Uncle Tom's Cabin Questions and Answers
by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin book cover
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What lesson can be learned in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe?

The lesson that can be learned from Uncle Tom's Cabin is that slavery is wrong. It is an evil institution and, as Stowe suggests, incompatible with the Christian religion.

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The central lesson Harriet Beecher Stowe wanted readers to learn after reading Uncle Tom's Cabin was that slavery was an unjust and un-Christian institution. The latter part of this argument is especially significant since several slave owners and pro-slavery advocates in the South argued that slavery was compatible with Christian morality. By emphasizing the brutality of slaveholders, in particular Simon Legree, who has Tom beaten to death and regularly rapes Cassy, Stowe is showcasing that slavery both victimizes the enslaved and corrupts the morality of the slave owner.

Remarkably for the time, Stowe also shows that the more "benevolent" slave owners and white abolitionists are racist themselves. While they may not beat, rape, or kill slaves, they still view them as subhuman. The hypocrisy of the abolitionist Miss Ophelia is a prime example: she teaches slaves to read but is disgusted at the thought of touching them or connecting with them on an emotional level. She might oppose slavery,...

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