Harriet Beecher Stowe Essays and Research Papers

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Title: Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Total Pages: 4
  • Words: 1072
  • Works Cited:2
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Both Harriet B. Stowe and Mark Twain use black character, Uncle Tom and JIm, to write stories about race/class, the national identity/disidentity, and relations between "blacks" and "whites." The relationship between Uncle Tom and a variety of whites and Jim and Huck model the mutual constuction of white and black as well as possibilities of a "national" identity. Compare Harriet Beecher Stowe's representation of Uncle Tom with Mark Twain's representation of Jim. You may want to consider: Is Jim's relationship tp Huck similar to Tom's relationship to Little Eva?

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Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lauter, Paul, ed. Massachusetts D.C. Heath and Company. 1990.

Stowe, Harriet. Uncle Tom's Cabin. New York: Bantam Books. 1989.

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Title: history

  • Total Pages: 22
  • Words: 6311
  • Bibliography:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: I would like a paper on Harriet Beecher Stowe''s Uncle Tom''s Cabin, focusing on play adaptations of the novel.
UTC should be treated not as a novel, but as a text created and recreated by its readers, adapters, and its foremost opponents. The responses to the text provides a means by which the novel assumed importance in American culture. The way its readers articulated and reconstructed the text bring on a range of social and political meanings. In what way did this text the political environment change the traditional relationship between reader and the novel? In context of slavery, religion, melodrama, and family crisis, UTC can be viewed as a cultural pattern instead of an isolated work.The North primarily used images of the brutality of slavery. Both in text and drawings the Union drew on the grotesque physical evils of slavery to rally support for Emancipation. The power of the visual spectacle opened the eyes of Northerners ignorant to the evils of slavery. Scenes of whippings in slave narratives prove to be extremely prevalent and memorable in the minds of readers. The violence of slavery often takes precedent over the emotional scares. Perhaps because of the immediate impact of physical pain and the accessibility of sympathy achieved through the medium of art and narrative that the Northerners relied chiefly on this image to convey their point. In the play posters of UTC the scenes of brutality are the ones chosen to be illustrated. Similarly, in the theatrical interpretations of UTC there are multiple instances of different productions using the scene of Tom being beaten to death as the cover image on the posters. Why are these images so much more accessible than the emotional scares that were much less apparent before the mass publication of slave narratives and of UTC and what about UTC, the novel broke these boundaries?
The Southern effort to placate the evils of slavery collectively used the image of the "happy darkie." In contrast the visuals and gruesome descriptions of slave beatings and whippings, the "happy darkie" is always dancing and singing. In fact, the black face minstrelsy shows became the most popular form of mass entertainment in both the north and south. White men would blacken their faces with cork perform songs of the "the good old days on the plantation." The only unhappy slaves are those that run away to the North and are unable to survive.
All up and down de whole creation,
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation
And for de old folks at home.

Chorus:
All de world is sad and dreary
Ebery where I roam
Oh! darkies how my heart grows weary,
Far from the old folks at home.

All round de little farm I wander''d,
When I was young,
Den my happy days I squander''d,
Many de songs I sung.

When I was playing wid my brudder,
Happy was I,
Oh! take me to my kind old mudder,
Dere let me live and die.

SOURCE: Old Folks at Home, Ethiopian Melody, As Sung by Christy''s Minstrels [By Stephen Foster] (New York: Firth, Pond & Co., 1851)
This sample from the one of white minstrel groups, though their primary purpose was entertainment, propagated very distinct stereotypes. It served the white community in that it appeased any guilt over slavery they might be feeling by showing cheerful slaves dancing and singing, and as evident in this song living in a family environment. However, in many accounts of slavery, most notably UTC, the separation from family and the displacement resulting, plays a central role the stories. In this particular song, the presence of the mother and brother can be accounted for by either naivety or assumption that most slaves were left in family groups or assimilated into the families already present on the plantations. Not only does, this song serves both to portray life on the plantation in a positive light, but also warned the slave community of the loneliness and desperation they will fell should they attempt to leave "de good old folks at home."
Similarly the accent of the language used is indicative of the prejudice in the writer. Although the race of the writer is unknown to me at present, it seems probable, pending confirmation from further research, that it was written by a white man or else composed by a black man and put to paper by a white man. The translation from the auditory language of slaves to paper reveals the prejudice. The unnecessary change of "the" to " de" proves gratuitous and unnecessary. The purpose of this change and the abbreviation of "ed" to " ''d" is a tool of the Southerner to distinguish himself, his intelligence, and mode of communication superior and different to the that of the slave.
Interestingly, in the recreation and translation of UTC, the novel, into the play the meaning is changed by the fusion of different elements and influence. The popularity of the minstrelsy fused into itself in the play. In the book the only dancing and singing occurs when little Harry and Topsy dance and when the Legree demands his slaves to sing and dance for him. However, by the 1870s, singing and dancing slaves appear repeatedly. In the Cabin Company production, there was dancing outside Tom?s cabin, the opening of the play, and on the auction block. The influence of the popularity of the songs of the "happy darkie" transforms Tom''s suffering into an entertaining spectacle. By 1890, Stowe?s copyright ends and new versions of the story emerged changing the original message even more adding more dancing in some and even erasing the dying infant in the hands of Prue. Could these changes in the translation of the text to theater serve to actually erase guilt for both Northerners and Southerners?
These same play posters and those in newspapers (from the Harry Birdoff Collection) claim historical accuracy, a notion the book did not. The poster for the Cabin Company advertises the play as "Instructions in American History" and "An Educational Experience." The argument for truth value in the novel is not present. In Stowe''s very own A Key to Uncle Tom''s Cabin (1853), she announces her intention to "exhibit [slavery] in a living dramatic reality." Though much of the novel is inspired by her observations on an actual plantation, she recognizes the power of fiction. What role do these ''half-truths'' play in history and this historical setting? What circumstances are provide volatile situations for controversial literature? Without ever aiming to do so UTC masqueraded as truth. Many of the play posters advertised the play as historically accurate or offered the truth. Why was this important to the both the adaptors and the audiences and what effect did it have?
In the character of Topsy many of the stereotypes of the North and South and the social issues of the time came together to form more complex messages. In the context of Christianity, family displacement, and the bondage of slavery Topsy embodies both a minstrel stereotypes and the image of the "wild child." In Stowe''s Key she explains Topsy in terms of the English working class and New York City prostitutes for whom education and reform efforts were being concentrated. These reforms were supposed to encourage self-respect, hope and an sense of character. The failure of these reforms is explored through the misguided intentions of Miss Ophelia who basically uses the young and rambunctious Topsy as an experiment to prove her educational theories will even work on a brutalized child of slavery. Though she would like to tame the child, her lingering prejudice stands in the way of her connecting with Topsy. Eventually the errors of middle class morality imposing itself on the lower classes is evident when Topsy''s behavior does change due to the genuine love from Eva, another slave. Like the middle class, Miss Ophelia is anxious about lack of morality present in Topsy, or the lower class. Yet in the anxiousness their is no love or genuine attempt to understand. Perhaps there is a sense of impossibility to connect such different creatures. However, most notable is that Topsy, like the lower classes, has no voice, no narrative. With out any sense of home or family, as she never knew one, Topsy is not a person, but a commodity to be dealt with. When compared to Tom, who misses a family he once new, Topsy cannot envision any alternative at all to comodified slavery. What other subtleties exist in the text and how were they interpreted by various readers? As the original text changed form, from novel to play to silent film to movie, what meanings were lost or changed?
It is my suspicion that the meanings of the text was manipulated through these transformation. The novel became a vehicle for both Northerners and Southerners to communicate and grapple with the issues of the time. It seems to be an enabler for other factual? narratives to emerge. How did the various responses UTC shape the political and social climate of the time period? I would also like the paper to further explore the truth value of fiction. When and how is fiction "truer" than history and How and when is fiction more powerful than fact?

Accurate citation is of the utmost importance. Also please cite works consulted even if not quoted in the paper. Feel free to use excerpts of this description in the research paper. Include all types of sources- databases, newspapers, play posters, books, play reviews, etc.

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Works Cited

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. "Uncle Tom's Cabin at 150. http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/programs/uncle.shtml

Women in History. "Harriet Beecher Stowe biography." Lakewood Public Library. Friday, 17 January 2003. http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/stow-har.htm

Jeanne Boydston, Mary Kelley, Anne Margolis. "The Limits of Sisterhood: the Beecher sisters on women's rights and women's sphere." 1988

University of Virginia, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities; "Reviewing Uncle Tom Onstage. http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/utc/onstage/revus/rvhp.html

Bennet, James Gordon (unsigned). "The Herald." New York: 3 September 1852

Ohio Historical Society, 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus, OH 43211.1998, http://www.ohiohistoricalsociety.org

Unsigned). "The Liberator." Boston. 8 October 1852

Foster, Stephen. Old Folks at Home, "Ethiopian Melody," as sung by Christy's Minstrels. New York. Fifth, Pond & Co., 1851.

Husler, Kathleen: "Reading Uncle Tom's Image: a Reconsideration of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 150-year-old Character and His Legacy," New York Historical Society. http://www.nyhistory.org/

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. http://www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/tom.January 2003

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Modern Library Edition. New York: Random House, 1985. 439.

Turner, Particia A. "Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies: Black Images and Their Influence on Culture." New York: Anchor Books, 1994. 78.

Bogle, op.cit. 6.

The name Rastus is probably derived from Eratus, both were fairly common names for American Blacks at the end of the 1800s. Rastus appears in many anti-Black jokes before the 1960s.

Siegel, Martin A."Classic trademarks put best faces forward," Marketing News. July 6, 1992, v.26, n.14, 17.

Pilgrim, David. Professor of Sociology. Ferris State University. December 2000. http://www.ferris.edu

Baker-Fletcher, Garth. "Xodus Musings: Reflections on Womanist Tar Baby Theology"

Lamb, Gregory. "What We've Made of Uncle Tom." Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1029/p17s02-legn.html,29 October 2002

Richard Laurence and James Lowe. "The American Directory Of Certified Uncle Toms." Lushena Books. March 2002

Lamb, Gregory. "What We've Made of Uncle Tom," Christian Science Monitor, http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1029/p17s02-legn.html.29 October 2002

New York University. "American Literature 1." Fall 2002. http://www.nyu.edu/classes/amlit/amlect21.htm

Gossett, Thomas F. "Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture." Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1985.

Hughes, Langston, 1952, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/programs/uncle.shtml

Lott, Eric, "Love and Theft," New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 314.

Adams, John R., "Harriet Beecher Stowe; Updated Version." Boston. Twayne Publishing. 1989.

Ammons, Elizabeth. "Stowe's Dream of the Mother-Savior: Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Women Writers before the 1920s." New Essays on "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Edited by Eric J. Sundquist. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986: 155-195.

Anchor, Robert. "Narrativity and the Transformation of Historical Consciousness." Clio 16, no. 2. 1987. 121-137.

Works Consulted

Collected Poems of Harriet Beecher Stowe." Ed. John M. Moran, Jr. ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 49. 1967. 1-100.

Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin; Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which they Story is Founded Together with Corroborative Statements Verifying the Truth of the Work." 1853. Port Washington: Kennikat P, 1968.

Low, Marston, Low and Searle. "Women in Sacred History; a Series of Sketches Drawn from Scriptural, Historical, and Legendary Sources." London: New York: Ford and Co. 1874.

Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe, compiled from her letters and journals by her son, Charles Edward Stowe." 1889. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1967.

Structure and Theme in the Novels of Harriet Beecher Stowe." American Transcendental Quarterly 24. 1974. 50-55.

Allen, Peter R. "Lord Macaulay's Gift to Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Solution to a Riddle in Trevelyan's Life." Notes and Queries 17. 1970. 23-24.

Ashton, Jean W. "Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Reference Guide." Boston: Hall, 1978.

Harriet Stowe's Filthy Story: Lord Byron Set Afloat." Prospects: Annual of American Culture Studies 2. 1976. 373-84.

If Ever I Get to Where I Can': The Competing Rhetorics of Social Reform in Uncle Tom's Cabin." American Transcendental Quarterly 4.2. June 1990. 135-147.

Miller, Randall M. "Mrs. Stowe's Negro: George Harris' Negritude in Uncle Tom's Cabin." Colby Library Quarterly 10. 1974. 521-26.

Stowe's Black Sources in Uncle Tom's Cabin." American Notes and Queries 14. 1975. 38-39.

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Title: Compare narratives Frederick Douglass Harriet Jacobs explain autobiographies attacked inequities slavery racism Cite examples narratives Compare contrast tone narratives slaves Frederick Douglass Harriet Jacobs Harriet Beecher Stowe endure slavery experiences

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 660
  • Sources:3
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Compare the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs and explain how both autobiographies attacked the inequities of slavery and racism. Cite examples from their narratives.
Compare and contrast the tone of the narratives of former slaves Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, and Harriet Beecher Stowe who did not endure slavery experiences. Cite examples to support your response

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Douglass, F. (1845). Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Retrieved online: http://ucblibrary3.berkeley.edu/Literature/Douglass/Autobiography/

"Harriet Beecher Stowe's Life," (n.d.). Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Retrieved online: http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/hbs/

Jacobs, H. (1861). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Retrieved online: http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/jacobs/jacobs.html

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Title: Analytic paper on Uncle Toms Cabin

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 657
  • References:2
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Based on Uncle Tom’s Cabin; would one agree with Abraham Lincoln’s comment upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe during the American Civil War that she was “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war?”

Support the answer with specific evidence (citations) from her novel and from the textbook, America: a Narrative History.

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Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Retrieved online: http://web.archive.org/web/20080913231136/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/StoCabi.html

Tindall, George Brown. America: A Narrative History. W.W. Norton.

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