As I stared out of the window today, I thought about Harriet Beecher Stowe. It’s said that although she was often quiet in social situations, Harriet Beecher Stowe keenly observed her surroundings and incorporated everything she saw, heard, and experienced into her writing.
One of my favorite of her works is Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which most people consider her opus – and rightly so. Uncle Tom’s Cabin demonstrates Stowe’s bravery to undertake not just slavery and abolition in her fiction, but also women’s rights, miscegenation, and racial pride and prejudice.
In the characters of George and Eliza for example, Stowe weaves together a story of intrigue filled with race mixing and racial passing, maternal desperation, familial sacrifice, love, romance, and danger, all against the backdrop of US slavery and the fight for freedom. And George and Eliza’s story is just one of the many subplots of the novel.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a fascinating tome that is definitely worth the read. And if quiet observation is how Stowe created such an impactful book, then that’s good enough for me as well.