Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in the year of 1811. She was a housewife of six, and wrote articles for magazines for a living. Stowe’s sister, Isabella Jones Beecher, was furious from the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law, passed as part of the Compromise of 1850. The law required all Northerners to return runaway slaves to their Southern owners. The result of the anger of the two sisters resulted in the production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
When reading the book, it is quite obvious to an observant reader that the book was written by a nineteenth century woman during the nineteenth century. The opening scene of the book, where Mr. Shelby talks to Haley about Tom, is a reference to Harriet Beecher herself. She is trying to portray that all themes in this book about the evils of slavery are unfortunately true. There were some bright points besides the evils of slavery. Stowe mentioned that slavery in Kentucky was not so badly-off.
This, however, angered abolitionists. Even though, there were still many fears to worry about. Another point is that Stowe makes Eliza and George, the parents of little Harry, light skinned. Stowe remarks that light-skinned women, like Eliza, are often especially attractive. This is one stereotype that whites have over blacks. The stereotype is described fully in the description of the two light-skinned story characters. All of the characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin are based on real acquaintances of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Eliza is based on a young woman that Stowe had met in Kentucky. The first indication of this is found in Chapter 3: The Husband and the Father. In this chapter, George Harris decides to run away to Canada and work to buy Eliza and Harry’s freedom. Also in this chapter, George and Eliza possess completely different thoughts about slavery. All in all, most of the situations and characters in this book are references to Harriet Beecher Stowe and the life she lived.
It was not an easy period to live in, especially for a black woman in a slave state. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an excellent example of what she had to deal with, and what kind of people that the slaves and masters were like. Stowe deserves much credit for writing this book, since she is coming straight out and expressing everything that she has lived through , the hardships, the terrors, and the friends that she made.