Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
The story begins in mid nineteenth century with two men negotiating a sale. The merchandise subject to sale was two black slaves.
The first chapter of the book itself sufficiently elicits how powerfully and insightfully persuasive Uncle Tom’s Cabin is. In fact, this book is the most read and remembered of book of America. It also has been credited to be one of the main reasons for outbreak of American civil war. Such was its impact.
Harriet Beecher Stowe had done a massive job in the book threading the story through the rivets of beautifully portrayed characters. Stowe acquaints the reader to various families (black and white), horrifying yet realistic scenarios, injustice, indulgence, ignorance, denigration, scornful moral turpitude, torture, beliefs, disbeliefs and importantly, thoughts and feeling of the starkly persecuted blacks of the time.
The book was released in the year 1853 when USA was getting crippled under the convulsions of slavery and released it was with unimaginable success. It stood out to be the second most sold book of nineteenth century while the Holy Bible was first (sales of bible were partially a result of Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s usage of it in the story many a time as the only source of solace for the troubled blacks). Such was its influence on the society that President Lincoln has been surprised by its denouements and met Beecher Stowe for discussions on the topic.
Tom, the main character is an obedient yet spiritually and religiously adamant slave who is traded off from one family to other and again to an other. While in the first two, the masters have been very affable and amiable, the last was a fiend, a devilishly wicked man (like most other white masters when they treated the black slaves.) This cruel masters torture in the end becomes the reason for wearing off of the life in Tom turning the book into a tragedy. In between this splendid story, the reader is introduced to many characters that seem so real that the story hovers in the mind even after the book is finished.
Any story is definitely incomplete without good narration and Stowe’s narration is hair raising. With an awe-inspiring story and a mind blowingly involving narration of it, even after 170 years of its release, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a beautiful read. No other book I feel, would leave the reader so acquiesced and satisfied.
Just as the facts show, this book of Stowe is one that survived undeterred through a century and a half years and is not going to reduce its readership and impact in a few hundreds of years. With all certitude, an enormously massive work.