Get help from the best in academic writing.

The Strength of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Power of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, has had a tremendous impact on American culture, both then and now. It is still considered a controversial novel, and many secondary schools have banned it from their libraries. What makes it such a controversial novel? One reason would have been that the novel is full of melodrama, and many people considered it a caricature of the truth. Others said that she did not show the horror of slavery enough, that she showed the softer side of it throughout most of her novel. Regardless of the varying opinions of its readers, it is obvious that its impact was large.

For instance many of the characters in the book have become the stereotypes of slavery in the South. An example of this is Uncle Tom himself, whose name was eventually degraded into a nickname for blacks who were too subservient to whites. He became the stereotype of the passive slave who would do anything his master told him, because it was his duty as a slave. However few remember how the strength of his faith was what allowed him to tolerate the horrors that were enacted upon him.

Another example of the stereotyping of Stowe’s characters is Aunt Chloe, Uncle Tom’s wife, and her children. Aunt Chloe is an excellent example because she has become the “Aunt Jemima” stereotype. She had a “round, black, shining face” and wore a checkered headscarf, and she worked in the kitchen, took care of the kitchen, and basically ran the household. Not to mention for many years black children were still stereotyped as mischievous like Mose, Pete, and, later in the novel, Topsy.

Even the slave owners and traders are stereotypes now. Mr. Shelby and his wife have become the “gentlemen and lady” slave holders, who see themselves as good Christian people and attempt to take good care of their slaves, but still don’t see black people as equal to whites. Simon Legree has become the stereotypical cruel master, who let his estate go to hell, but continued to work his slaves too hard and beat them senseless (or, in Tom’s and other’s cases, to death) when they did not behave as he thought they should.

However there are other ways this novel has been influential to American culture. After its publishing it helped spread the ideas of the abolitionist movement.

The Dual Nature of Characters in Shakespeare’s Othello

Dual Nature of Characters in Othello

Many of the characters in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello are duplicitous to the extent that how

they are perceived in public is not how they behave in private. The perception of the public plays

a very important role in the play Othello. The character of Iago uses his public perception as an

honest man to deceive Othello and other characters in the play. The perception of the public

of Othello and Cassio played an important role in the play.

Iago’s public perception played a very key role in the play. Everyone thought of Iago as

an honest man. “ O, that’s an honest fellow “ , “You advise me well …….. goodnight

honest Iago “ – “……..that’s an honest fellow “ “ I know thou’rt full of love and honesty ”.

Iago has everyone fooled into believing that he is a noble honest man. Without this

public perception of being honest he could never get Othello to believe that Desdemona was

cheating on him. Othello would have probably killed him if he didn’t have the public perception

of being an honest man. Iago knew that an important man like Othello couldn’t ignore

the possibility that his wife was cheating on him. Nobody suspects that Iago is a deceitful

man and would plot and plan to destroy Othello, Cassio and Desdemona in such a

cunning way. Iago used his public perception, and the insecurities of Othello being a Moor, to

allow him to manipulate Othello.

Othello had a public perception of being a military man, and a courageous leader. “Valiant

Othello, We must straight employ you…” “Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.”

Othello has been a soldier since he was seven years of age, and has experience on the

battle field. Othello was chosen when they went to fight the Turkish fleet. Because of

his public perception, it wasn’t hard for other people to accept the relationship between him and

Desdemona. As Iago started putting ideas in Othello’s head about Cassio and

Desdemona being together, another side of Othello’s personality started to surface.

Because Iago had the public perception of being an honest man, Othello couldn’t ignore his

insinuations about Desdemona. Othello wondered if Desdemona really loved him, or if

she was just using him to rebel against her father. With Iago constantly putting these

ideas in his head, Othello was convinced to kill his wife.

Cassio was known to be a good soldier, and is proud of that public perception.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.