Early US Literature

Home » Annotated Bibliography » Harriet Beecher Stowe: Debates and Impact

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Debates and Impact


This short list of bibliography serves as a guide for scholars interested in developing research on the debates and impact Harriet Beecher Stowe had on the American culture after publishing her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The list ranges from digital databases that offer historical information on Stowe and her works to critical readings of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Bracher, Mark. “How to Teach for Social Justice: Lessons from Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Cognitive Science.” College English 71.4 (2009): 363-88. Print.

In this article, Mark Bracher, uses Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as an example of teaching social justice in a literature classroom. Bracher explains that Stowe relies on sympathy to promote social justice and she does that, through the rhetoric, she uses in the novel. Bracher mentions the drawbacks in evoking sympathy through fictional characters, as it may not always promote social justice among real people. He uses James Baldwin’s essay as an example of how protest novels can work against the writers and their intentions. Bracher follows the steps in which the novel takes to promote sympathy. He divides them into three steps; 1) reversing the stereotype 2) recognizing the human qualities in others 3) understanding human malleability. Bracher uses Stowe’s novel as an example for educators to use the novel to promote new scripts that can evoke sympathy for others. Bracher breaks down the strategies Stowe uses in her novel to evoke sympathy in her readers. This article is a great example of how literature can help promote social justice and make an impact on issues of injustice.

“C-SPAN American Writers: A Journey Through History” Web. 29 July 2013.

This website offers archives for scholars and educators and literary enthusiasts. The website provides information on the life and work of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The website also contains videos from C-SPAN that covers topics on the featured writers. The website links C-SPAN’s website for the videos provided, and when doing a search on c-spanvideo.org, a list of 18 videos related to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin were available. The video topics range from Stowe’s writing, book discussion, her life and her works, and more. The website does not go into detail on the life or works of each writer; however, they do provide lesson plans on each writer. The lesson plan guides educators to certain aspects to focus on when teaching the novel. It also provides links to chapters of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as well as the full text for Stowe’s The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The plan provides questions and focuses on key points regarding the topics discussed in the novel. The website offers video clips to accompany the lesson plans, however, an attempt to view the videos was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the videos on c-spanvideo.org were easily accessible.

Lowance, Mason I.,, Westbrook, Ellen E.,, De Prospo,R.C.,,. “The Stowe debate rhetorical strategies in Uncle Tom’s cabin.” 1994.Web.

The book analyzes the form of rhetoric that Harriet Beecher Stowe uses in writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It is divided into four parts. The essays in part 1 cover the language used in the novel. Catherine O’Connell’s essay argues that Stowe replaces the religious rhetoric with sentimentality. As for Jan Pilditch’s essay, it follows the role of satire in the novel; Pilditch argues that Stowe uses humor as a strategy in her novel. Part 2 looks into the influence of domestic narrative and its discourse. The essays expand on the argument presented by O’Connell in the first part. The essays explore the discourse of sentimentality in women’s literature. They argue that Stowe uses these methods for the purpose of composing her novel.  In Part 3, the essays analyze the influence of the Bible and the impact religious rhetoric had on Stowe’s argument in the novel, and her writing style. In part 4, the book focuses on issues such as gender and race that Stowe discusses in the novel. Additionally, the essays examine the stereotypes and characters presented in the novel. The book is a good source for those interested in developing a research related to the debates regarding Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

“Ohio Historical Society” Web. 29 July 2013.

Offers information on historical sites in Ohio. The Ohio Historical Society highlights significant sites in Ohio’s history, ranging from homes, memorials to nature preserves and much more. The website offers details on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s House in Cincinnati, Ohio and information on the house and what visitors can expect when visiting the museum. The house is significant because it serves as the prominent place that shaped Stowe’s views on slavery when she moved to Ohio with her family. The museum also contains a collection available to view at Stowe’s house; however, the website does not offer details on the collection available on site. Additionally, the website offers a digital archive collection and a digitization service. An online collections catalog is also available online and when searching the catalog for Harriet Beecher Stowe 138 items came up. In addition to the online catalog, users have the option to download, print/save or save as PDF. This service is a paid service that digitizes photographs, maps and other historical artifacts. The website serves those interested in historical sites and events in Ohio, as well as educators interested in learning more about the programs offered in these historical sites.

Reynolds,David S.,,. Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2011. Print.

The book is divided into 6 chapters and an introductory chapter. The book examines the impact Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, has had on the American culture since the publication of the novel in 1852. The novel received a huge response from its readers that allegedly Abraham Lincoln greeted Stowe by asking “[i]s this the little woman who made this great war?” (Reynolds x) The first three chapters look into the novel’s popularity and its use of the American culture, religion, antislavery works and other elements that help form the characters in the novel. In chapter 4, the book discusses the politics that help shape Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s polemic argument on slavery. Chapter 5 and 6 examine the controversies and impact the novel played in the issue of slavery. Additionally, the chapters follow the novel’s international impact on revolutions in China, Brazil, Cuba and other parts of the world. This book is aimed at scholars interested in the debate and impact the novel had on the American culture and other parts of the world, or simply anyone interested in Stowe and her work. 



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