Notes on English 103A Research Paper

Notes on English 103A Research Paper - Modern...

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Modern internpretations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin may focus on some of the more racist portrayals of blacks and criticize the unrealistic characters whose inorganic existence in the novel is used to blatantly convey Stowe’s abolitionist message, but when taking consideration of the social context at the time the book was released, we can see that Stowe intent was not necessarily write a classic American novel, but rather to discuss the immorality of slavery and point out the hypocritical nature of society which places emphasis upon Christian values yet tolerates the enslavement of blacks. Succeeded in achieving social reaction, civil war Different characters are used to appeal to different classes Addresses rift between North and South, via Rural/Farming VS Industrialized Cities Social commentary about the morality of opposing slavery but not taking action Significant commentary about Religion in society Decay in Realism Argue for the lack of realism within her social context o Characters serve specific purposes o Stowe is not aiming for realism in terms of characters but rather to emphasize the reality of slavery For many Northerners who do not support slavery and those in the South who keep slaves but are “good masters,” Stowe’s novel depicts their refusal in accepting their role in allowing slavery to exist as part of the issue itself We can say that they are in fact living in a reality which is based on denying their passiveness as supporting slavery. Decay in Realism can refer to moving away from a hypocritical reality and presenting an exaggerated depiction for audiences to consider a more objective reality. Decay in Realism
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o Stowe’s novel was intended to be a “decay in realism” Draw attention to issue of slavery Americans living in denial with regards to the realities of slavery Focus on existence of slavery in a Christian society o Hypocrisy While slaves are dehumanized and viewed as objects, slave owners also lose their humanity due to a lack of morality o Society is heavily influenced by Christianity, those who do not view slavery as an immoral act which violates religious doctrine cannot be considered a part of such a society. o Legacy as cultural work Consequences such as the Civil War define Stowe’s novel legacy as contributing to one of the landmarks of the Civil Rights movement Terms: Uncle Tom and Mammy First used by Marcus Garvey in early 1920s, to describe African Americans who are complicit with power of whites James Baldwin critique Substitution for political action/real connection
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This note was uploaded on 08/27/2011 for the course ENGL 103A taught by Professor Maslan during the Fall '09 term at UCSB.

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Notes on English 103A Research Paper - Modern...

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