Uncle Tom's Cabin follows the journey of a pious and righteous man named Tom into the deep South and the escape of the Harris family to Canada. The novel begins when Tom's benevolent master, Mr. Shelby, reluctantly sells Tom and Harry Harris to a slave trader due to debt. Eliza's mother, Harry, cannot bear to have her son taken from her so she decides to flee to Canada, following Harry's father. Tom is carted away by the slave catcher, but holds on to his master's son's promise to buy him back as soon as possible. His loving and godly heart makes him friends and enemies alike during his journey.
I wanted to read this book after learning how important it is in my United States History class. So my experience reading this novel was similar to how I analyzed historical documents in class. Stowe's abolitionist views really shined throughout, which helped me gain a better understanding of the movement's strategies and causes. I wish I read this during the school year because it would have helped me a lot.
But also just looking at the plot, this novel is very entertaining. I grew really attached to some characters and there were some I hated like Mrs. St. Clare and Legree. The plot events were exciting and the writing was animated. This book made me really sad but also inspired me at the same time. Characters like Eva, Tom and George Shelby made me want to become a better person. Although this book's main intention is to rally people against slavery, it also teaches the reader about forgiveness, love, and equality.
I really liked this book. I wish we read this in school instead of other books in high school because this is at the same reading level but more entertaining, impactful, and historically relevant. I honestly think that anyone would like this book but it is probably too dark and sad for younger readers.
Reviewed by S.V., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library