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Tompkins Jane P Sentimental Power Uncle Toms Cabin andThe Politics of Literary History Glyph 2 1978 This essay is an incredible wealth of knowledge for someone who wants to write a paper on why Uncle Toms Cabin is so significant The author had actually lived in Harriet Beecher Stowes half-sisters basement during a difficult time in her life 501 She explains why many people including herself do not see this novel as being the most important book of the century 504 Her explanation for this is that Stowe did not follow the canon of books that were produced during her time Her books was said to be like any other woman writers a cultural evil 503 Tompkins gives a background on why Stowe and other women writers were not classified with Thoreau Whitman Hawthorne etc She then goes on to say that Stowe like modern writers creates her own style and content for Uncle Toms Cabin She says that the unfortunate thing is no one wanted to accept it as being good writing Unlike Thoreau and Whitman the models of intellectual daring Stowe was said to have traded in false stereotypes dishing out weak-minded pap to nourish the prejudices of an ill-educated and underemployed female readership 503 Throughout the next few pages she backs up her main reason for writing this essay to make people see why and how Stowes novel is so widely read One reason this novel works is because of Stowes philosophies on Catholicism Tompkins uses the example of Evas death almost mimicking Christs death Evas death was compelling because it enacts a philosophy as much political as religious in which the pure and powerless die to save the powerful and corrupt 507 Tompkins says Stowe equates many characters with religious figures and even creates similarities between the characters within the novel She gives even more examples of this The basic idea behind this twenty-page essay is that this novel like
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