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Cultural Legacy of H. Beecher Stowe

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Harriet Beecher Stowe is a great figure in American history. She significantly contributed to the enrichment of national literature, as well as provided a great impact on the social and political life of the state. Her works revealed sharp problems and issues of the American society and drew the public attention to the obscure questions of national development and growth. Nowadays, H. B. Stowe is remembered as an American abolitionist and the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Stowe’s literary works and articles fully reflect her thoughts and ideas, as well as her treatment of the contemporary events and social orders. The main peculiarity of Stowe’s writings consists in their authenticity and accentuation on the demands and needs of the less fortunate classes of society.

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in the family of prominent religious leader Lyman Beecher in 1811 (McFarland 112). Being a girl, she received good education, which included studying languages, literature, history and mathematics. The obtained knowledge helped Harriet much to form her personal attitude toward the urgent social events and express her views and opinions in a comprehensive and effective way. In a literary club, H. Beecher Stowe made important acquaintances, which shaped her views on slavery and forced her to become an ardent abolitionist. These views later found reflection in a series of novels and stories.

Interestingly, Harriet herself belonged to the high society and did not have to work hard to earn a living. However, all of her works reveal the peculiarities of lives of the poor people or slaves. She was much concerned with the destinies of the outcast people and tried to draw the attention of the public to their problems. Thus, Uncle Tom’s Cabin describes the life of slaves, focusing on their moral virtues and strong sides. Similarly, Stowe’s “The Seamstress” tells the readers about the lives of poor women, who honestly earn a living, working without rest.

The works of H. Beecher Stowe differs from those of other authors in the way they depict the main characters. Thus, she was the first to depict the slaves from a positive point of view. Her description of women also possesses a certain novelty. H. Stowe does not dwell on their physical beauty and social obligations, but rather presents them as industrious and virtuous individuals worth respecting and admiring. In such a way, Stowe fought for the gender equality and called for the expansion of women’s rights (Homestead 29).

Obviously, the radical and liberal thoughts and expressions of H. Stowe strongly affected the American social consciousness. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in thousands of copies and got both positive and negative critical responses, showing the ambiguous attitude of American society toward the problem of slavery (Morgan 136). Nevertheless, despite the diversity of opinions, Stowe’s works did not remain unnoticed or insignificant. They were little steps taken toward the installation of social justice and democratic principles of government. A great attention to the novel (from both supporters and critics) witnessed the readiness of American society to change for the sake of general well-being.

To sum up, the impact of H. Beecher Stowe’s works on America was tremendous. Her novels and stories discussed a painful and sharp issue of slavery, the support of which prevented the normal growth of the American nation and society. Being interested in the establishment of social fairness, H. Beecher Stowe could not neglect the demands and needs of the less fortunate citizens and tried to improve their positions with the help of her literary talent. Indeed, she managed to reach success in this sphere as her works marked the beginning of a new era, which preserved the equality of humans and importance of human rights’ protection. The personality of Stowe inspires many generations to express their genuine feelings and ideas despite the critics and despair.

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