Sunday, October 05, 2008

Banned Book - Uncle Tom's Cabin

September 27-October 4 was "Banned Books Week," and in honor of that, Sunday Scribblings offers the topic "Forbidden." My Reader's Anonymous group read the book Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, at times considered a Forbidden Book.

This was a long book, a little daunting at first, but I am so glad I read it. It's a classic, and I am surprised I was never assigned to read it in high school or college, even though I studied English and history. The book is valuable, not only for its historical value, but for its richly crafted characters and intriguing plots (not just one, but several).

Many of us have heard the names over the years... Simon Legree, Topsy, Uncle Tom, Dinah, to name a few. Now, I can put a story with each of these names. And while the novel has fictional elements, Stowe based her characters on real accounts, particularly on the memoirs of Reverend Josiah Henson. And when put in perspective, that this novel was written in 1852 during the pre-Civil War days by a WOMAN, the book becomes that much more significant. The novel presents authentic accounts of slavery in the United States.

Uncle Tom's Cabin was banned in the south shortly after it was published. It was considered abolitionist propaganda. It was even banned in Russia. So controviersial was this novel that, upon meeting Stowe, President Lincoln is credited with saying, "So, this is the little lady who wrote the big book that made this great war." It has also been banned for language concerns much like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In 1984, Uncle Tom's Cabin was forbidden for that reason in Waukegan, Ill. School District.

There is much more than political commentary in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The story has memorable characters and an interesting plot that would make a good story even if it weren't about such a controversial subject. I am so thankful that I have not been forbidden to read books such as this.
Check out another "great" woman! Junie B. Jones! Book Giveaway.


  1. I left you something on my blog go pick it up.

  2. I was aghast when I it on the list as well as many other well read American classics Of Mice and Men, the Grapes of Wrath, Alice in Wonderland, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, etc...

  3. I haven't read this book for ages - maybe I should read it again. Amazing, isn't it, that books can be forbidden and movies can't? Or is it just me? Nice post!

  4. Yes, it's very difficult to read in parts, but it's a great book.

  5. I have never read Uncle Tom's Cabin but you have intrigued me. I think book banning is such a great travesty.

    I went to 3 different high schools & missed out on a lot of required reading. For instance, I have never read Romeo & Juliet. It's on my nightstand now tho.

    Also, I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird. My first time reading it! I have the movie on hold at the library now. ;)

  6. I agree I love the freedom to read what I want!! As woman we are so fortunate to live in North America...some places in the world are still suppressed with not only forbidden books but forbidden human rights too! Great reminder of that freedom!

  7. Ive never heard of this book until now, thanks for the history on it.


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