Uncle Tom ‘s Cabin published in the 1850s is an anti-slavery Christian novel which is one time regarded as the trigger of the Civil War in America. The book left great influences to the American people at that clip and the effects are everlasting. The writer Harriet Beecher Stowe created the hero Uncle Tom as a tragic and suffering slave who ne’er loses religion in Christian redemption but ended with decease. The descriptions of wickedness and immorality in bondage expose an acute issue in 1850s America. In this novel, Marie St. Clare and Mrs. Shelby are two adult females characters who portion something in common but wholly different in their attitudes toward bondage. In the book, most adult females play the function of enlighteners who influence their hubbies and boies with Christian love and generousness. Much research has been done in analysing the importance of adult females characters in Uncle Tom ‘s Cabin. This paper tries to happen elements that cause differences on the issue of bondage between Marie St. Clare and Mrs. Shelby.
2. Marie St. Clare and Mrs. Shelby
In this novel, there are many impressive adult females characters that exert their influences in their conflict towards bondage, such as Mrs. Shelby, Mrs. Bird, Rachael Halliday, Miss Ophelia and even small saintly Eva. However, Marie is an exclusion in this group of moral female characters.
2.1 Introduction of Marie St. Clare and Mrs. Shelby
2.1.1 Marie St. Clare
Marie St. Clare, a free Christian white adult female, is the lone female character who thinks bondage is right in the book. Although she is non the 1 who straight takes portion in mistreating slaves, her agreeable attitude towards slavery eventually alterations Uncle Tom ‘s destiny after St. Clare ‘s decease. Marie takes slaves as a debauched race that dose non hold right to take portion in any Fieldss of the society, non even has the right to praying before the God. Her spiritual belief is grounded on a false construct which expels slaves from the supplications. However, her hubby St. Clare and her girl small Eve both present to be hapless and kindhearted towards slaves. After small Eva and St. Clare ‘s decease, she sells Tom on her ain will and pushes Tom to the universe of agony.
2.1.2 Mrs. Shelby
Mrs. Shelby is besides a free Christian white adult female whose hubby is a slave owner. In this novel, Mrs. Shelby is depicted as a hapless, moral, kindhearted kept woman who struggles against bondage. Although her hubby Mr. Shelby is apathetic to the slaves, Mrs. Shelby ne’er gives up her beliefs and tries her best to assist those pathetic slaves. Meanwhile, she tries to edify her hubby with her Christian love and generousness. Her boy Master George, a kind- hearted immature gentleman, is to some extent influenced by his female parent ‘s religion and political orientations. Nevertheless, Mrs. Shelby can non exercise her ain force in a male-dominated universe and has nil to make with the trade of Uncle Tom.
2.2 Comparison of the two adult females figures
As is shown in the debut, Mrs. Shelby and Marie have similar individuality: married woman of slave owners and free white Christian adult female. Both of them have been related to Uncle Tom for a period of clip. As for the different facets, the largest differentiation between them is attitude towards bondage. In add-on to that, their experiences and spiritual beliefs are besides typical. The undermentioned portion is to analyse the causes of their different attitudes toward bondage.
3. Causes of different attitudes toward bondage
In order to be integrated, analysis of the causes will be done from non merely the textual information but besides from the purposes of the writer.
3.1 Christian religion
Christianity, as another subject of the novel penetrates into every corner of the book and exerts its influence in organizing assorted Christian characters. Uncle Tom is the hero and the representative of faithful Christians who struggles for Christian redemption. He suffers acceptably without kicking as he firmly believes that God will comes to salvage every animal in the universe.
Marie St. Clare believes in God, but misunderstands the kernel of Christianity. Jesus Christ uses his ain blood to salvage every animal and is the Jesus of Christians. “ The text was, ‘He hath made everything beautiful in its season ; and he showed how all the orders and differentiations in society came from God ; and that it was so appropriate, you know, and beautiful, that some should be high and some low, and that some were born to govern and some to function, and all that, you know ” ( Uncle Tom ‘s Cabin Chapter XVI ) . In Christian belief, everyone is born equal no 1 is born to function others. “ There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. ” ( Galatians 3:28, Bible ) Marie regards slaves as a debauched race and ignores Christian rule. Her false construct fortuitously dose non affect St. Clare and Eva who by replete dainty slaves with kindness. Therefore, Marie ‘s apathetic attitude towards slaves mostly depends on her deformed Christian beliefs. In add-on to that, Marie is non an existent Christian but a superficial 1 for she rarely reads the Bible. Otherwise, she could larn forgiveness, generousness and kindness from the Bible. It is dry that Marie is a perfect Christian name for adult females.
Mrs. Shelby, in contrast, considers assisting pathetic slaves as her duty as a Christian adult female. “ This is God ‘s expletive on bondage! -a bitter, bitter, most accurst thing! -a expletive to the maestro and a expletive to the slave! ” ( Uncle Tom ‘s Cabin, Chapter X ) With this passion of anti-slavery, Mrs. Shelby is thought to hold a rough tone of emancipationist, as pointed by Mr. Shelby. She follows the Christian belief of being sort and shows her Christian love to the hapless slaves. “ I have tried-tried most dependably, as a Christian adult female should- to make my responsibility to these hapless, simple, dependent animals. “ ( Uncle Tom ‘s Cabin, Chapter X ) Mrs. Shelby, with her Christian love, although does n’t act upon her hubby, is win in act uponing her boy who set his male parent ‘s slaves free at last. Mrs. Shelby is to some extent resembles Holy Spirit deducing from the Holy Bible.
3.2 Abolitionism and Feminism
Uncle Tom ‘s Cabin was published in 1852, a clip which saw the serious struggle between American Northerners and Southerners on the issue of bondage. In 1850, two old ages before the publication of the book, Fugitive Slave Law was passed, claiming that all runaway slaves be brought back to their Masterss. ( wiki.org ) . Argument on what adult females should make to stop bondage had been existed by 1851. Harriet Beecher Stowe ‘ sister Catherine Esther Beecher is a celebrated American pedagogue who claims that Christian adult females have the power to stop American bondage in order to salvage the state Catherine ‘s influence can be shown in Mrs. Shelby ‘s Christian love. However, Stowe does non see adult females by themselves can carry through such s tough undertaking. This position of Stowe ‘s can follow the failure of Mrs. Shelby ‘s battle against bondage. “ The shaking Earth, the low-murmuring booms, already admonish us of our danger ; and if females can exercise any salvaging influence in this exigency, it is clip for them to wake up ” ( Catherine. E. Beecher ) “ But, what can any single make? “ ( Harriet Beecher Stowe ) Marie is the opposite side of Mrs. Shelby on the issue of bondage. She is the slave owner merely as Grimke sister describes: “ She would flog a whole plantation of slaves if her hubby did non forestall her. “ ( American Slavery As It Is, Grimke sister )
Feminism is derived from abolitionism in 1830s, claiming the equal rights of adult females in assorted Fieldss. Debates over the function of adult females in the abolitionism bit by bit lead to arguments over adult females ‘s place in the society. Mrs. Shelby ‘s failure in ruling major issues in the household is a testimony of an existent male-dominated society. Influences of feminism made Stowe put tonss of attempts in picturing assorted adult females characters in the battle against bondage.
3.3 Different Fictional characters
Bing brought up in a rich household, Marie is chesty, careless and selfish in nature. She has a sense of high quality to ointments and even to other white people. As the lone kid of her male parent, she has been surrounded by retainers from babyhood, and is wholly spoilt. Her attitude towards slaves Begins to organize from her babyhood. She is so chesty that any advices towards her attitude will non make. As a married woman, she lacks religion to her hubby St. Clare. After small Eva ‘s decease, St. Clare ‘s injury in his bosom does non present before others. Therefore, Marie complains that her hubby is hard-hearted and hardhearted when St. Clare does non cast a tear. She can non understand that existent injury is frequently deep rooted in one ‘s bosom, non merely shows superficial groans or plaint. A selfish adult female who does non even believe in her hubby is non expected to demo any kindness to those hapless slaves. Marie ‘s experience in the childhood and the ulterior matrimony leave her strong sense of solitariness as a consequence. She lives in her ain universe and ne’er cares other things in the life, non to state demoing ant understandings towards the slaves.
“ Mrs. Shelby was a adult female of high category, both intellectually and morally ” ( Uncle Tom ‘s Cabin Chapter I ) In contrast to Marie, Mrs. Shelby is extremely respected as a benevolent, kindhearted and moral adult female. Her natural goodness to everyone around her thrusts her to demo sympathy to the hapless, suffering slaves. Therefore, she takes Eliza as her ain kid and indirectly helps Eliza to get away. From her position, slaves are powerless friends that demands aid and understandings.
3.4 Tom ‘s Influence
Tom goes to Mr. Shelby ‘s place when Mr. Shelby is an baby and leaves good feeling on his maestro and kept woman. Mrs. Shelby knows Tom good and to some extent is affected by Tom ‘s religion, trueness and honestness through old ages of services by Tom. As a effect, Mrs. Shelby ‘s attitude towards slaves is capable of maintaining mild, sort and hapless. In contrast, Marie ‘s attitude towards slaves has fixed before Tom enters St Clare ‘s household. She could non conceive of Tom is an exclusion among these lazy, awkward animals.
4. Different Consequences
After Mr. Shelby ‘s decease, Mrs. Shelby is appointed by her hubby to take charge of all the estates and cover with all the histories. Mrs. Shelby succeeds in winning assurance and religion from her hubby. Meanwhile, she wins respects from slaves and neighbours around. Marie sells Tom after St. Clare ‘s decease and suffers from her sick heath and solitariness at last. “ I the Lord search the bosom, I try the reins, even to give every adult male harmonizing to his ways, and harmonizing to the fruit of his behaviors ” ( Bible Jeremiah 17:10 ) The two figures different consequences present to be an reverberation of the Bible.
Marie St. Clare and Mrs. Shelby, although have a batch of things in common, differ from each other in their bondage point of views. From the above analysis, there are several causes of their difference, among which Christianity is the chief cause. Marie ‘s distorted spiritual beliefs forms her indifference towards the alleged debauched race. In add-on to that, her selfish nature and character besides influence her attitude. Mrs. Shelby on the other manus additions the existent kernel of Christian love and shows her generousness towards the suffering slaves. In the argument over adult females ‘s function in the battle against bondage, different thoughts appeared. At 1850s, Mrs. Shelby is a typical female character who draws attending of the populace by exercising her attempts in the war against bondage. On the other manus, Marie St. Clare is an apathetic adult female who carries immoral values towards people around, particularly the slaves. In order to happen adult females ‘s function in this novel, much work still necessitate to be done with more specific and accurate information.