Sympathy for African raced in Uncle Tom's Cabin

H. B. Stowe arrows sympathy for the African race by exploring the real, inner and the practical, measurable condition of blacks who were in chained under the inhuman domination of whites as their slave from generation to generation. Thus depictions of this sort of condition of blacks arouse sympathy for the African race in Uncle Tom's Cabin.


Harriet Beecher Stowe



Stowe's main concern is to depict about how African people are facing their long- rooted pain and sufferings because of the color discrimination. How sympathetic life is their due to their color? In the world of Stowe's novel, characters are defined in largely by the color of their skin. In this kind of stereotyping, Stowe herself is guilty of a certain kind of racism. While white characters are not necessarily all good, as illustrated by the likes of slave trader Haley and Simon Legree, and Marks and Alfred St. Clare and his son Henrique, black characters' virtue are related to the lightness or darkness of their skin.

For example, slave mother, Eliza Harris, set up as a model of piety and moral integrity, is one quarter black so light skinned as to be almost white. Her husband George an admirable example of honor and decency, is also light skinned as is their son, Harry. Stowe presumes that her white 19th century reader will be better able to identify with the Harris family because they look so much like her own. Stowe depends upon that identification of the reader with a character for the success of her novel. Darker skinned figures, like Topsy, Aunt Chloe, and Black Sam, Seem more like stock characters. They are simple, speak in a dialect rather than Standard English and are more comic than heroic. Tom, although dark- skinned, is noble in his Christianity and patience, but he is also characterized not so much as a vessel of racism but more as mouthpieces of racist attitudes. In particular, Augustine St. Clare's conversations with others on the subject of slavery bring up the many facets of the problem of racism. When he debates the issue of slavery with his Northern cousin Ophelia, readers see how hypocritical she is. While she opposes the institution of slavery, she also personally dislikes blacks. When St. Clare discusses their slaves with his wife, Marie, readers see Marie's belief that blacks are suited only for slavery. St. Clare's conversations about race with his brother Alfred reveal the Alfred's position that the white race is meant to be dominant. While St. Clare's various discussions on racism often read like the texts of political debates, readers can see that Stowe is using these dialogues to shore up her antislavery message.

In this way, there is only sympathy towards the African race through the novel in different layers. We can see the position of the African race in the factors of society, economy, political as well as other different aspects. Everywhere it arouses the sympathy towards the African race. So Stowe's one of the main aspects of her novel is to present African race in a sympathetic manner.