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Uncle Tom's Cabin Essay on Eva

Uncle Tom's Cabin Essay on Eva - George Dorfman Susan...

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George Dorfman Susan Schrepfer United States Development I November 27, 2007 Stowe’s Feminine Christ Figure Throughout Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin , various feminine characters, such as Mrs. Shelby and Miss Ophelia, take moral stances toward slavery and prejudice that one might consider highly liberal for the time period in which the novel was written. However, one character was created by Stowe to express her belief that the entire slavery system was quite unacceptable and intolerable. The chapter in which this character first appears is entitled ‘Evangeline,’ which was most likely taken from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “ Evangeline ,” in which the girl depicted as Evangeline in the poem is said to walk “with God’s benediction” (Longfellow). The character in which Stowe attributes these characteristics to is Eva, the young daughter of the St. Clare’s, who legally purchase Tom to be their coach driver after he saves Eva from drowning. As Eva’s character develops, her influence is felt through the other characters, as Stowe uses her innocent voice to convey messages about the devastation of lives and society that results from the slave system. Through Eva, Stowe addresses the concepts of love and acceptance and how the application of these emotions to American views of slavery at that time may have resulted in the betterment of the black population. The first paragraph of Chapter 14 contains a foreshadowing description of Eva’s character in poetic verse, as Stowe recites a passage from In Atala , “ A young star! Which shone/O’er life—too sweet an image for such glass!/A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded;/A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded ” (226). This verse sets the
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guidelines for Eva’s character—a young girl with stout ideologies and a firm moral stance against all kinds of prejudice. Stowe makes a point of singling her out from all other characters, including her parents, who maintain somewhat passive views on the subject of slavery. When the reader is first introduced to Eva, she is depicted as quite the individual, preferring to be at a distance from her parents while aboard the sea-going vessel, as Stowe writes, “Her father and female guardian were incessantly busy in pursuit of her,--but, when caught, she melted from them again…as no word of chiding or reproof ever fell on her ear for whatever she chose to do” (231).
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