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Analysis

Literary Devices in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

It’s important to remember that the novel isn’t just titled Uncle Tom – it’s titled Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which makes the cabin the most important symbol around. Tom̵...

Setting

The book begins in the mid-19th century on the Shelby plantation in Kentucky, where Uncle Tom lives in a cabin with his wife and children. After fellow slave Eliza, the "favorite" of Mrs. Shelby, l...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator in Uncle Tom’s Cabin is able to present the inner thoughts of all characters and does so frequently. We also follow the adventures of multiple characters: Eliza and her son, Uncl...

Genre

Harriet Beecher Stowe had a specific moral aim: to encourage the American public in the North to see slavery in its true light and demand abolition. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is not a novel for enter...

Tone

This is not a funny story, and the narrator takes his task to educate the reader about the horrors of slavery very seriously indeed. He frequently makes comments intended to enlighten us about the...

Writing Style

Uncle Tom’s Cabin contains a clear moral and concludes with a sermon, earnestly working to convince its readers that each member of society has the means to contribute to the abolition of sla...

What’s Up With the Title?

"Uncle Tom’s Cabin" refers to the small home that Tom, a main character, creates with his wife Chloe on his master’s property in Kentucky, before his master sells him south. The small h...

What’s Up with the Ending?

There are lots of different ways to talk about the ending of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, because there are lots of different endings. First, there’s what happens to Uncle Tom himself – the...

Plot Analysis

Mr. Shelby trades Tom and Eliza’s son to slave trader, Mr. Haley. Despite his misgivings, Mr. Shelby clears his debt by selling his faithful slave, Tom, and Eliza’s son, Harry. Eliza ov...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Overcoming the Monster

Uncle Tom’s Cabin doesn’t really fit any of Booker’s Seven Basic Plots. The closest it comes to is "Overcoming the Monster." The "Monster" is slavery. The problem with fitting Unc...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Mr. Shelby sells his faithful slave, Tom, and Eliza’s son, Harry. Eliza escapes with her son while Tom is sold south. The slave trader pursues Eliza but she leaps across the river just in tim...

Trivia

The phrase "he’s an Uncle Tom" has become common, especially in African-American culture, to describe a person who is selling out to white culture and white values, perhaps even a person who...

Steaminess Rating

The closest Uncle Tom’s Cabin comes to mentioning sex is in reference to the beautiful women who are used as sexual slaves and forced into prostitution by their masters. These references come...

Allusions

Please note: Some of the Bible verses, those that are cited as appearing in the first paragraph of a chapter, are not included in all reproductions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.Lindley Murray, Englis...
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