Importance of the Setting in Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was obviously a novel where the
setting was the major factor in the plot of the story. If this had taken
place in any other area, like Canada, there would not have even been as
story because slavery did not exist there. Therefore the South was the
prime region to have this plot revolve around. Everything contained here
contributed to the actions of the characters, which will be explained in
the following paragraphs.
The setting was such an important influence because, like I said
before, it took place down in the South. This is where slavery was at its
peak and was used and abused by almost every citizen. The black race was
treated harshly just because of their color. They were beaten, over-worked,
and disrespected. Most of them were illiterate as well which did not help
one bit. In turn they could not make intelligent decisions, better yet
pursue what they wanted. Even if they had that ability though, that option
was not available because they were “black”.
The details of the setting that influenced the actions of the
characters were, again, the time period and where it took place. However
this was not the only thing that persuaded the characters because they
influenced each other. The citizens followed the crowd and did not have
their own opinions. If some person’s idea differed from that of the
majority, he/she would not dare speak up because they feared rejection.
Legree was one of the people looked up to and respected even though what he
was dong was totally wrong. Since he had power and money though, he was
admired. The only three people that actually did take a stand, if you will,
were George Shelby Jr., Augustine St. Clare, and his daughter, Evangeline.
These three characters opposed slavery and tried to do something about it.
(Unfortunately, though, the St. Clare’s efforts were diminished because
they both died). They were the citizens that should have been looked up to
Specific examples that show the setting’s influence on the
characters were all over the book. The next three excerpts will give you
an illustration of them.