfully believed that true Christianity did not endorse the idea of one man being the property of another. In her day, some religious leaders excused slavery in the states by creating contrived arguments supposedly developed from the Bible. Stowe challenges those preposterous notions headon!
UTC is filled with direct references to Scripture and Christian hymns. Even one of the most irreligious characters, a one-time owner of Tom, Augustine St. Clare, is able to see how the slave trade is altogether UN-Christian, though he also finds it difficult to give up his "servants".
The deeply religious Quakers, who help run the fugitive slaves to freedom, are also portrayed as true followers of Jesus. Most touching is how they even tend to the injuries of an evil bounty hunter--a man who would have killed them if it meant recapturing a slave.
Uncle Tom's faith is described in great detail, and his ability to endure in times of want reminds one of the Old Testament story of Job. He strives to maintain trust in his Savior.
My review ends here; to give away the ending might discourage someone from picking up the story and reading it for themselves. The time spent absorbing Stowe's novel is well-spent. One can fully understand how it shook the conscience of the nation in the 1850s.
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