What symbols did Harriet Beecher Stowe use in her novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’?


Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ was written near the time of the civil war. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the book to show how slaves were treated. She wrote it to express her strong feelings about why she felt slavery should be abolished. I think that people who read her book realized just how badly slaves were truly treated and how slavery shouldn’t have existed to begin with. Uncle Tom in the novel was an educated black man who worked hard and protected the other slaves. Stowe used many symbols in her novel and Uncle Tom was the main symbol. Harriet Beecher Stowe used him as the main character to show that slaves are not property and are humans just like everyone else. He is used to show people what a good, honest, and hard working man truly is like. He symbolizes the themes of hope, faith, love, and persistence and is a great example of all the stories themes. Uncle Tom represents a very strong Christian and not just a strong educated slave. In the movie Tom always said that God would take him back home and that He was looking over him. Tom never doubted God’s presence in his life. He never doubted that God watched over him which I think Stowe used to show how people not just slaves should act in life. Even when he was sold or beaten he always prayed or sang to God. What I took from Toms constant praise and reliance on God is that no matter how you feel God truly is with you. I don’t know how Tom kept his faith through out his life since he did have a hard life but he is an inspirational character. I think Tom showed how God won’t leave you even when you may feel like he has. Tom may not have made it home but he did help a lot of people before he died. Tom was an amazing man and he is very inspirational character in the movie. The little girl Eva is also a symbol in Uncle Toms cabin. She treats Tom as an equal from the very moment she meets him. She even treats him with respect before he saves her life. Eva is just a great symbol of how everyone person should treat others. She is a symbol of how not to be a stereotype. She is used to symbolize how to not be a stereotype. Since she is from the big racist area the south, she is expected to have no respect for black people and treat them like dirt. She prevails from the stereotype and is a great character that is not racist at all.


The picture of Tom saving Eva is just one example of how Tom try’s to do the right thing. When he is told to whip a slave he refused and is almost beat to death. Toms courage to stand up for not only himself but for others shows what a great man he is. Stowe did an awesome job with the symbols in her novel. Uncle Tom is the best symbol of love, kindness, and respect. Eva is also a great symbol. I think she used Eva to show that not all slave owners were awful people. Even though Eva wasn’t an actual slave owner since she was a child she still showed how slaves should have been treated. I really enjoyed watching this movie and I plan on reading the book soon. Harriet Beecher Stowe was a great writer and in my opinion her use of symbols impacted the way people viewed slavery.


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