Yet, as Hendrick writes, Harriet also transformed those feelings into an engine of social change; "pursuing the Calvinist injunction to 'improve the affliction' and reap 'the peaceable fruits of righteousness' in the wake of" her son Charley's death, and "stirred up the nation to an awareness of its sin." Harriet wrote to her brother Henry, "You see...how this subject has laid hold of me...The poor slave on whom the burden of domestic bereavement falls heaviest is precisely the creature of all Gods creatures that feels it deepest." hile there is no doubt that Harriet Beecher Stowe achieved political status by making a national audience see the subjectivity of African-Americans, however what she personally saw was filtered through a white woman's consciousness.
After the series ran in the abolitionist newspaper, the National Era, Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in book form in March 1852, and by mid-June 10,000 copies were being…… [Read More]
It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears" (Douglass 15).
Douglass, unlike Uncle Tom or even Eliza, cannot help but wish to be free, because, he says, it is an integral part of his humanity. But in Stowe's novel, this urge for freedom is not present in the hearts of Uncle Tom, or in most of the African-American characters. They manifest a hunger for God, and God is shown to frown upon the splitting of families. But the fact that so many slaves risked life and limb to be free, and did not show any sign of the feelings of 'owing' their masters portrayed in the novel, demonstrates how even the author who 'started…… [Read More]
It is entirely through such efforts that the larger impact of the novel is made.
One scene in particular is meant as an especially compelling emotional allegory, and is very effective at making the undeniable and intimate nature of human feelings as a basis for moral decisions-making abundantly clear. When Mrs. Bird catches her two sons tormenting defenseless kittens, she berates them and ultimately succumbs to tears at the plight and pain of the cats and, perhaps even more so, at the cruelty of her own children. It seems to be in man's nature -- and specifically in man's nature as opposed to woman's -- to practice cruelty, yet even the practitioners can usually be made to recognize that their cruelty is wrong simply by dint of being cruel, and for no other logical or deduced reason. Their mother's tears more than her stern admonitions cause the boys to understand…… [Read More]
Palmetto Leaves and Egalitarianism
Harriet Beecher Stowe has a historical link to the politics of slavery. hrough her regionalist work Palmetto Leaves she gives an artful yet impassioned plea for the education and equality of freedmen.
In the work she examines life and state-building in Florida. Her personal style of describing events and purpose through the everyday events of her surroundings come out in the book. Stowe preaches an early minimalist ideal of taking personal and collective responsibility for ones life, surroundings and desires are also expressed.
Stowe foreshadows her topic of interest, the fair treatment of freed slaves, in the first chapter with her plea for the welfare of a desperate stray dog. Using the language of the Bill of Rights she expresses not knowing if the poor stray dog from the steamer wanders with, "...no rights to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness." (Stowe, p. 10) With…… [Read More]
Although President Lincoln might have overstated the importance of Uncle Tom's Cabin as being a singular cause for the war, the statement does capture the fact that literature serves as a reflection for social values and norms. Abolitionism did become a major political force in the antebellum years, which is why Lincoln and the Union were willing to wage war for so many years and sacrifice so many lives. Of course, there were economic motives for the war (Tindall). Unionists were still mostly whites with racist beliefs, and their impetus for fighting was based as much on the need to retain access to Southern wealth and resources. Abolitionist views provided a convenient political foundation for the policies shaping Union efforts to prevent Southern cession. Read as a representation of abolitionism, Uncle Tom's Cabin serves almost as a piece of political propaganda.
"The little woman who wrote the book…… [Read More]
net to acquire background information on the infamous Astor Place Riots in the early 19th Century. B. Do the same with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom's Cabin. C. Read the play, Uncle Tom's Cabin. The Astor Place Riots: hat happened? (Approximately one page) In what respects was the Astor Place Riots a continuation of the themes found in the play, The Contrast? (Approximately one page) Uncle Tom's Cabin: Discuss two themes in the play. Also, do you find the play still relevant? Did it move you? (Approximately two pages)
The Astor Place riots: hat happened?
The Astor Place riots were a result of the professional rivalry between two great tragedians, that of the American actor Edwin Forrest vs. The Englishman illiam Charles Macready. The two actors had offered the theater-going public of New York their contrasting interpretations of Hamlet, and when both actors were scheduled to play Macbeth on…… [Read More]
Sentimental vs. Realistic Techniques: Modern African-American Questions Addressed in Contemporary and 19th Century American Fiction
Despite critical caveats about literary quality, the use of sentimental techniques in novels that attempt to precipitate social change are ultimately more persuasive than the use of modernist techniques in similarly motivated social activist novels. Therefore, sentimental strategies that encourage readers to identify with idealized characters and familiar, even formulaic plots allow sentimental novels to act as more popularly persuasive vehicles for social change than modernist novels that deploy realistic techniques through less obvious strategies of identifying with protagonists and which present more morally complex scenarios.
One of the greatest strengths of the sentimental novel is its ability to elicit empathy. Although a literary critic may blanch and the use of such devices as stock characters and idealized moral scenarios in sentimental novels, as deployed most vividly in such works as Uncle Tom's Cabin by…… [Read More]
In the cinema, women were often sexual, powerful vamps and flappers, portrayed by actresses like Louise Brooks and Clara Bow. Flappers cut off their long hair and shed their long skirts for a more athletic and empowered appearance. However, although the flapper was culturally significant in terms of her image and power, her time in the limelight was relatively brief. Born of the prosperity of the Roaring 20s, during the Great Depression, women faced more sober circumstances. Still, many women continued to work, often because they were now the primary breadwinners for impoverished households. But working away from the home and female independence was less idealized. Films such as The Gold Diggers of 1933 showed women looking to marriage as a way of relieving their economic despair.
Katherine Hepburn: The Next New oman
hile some of the stars to emerge during the 1930s were decorous and feminine, others, such as…… [Read More]
She was outraged watching the slave actions etc. that were taking place. She was from one of the most prestigious families in the nineteenth century in America. The document was created in 1852. The author is affected by historical context because slavery was prevalent at the time. Stress between the north and the south was obvious. The platform had been set for the document that she created. The document was created within the period of the reported events. Therefore, it was a fresh perspective of a current event. This document was created form everyone in my opinion. This documents purpose was to give an account and gives everyone a chance to view the situation from another perspective. Yes, the document was prepared for public distribution, the book sold over a million within a year of being published. This book was a recant of the situation that was going on with…… [Read More]
Voice & Identity in "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass"
This essay discusses the book NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, AN AMERICAN SLAVE: WRITTEN BY HIMSELF, by Frederick Douglass, John W. Blassingame, John R. McKivigan (Editor) and Peter P. Hinks (Yale University, 2001).
Frederick Douglass was an early-19th century American slave who escaped the South and found freedom in the North. Seven years after his escape, Douglass published "Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave," his story of his life under the brutal system of American slavery, as well as his ability to prevail under and escape such difficult circumstances. It has become an American classic.
Narrative of the Life," published in 1845, was the first book of Douglass' writing and journalism career. He went on from "Narratives" to become an accomplished speaker and journalist, arguing passionately for the abolition of slavery, and describing…… [Read More]
black women contribute to the early abolitionist movement? hat types of restrictions did women (both white and black) face in American society at this point? hy did more people at this point accept the idea of freeing blacks than giving women equal rights and opportunity?
American women, black and white, were prohibited from voting in both the antebellum Northern and Southern states. Yet African-American women still played a prominent role in the early abolitionist movement. The most famous such participant is of course Sojourner Truth, a freed slave who protested, 'ain't I a woman,' after listing the many ways she had been denied the traditional middle-class comforts extended to white females, and still survived, despite being a member of the supposedly weaker sex. However, even before emancipation, many black women were participants in the abolitionist movement.
Often these women were liberated escaped slaves such as Harriet Jacobs, who told her…… [Read More]
omen to History
omen have contributed to the history of the world from the beginning of time. Their stories are found in legends, myths, and history books. Queens, martyrs, saints, and female warriors, usually referred to as Amazon omen, writers, artists, and political and social heroes dot our human history. By 1865, women moved into the public arena, as moral reform became the business of women, as they fought for immigrant settlement housing, fought and struggled for the right to earn living wages, and stood up to the threats of the lynch mobs. The years beginning in 1865 is known as the Civil ar era and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. It was a time of great changes, especially for African-American women such as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. omen of all races had to fight for equal rights, even the right to vote (http://women.eb.com/women/nineteenth09.html).omenhave indeed 'come a long…… [Read More]
" Steinbeck's novel was written in a much different style, much more modern, and so it is easier for modern readers to relate to it. Each of the novels places the characters in poor situations, so they all compare to each other in this regard. The reader becomes sympathetic to them because of their plight, and they want them to win. Unfortunately, because of society at the time, for most of the characters, that is not possible. Steinbeck's account of the Joads leaves them in a terrible situation by the end of the book, yet they somehow remain hopeful. Steinbeck is looking at the American people as a whole, and how, when the times are the worst, they still hang on to hope.
As for social impetus, the books did spark change. "The Jungle" actually helped form the first department in Washington to deal with food safety, the Federal Department…… [Read More]
Indeed, in retrospect, my personal issues, no matter how stringent they might have been, should not have stayed in the way of exercising my common sense in the relationship with the rest of the individuals.
From this perspective, it is most likely that I should have followed what the son of the writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, C.E. Stowe said in relation to common sense, that "common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done." (ThinkExist.com Quotations, 2006) Therefore, I now come to realize that it is of little importance the actual personal problems we are faced everyday because the people around us, and especially our friends, have no blame in them and acting foolishly towards them would not improve or create a result to our own issues. On the contrary even, when we tend to act without using our…… [Read More]
John Brown's Raid On Harper's Ferry
John Brown and his raid at Harper's Ferry have a symbolic importance, as he himself was well aware, to suggest that not all white people counted themselves complicit in the persistence of slavery within the antebellum United States. In other words, Brown was engaged in what old-style Marxist revolutionaries used to refer to as "propaganda of the deed." His letters from prison were consciously intended as propaganda, as he asked for them to be circulated (and indeed published): "Please let all our friends read my letters when you can; & ask them to accept of it as in part for them."(Earle 98). And although his stated intention at Harper's Ferry -- to seize the weaponry there, arm the slaves of western Virginia, and thus begin Spartacus-style uprising -- failed, Brown craved martyrdom as justification, claiming: "I have now no doubt but that our seeming…… [Read More]
Even "Porter Alexander, Lee's ordnance chief and one of the most perceptive contemporary observers of Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia, called his decision to stand at Antietam 'the greatest military blunder that Gen. Lee ever made'" (Owens 2004). Historians are divided as to the real purpose behind the Maryland campaign, which seems like an "isolated maneuver, another manifestation of Lee's innate aggressiveness as a commander. Some have gone so far as to suggest that Lee's forays into Union territory were undertaken primarily to maintain his claim on scarce Confederate resources that might have been used to greater strategic purpose in the est" (Owens 2004).
hether a demoralization strategy or an effort merely to show Confederate aggression, the focus on Lee in most historians' analysis shows how Lee dominated this conflict, and defined the terms of the battle. Thus, even if Lee acted unwisely, he was clearly 'in control,'…… [Read More]
In another McGraw Hill edition, entitled American History: Early Years to 1877, there does seem to be more of a stress upon being clear and factual, rather than presenting an equal number of women and men than in the Houghton Mifflin approach. Major figures such as George ashington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses Grant are given the greatest amount of attention. Issues of sex, gender, and sexual orientation and gender identity are seldom included in this textbook. There was an avoidance of special 'boxed' topics, segregating female or diversity issues away from other issues.
In most of these social studies books, the issue of female oppression is not at the forefront, although when relevant to the history of the past, such as with the struggles of African-Americans to find their way to freedom via the Underground Railroad under Harriet Tubman's watch, these issues are not ignored. This raises the question, of…… [Read More]
Civil ar and Sectionalism
Even after the creation of the United States of America in 1776, sectionalism guided economic and political realities throughout the union. The United States developed regional economies, regional philosophies, and regional politics. Slavery, its economics and its politics, was the most contentious issue that divided the nation along northern and southern lines, and would eventually cause the Civil ar. As early as the 1790s, the northern states abolished slavery within their borders while the Southern states held on strong to the institution. Sectionalism would become the key cause of the Civil ar, the bloody manifestation of sectionalist issues within the United States.
Early signs of sectionalism became evident as early as the ar of 1812. The New England states still held strong economic ties with Great Britain, so those states generally opposed the war for financial reasons. Clearly, the economies of the north and south were…… [Read More]
Compromise of 1850 was. Was it a successful compromise? Why or why not? The Compromise of 1850 addressed the issue of slavery in the growing Union, and also contained the "Fugitive Slave Act," which stated that slaves who escaped from bondage in the South would be returned to their owners. The Compromise was contentious from the first, and many believe it ultimately helped create the atmosphere in both North and South that led to the South's secession from the Union and Civil War.
Basically, the Compromise of 1850 was an attempt by two sides who did not agree to reach a compromise by altering how states entered the Union, and whether they chose to become slave-holding states or free states. Many powerful politicians worked on the compromise, including Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Jefferson Davis, William Seward, Stephen Douglas, and many others. The Compromise centered on…… [Read More]
Poe, Fall of the House of Usher
Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is perhaps the best-known American entry into the genre of Romantic and Gothic tale, yet it is worth asking what elements actually identify it as such. Spitzer describes the level of Gothic excess here:
Roderick and Madeline, twins chained to each other by incestuous love, suffering separately but dying together, represent the male and the female principle in that decaying family whose members, by the law of sterility and destruction which rules them, must exterminate each other; Roderick has buried his sister alive, but the revived Madeline will bury Roderick under her falling body. The "fall" of the House of Usher involves not only the physical fall of the mansion, but the physical and moral fall of the two protagonists. (Spitzer 352).
To a certain degree, this marks Poe's story out for particular…… [Read More]
Consequences of the Industrial Revolution on English Society
The ninety years between 1760 and 1850, commonly regarded as the "First Generation" of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, were to bring about sweeping changes: technological, economic, philosophical and social. Previously, technology was low. Manufactured goods were produced by hand, often in the home or in small workshops, by skilled artisans who generally specialized in making one type of goods or one component of an item. The economy was dominated by agriculture, and the majority of the population was rural. ealthy families who owned the land rented it to tenant farmers; these tenants, while mostly illiterate, had the opportunity to grow their own food and live in somewhat appealing and healthful surroundings. They were almost a cashless society, paying their rents and buying goods largely through their produce and exchange of labor. Their diversions often centered around fairs and saints' days, and…… [Read More]
Anti-Slavery Movement of "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave"
Frederick Douglass' biography entitled, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Life" is a literary work that does not only discuss slavery in broader terms incorporated into a literary work during the 19th century, but the narrative is also a social study of the life of black Americans during the black American slavery period (19th century). Being a social study of the American society during the 19th century, the Douglass biography illustrates the injustices and inequality among black Americans during the black slavery period through vivid and descriptive narrations of the author's experiences as a young black American slave who tried to free himself from the slave bondage. Douglass' biography is also an example of a literary work that focuses on the theme of anti-slavery movement, similar to the objectives of famous black American writers…… [Read More]
popular films, The Patriot and Glory to discuss and evaluate leadership illustrations. The writer focuses on the leadership qualities in each film. The writer then explores the differences and similarities between the two especially when it comes to leadership. There were six sources used to complete this paper.
Most movie goers will agree that the silver screen productions that they go to view have a theme. The theme may be obvious and blatant, or the theme can be nothing more than an undertone that runs through the storyline. The themes are not always evidenced immediately, but are savored only after one has been able to enjoy the film and digest its more obvious elements and truths. Two popular movies provide a theme of leadership. Leadership is a broad-based topic of discussion in many arenas today, as it is possible to display and recognize leadership in many different ways. Leadership is…… [Read More]
American History 1600-1877
In the period from 1600 to 1877, it could be argued that the United States was only basically establishing itself as an independent nation in its own right -- the period in question builds up to the climax of the Civil War, in which the contradictions inherent in the national identity would finally reach armed conflict. Who, then, could be nominated as the best of the American enterprise in that time period? For different reasons, I would nominate Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, and Frederick Douglass.
Franklin is an easy choice: he established America's credibility in the eyes of Europe. Regardless of the military issues involved in the American Revolution, it was Franklin alone who showed Europe that there was a viable independent nation across the Atlantic. This is in recognition of his various accomplishments, which were scientific, technical, literary, and philanthropical (in his endowment of universities and…… [Read More]
Born from 1844, died 1892
She had worked as a cook and washerwoman since the age of 17 for soldiers during the American Civil War. Soldiers had captured slaves like her and made them work under them. At 21, when the war ended, she took some odd jobs here and there until she chose to hide her identity by enlisting as Williams Cathay, as a man, and served in a regimen for several years. They only discovered she was a woman when a surgeon examined her. Shortly after enlisting, she had acquired small pox and visited the hospital several times.
Born in 1821, died 1910
Elizabeth Blackwell was America's first female doctor. Born in England then moving to America due to a Cholera outbreak, she lived in Cincinnati. At first she and she opened a school…… [Read More]
Stand on Slavery
During the 1830s all the way to the 1860s, a development to end slavery within America picked up speed within the northern part of America. This movement was being led by free blacks; for case in point, Frederick Douglass along with a number of white advocates, for case in point, William Lloyd Garrison, who was the editor and originator of the radical daily paper "The Liberator," as well as, Harriet eecher Stowe, who distributed the top of the line abolitionist novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Whilst numerous abolitionists construct their activism with respect to the conviction that slaveholding had been a sin, several others had been more disposed to the non-religious "free-work" contention that assumed that slaveholding had been backward, wasteful and seemed well and good (History.com, n.d.)
What stereotypes do these documents promote about African-Americans?
James Henry Hammond (1858) in Mudsill Theory mentions the U.S. Senate speech,…… [Read More]
nature in American literature, from earliest writings to the Civil War period. It is my purpose to outline the connection between spirituality, freedom and nature and explain how American writers have chosen to reflect and interpret these themes in relation to their historical realities.
At the beginning of the colonization process there were two congruent depictions of nature. Initially, the tribes comprising The Iroquois League lived in close contact with nature and believed in the importance of maintaining a harmonious relationship with it. In this respect, the Iroquois Constitution imposes a devout display of gratitude to all by-human elements of the world before the opening of any council. On the other hand, the early explorers and founders of the United States perceived an immense natural potential in the country. In this sense, Thomas Hariot describes the New World as a land of wealth, his words and images aimed both at…… [Read More]
Mary also remembers the days of the war, when they heard stories about being set free and prayed for their freedom. Then one day all the slaves were asked to come to the Grand House. Here they were told by the master and his wife that they were no longer slaves. They were now free. "The Yankees will soon be here." The two of them then brought their chairs to the front of the house on the porch and waited. In about an hour, the Yankees arrived and repeated: "You are now free." The slaves and Yankees ate and drank together in celebration, while the owners continued to "humbly" sit on the porch and watch. This story by Mary was indeed very different from the movies, such as "Gone with the Wind" with the fires and mayhem. It is actually as if the master and his wife were glad --…… [Read More]
River Runs Through Her: River Imagery and Symbolism in Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"
Water symbolism, and especially that of the river, is integral to Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Rivers, with their winding waters, are not just part of the geographic landscape or the natural world. For Jacobs, rivers and all bodies of water have both practical and symbolic functions. The river forms a physical barrier between places; it divides states and physical locations. Rivers divide cites like Philadelphia and they provide natural borders between cities and states. Rivers also help delineate the North and the South, which in Jacobs' time was eminently significant. Therefore, the river is a metaphorical barrier between slavery and freedom. The oppressive plantations of the south are separated from the Free States in the north by these flowing bodies of water. In Harriet Jacobs'…… [Read More]
The study will focus on the years 1967 through 1970. The study will also review the exact terms of the draft legislation at the time with a particular focus on the exemptions that were made available. The result of the study will be to show exactly how race and social economic status had an adverse impact on determining whether or not an individual was to be drafted into the Vietnam War.
Key Questions: The key question is to go beyond simply showing that statistically the draft had a larger impact on minorities and low income individuals but to also demonstrate how this makes the draft a de facto discriminatory law.
The primary sources that will be used in conducting this research include the military draft legislation and governmental records pertaining to the background information of all military draftees for the aforementioned years.
The approach to be taken is…… [Read More]
Man of the Crowd
By Edgar Allan Poe (1840)
The story significantly depicts not only the preoccupation of the 17th hundred London issues and a trend brought by the progressive industrialization of time, but speaks so much relevance in our modern time as well. The epigraph which sums up the very essence of the story explains the dynamic of a human being too busy to mingle with the crowd for fear of facing the haunting memory of a disturbed self, the lonely person, the conscience and the unsettling disturbances deep within. The epigraph "Such a great misfortune, not to be able to be alone" is rich in context within the story, but also a rich source of reflection of a human and societal struggle. I firmly believe in the relevance of the story not only in its significance to the theme and era when this story was written, but for…… [Read More]