Uncle Tom's Cabin (Wordsworth Classics)
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I would not recommend this book to those who are quickly angered by racial slurs or degradation of any kind. I think one of the most difficult things for readers in the present will be remembering that for the time period of this book, that the language used was part of the culture.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to feel enlightened and full of hope, despite the hardship you must follow in order to feel them. Uncle Tom himself is a beacon of true light and he honestly made me want be a better person. This book is smart, real and oddly uplifting. Because of some of the language used, I only recommend this to readers 15 and up.
You will not regret reading this truly heart wrenching and yet, inspiring story.
Historical, provocative (sad, anger, hope, challenging). Make sure you have a dictionary close by.
Top international reviews
Many despicable things have happened at the hands of so-called ‘civilised’ nations and Uncle Tom’s Cabin pulls no punches in illustrating the dreadful and barbaric acts of bygone years, whilst comparing the enormous power for good a truly Christian heart can have.
If reading this can help us determine to treat all people with kindness, charity and compassion, the world will be a happier and more peaceful place and Harriett Beecher Stowe will have done us all a great service.
This edition contains a very detailed introduction that gives historical background to the novel and the personal back ground of the author as well as the changing cultural perception of the novel since its publication over 170 years ago. Whilst I found this very interesting and informative it was very lengthy and I left reading the majority of it until after Id finished reading the novel itself. The novel has been criticised for its sentimentality and yes it is very sentimental but if you think back to when and why this novel was written, in order to persuade people towards the abolishinist cause, its overt sentimentality which some criticise must be understood as a tool to entice readers towards and into the novel and its anti slavery message. The characters in the novel are all very engaging even though they are much larger than life they can often appear as caricatures of themselves and there is very little movement in their character. That said I feel it is part of the sentimental feel of the novel and ensures we love the adversaries and hate the antagonists which was important for the books overall message. I was slightly disappointed with the last part of the novel, which I felt was a little hurried but that is only a personal opinion. I would recommend this book to anyone and I would like to see it feature more on lists of books published on line or in magazines of 'must read' novels to encourage more British people to be familiar with this historically important novel.
The very words that the "Masters" hoped would confirm the subjection of the "slave" to the "Master", served to give them a hope beyond their living death in this world. The difference between the minority humane "owners" and the bestial majority of the "owners" is brought home starkly and poignantly through the several threads of this great book.
Whilst the language is archaic in places, and the images often Victorian in their pathos, it is very worthwhile reading. A good on-line dictionary will be invaluable and reward consultation, for many unusual words are used and they always have a specific meaning.
Clearly it is not in "modern" English - but amazing to think this was written in 1850s and yet still is relevant today. :(
This is not an action packed read. It is thoughtful, religious and ultimately compelling. Once read one can appreciate why it is seen as a 'classic.'
The latter two describe the slave trade and racism perfectly well and they are my favourites. `The deep south' dialect in all three books holds back the natural stem of reading fluently, until one gets used to it.
`Uncle Tom' is indeed the televised serial, `Roots,' of the 1970's.
I really enjoyed the read. It is beautifully put together, immensely interesting, eventually taking you to the `cotton picking' plantations of the `Deep South,' but indulging you in plethora of diverse characters along the way.
Slavery is now an `apology' for most counties who indulged in it, yet the pain of those poor people, dragged from their homeland, separated from their families and open to all sorts of abuses from a system that had an almost `animal mentality,' is very hard to accept even now. I guess that's why most of us find it so fascinating, but ultimately educating.
It starts off very well, with a couple of slaves being sold by a kind owner (in financial difficulties) to a slave trader. One of the slaves runs away, the other one, Uncle Tom, accepts his fate. I thought the best parts of the book described the escape by Eliza and her chase across country, very exciting stuff!
Then the book changes in tone when the character of young Eva arrives on the scene. I felt it became over sentimental, too religious in tone (although of course the slaves were often very religious, it felt a bit overdone, especially in some of the death scenes). Also some of the discussions on the morality of the slave trade and the political aspects began to drag a bit.
But, an important book, well worth a read and it pretty well kept my interest until the end, although the tying up of some the loose ends seemed a bit rushed, for example the arrival of Eliza's relatives in Canada.
Those of a sensitive disposition should be warned that some of the words used to describe the slaves are definately not pc nowadays, but of course would have been in common use at the time. Some might also find Ms Stowe's way of writing the slave's dialect means it is sometimes difficult to decipher - 'Pears dat ar' for example. (And 'pears' doesn't mean the fruit!).
The other reviewers have detailed the characterisation, storyline and the history behind and beyond the novel's release. I would echo all these many many plus points. I, myself, really liked the occasional rehearsed arguments for slavery, which you can imagine the proslavery lobby using at the time, dotted about in the text e.g. the interests of the slave are manifest in the interests of the owner; they wouldn't know what to do with freedom if they had it etc.
I read this book with an admittedly very poor understanding of the slave trade and found it very thought provoking using the internet to look up some of the reference notes in the back and learn more. The Christian moralising does labour the point but not excessively since the story is ultimately so based in human emotion; but I admit that I did have the ironical thought that the author wasn't a slave to her own religion by the end - but remembering that she chastises her religion for finding argument for slavery, I'll let that thought go. I found the repeated use of the `n' word in its original context/usage very interesting too - I didn't feel it used in the novel with the weight of its history - that was the `legitimate' term and would believe the author had no reason (for political correctness etc) to choose otherwise.
Why would you not want to read this book? don't ask me I don't know - easily 5 stars.
This book explains the atrocities of slavery and how slaves were treated during the 19th century.
Would highly recommend reading this book as it is really good.
Also, the quality of the book was very good and it came in a very good condition.