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EL 266 Uncle Tom's Cabin: Cruelty to slaves turns around


" You would think no harm in a child's caressing a large dog even
if he was black; but a creature that can think, reason and feel, and is immortal,
you shudder at. Confess it, cousin. I know the feeling among some of you Nor-
therners well enough. Not that there is a particle of virtue in our not having it,
but custom with us does what Christianity ought to do: obliterates the feelings
of personal prejudice. You loathe them as you would a snake or a toad, yet you
are indignant at their wrongs. You would not have them abused but you don't
want to have anything to do with them yourselves. Isn't that it?" (Aiken)

This was a little different from a text because the obvious, it was in play form. I think this version was better because it was a lot easier to follow and understand the characters more.
I see a general theme in the texts we have been reading: characters that are faced with a crossroad in their lives, for example: Cassie and Tom. Cassie believes that she has the devil in her due to the way she has been treated by her master. She tries to convey this to Tom, but his beliefs are way to strong to be tempted. Topsy feels that she has evil in her. This is probably due to the fact that she has been conditioned to be a slave since her childhood. That is until Ophelia changes her way about her slave.
Death is another theme I have seen quite frequently in the readings. Eva speaks about going to the heavens. So does her father after Eva passes on, St. Clare.
Spirituality is a third characteristic that characters during the eras we have been reading about seem to have. I see a lot in common between Eva and Pearl, from The Scarlet Letter. They both possess some higher form of spirituality. They seem to have more insight than their elders.
As far as the quote, well, I won't go into racism, but it sure relays to it. I think it is more along the lines of humanity. All St. Clare is trying to say is, just because people are different, color wise, does not mean they should be treated any more differently than any one else. Color should not be seen as a restriction. Ophelia despised negroes until she saw how Tom was with Eva. Even after Eva's passing. Her mind had changed. The repeated use of the word shiftless really showed Ophelia's character. It was not others that were lacking, but her. She lacked the intelligence to understand another race of people.


I completely agree that the quote above deals with prejudice and racism. Ophelia was so very judgemental of Topsy in the beginning, and it was only after Eva's death that she decided to take Topsy with her when she returned home.

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