Representation of Southern Life in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin is really a fantastic representation of southern life. The southern life is not ignorant about the system of slavery. In south many pious and respectable men practice slavery without feeling any sense of guilt and shock.


Harriet Beecher Stowe



A slave mother is separated from her son in the southern society. A son of a slave mother is sold to a different man when his mother is asleep. In southern life the light skinned, slaves (mulattoes) were kept working inside the house of their master. Only the black slaves were sent to work in the plantation.

In the south some lustful slave holders use to cast a sexual glace at light-skinned slaves. This is represented in the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. When Halle happened to see beautiful Eliza he sucked his lips with the tip of his tongue.

In the south the lives of the slaves were so oppressed and dehumanized that they secretly used to flee from their plantation. With Quakers help they used to cross the Ohio River and fly back to Canada. In the south a fervor to flee for freedom at a great risk and cost was on the increase.

This fervor for freedom is represented by Harriet Beecher Stowe through Eliza's journey. Eliza came to know that her son small Harry is going to be sold. She did her utmost to prevent her son from being sold by encouraging and supplicating Mrs. Shelby for intervening in the case. But Eliza found it fruitless to appeal to Mrs. Shelby for stopping her husband to sell little Harry. Eliza can't tolerate her son being sold to a different man. So she ran away with her small son Harry to the north.

 In Simon Legree's plantation many slaves were living under hellish pressure. Old women, slaves were languishing due to an overburden of work. Small children were underdeveloped due to the unnecessary burden of work. Some strong workers in Legree plantation used to help the weaker one. This cooperative act amidst plantation slaves irritated Simon Legree. He declared that those who cooperated with each other will be punished. In Legree plantation some slaves like Cassy and others were making- a decision to kill Legree and fly to the North. This shows that a sense of cooperation amidst the slaves in the south was struggling to lead to revolt.

From Legree episode we come to know that Legree had been exploiting Cassy sexually. This narrative component shows that in the southern life black virgin slaves girls were often used by the white master to fulfill their brutal lust. This immoral side of the southern life is foregrounded explicitly by Stowe in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Though slaves lived a miserable and dehumanized life in South’s they had not sidetracked from strong commitment to morality. In terms of morality blacks were morally superior. This moral superiority of the enslaved blacks in the southern part is expressed through Uncle Tom's matchless virtue of religious conviction.