Today in class we discussed the first 100 pages of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. We looked at a few key quotes, and then we went on to talk about the characterization in the book.
Here are the notes from the power point slide:
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Pt.1
- What do you think?
- What parts tugged at your heart?
- What parts are the most scary?
- How does Stowe use persuasive language?
- How does she depict Christianity?
- Who is your favorite Character?
- Who is your least favorite?
KEY LINE OF NOVEL
“It is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the
best regulated administration of slavery.” (Stowe 9)
- In starting the story off with an idealized picture of loving slavery, she is showing that even in the BEST CASE SCENARIO it is still evil. This was a smart tactic on her part, very persuasive. Keep this line marked in your mind as the novel progresses.
Connecting to the Book
- Take notes IN the book. Ex. If you find a page that has information important to the theme of the book, write a note on the top of the page to show that theme is on this page.
- My notes on this page show that there is a discussion of the Bible and a man’s duty. I think this will be important later, so I marked it. You also then add this page number to the list in the back of the book.
- Please, Please Please underline the parts of the book that are important. Make notes next to those lines so you can see at quick glance if they are about slavery or Christianity, or whatever. Even use symbols to show you what kind of a moment this is from a glance—hearts and smiles are my best friend. I also use a lot of “wow” and “woah” comments.
- The words are just meaningless letters until they enter your brain and connect with you. That is where the story takes place. The people take shape and the story comes alive.
- Make a list of page numbers that talk about similar themes.
- Here is my list. I have themes like “Christian/Faith/Trust in God,” “Church,” “Bible,” “Free,” “Men,” etc.
- This makes my essay easy to write later, because I won’t have to search for quotes to back up my points; I have all the important quotes I need already cataloged.
- In a story, a dynamic character is someone who undergoes an important, internal change because of the action in the plot.
- How is Mr. Shelby a dynamic character in the first couple chapters of the book?
- Why does she show a complexity in him, a good man doing evil?
- Does his choice to sell Uncle Tom and Harry make him a bad guy?
What Do You Think Of This?
- “It was vain that he said to himself that he had a right to do it,–that everybody did it,–and that some did it without even the excuse of necessity;–he could not satisfy his own feelings; and that he might not witness the unpleasant scenes of the consummation, he had gone on a short business tour up the country, hoping that all would be over before he returned” (Stowe 84).
- Who Else is a Dynamic Character?
- Who changes because of circumstances?
- How does Senator Bird change?
- What does he stand for in chapter 9 and how does Lizzie’s plight affect him?
Role of Women
- Mrs. Shelby and Mrs. Bird are both portrayed as sensitive to the abolitionist cause. They both persuade their husbands to deny “logic” and use their hearts.
- Mr. Shelby and Mr. Bird are both shown to have sympathetic hearts, that circumstances and judgment are warring against.
Feelings Vs. Judgment
- Discuss Mr. Birds words, “Your feelings are all quite right, dear, and interesting and I love you for them; but, then dear we musn’t suffer our feelings to run away with our judgment; you must consider it’s a matter of private feeling,–there are great public interests involved,–there is such a state of public agitation rising, that we must put aside our private feelings.”
- Stowe is a MASTER of characterization.
- Characterization is the way in which authors convey information about their characters. Characterization can be direct, as when an author tells readers what a character is like (e.g. “George was cunning and greedy.”) or indirect, as when an author shows what a character is like by portraying his or her actions, speech, or thoughts (eg. “On the crowded subway, George slipped his hand into the man’s coat pocket and withdrew the wallet, undetected.”). Descriptions of a character’s appearance, behavior, interests, way of speaking, and other mannerisms are all part of characterization. For stories written in the first-person point of view, the narrator’s voice, or way of telling the story, is essential to his or her characterization.
Using Charts and Quotes
- On the line above the chart write Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- In the box for character write Eliza’s name.
- Let’s write brave for the trait.
- For evidence we will put a quote that shows she is brave.
Using Quotes for Evidence
- To prove Eliza is brave we can use a quote of her jumping across the river, or we can use a quote of another character describing that she is brave.
- Mr. Symmes said, “Yer a brave gal, now, whoever ye ar!” (Stowe 52).
- “…nerved with strength such as God gives onlty to the desperate, with one wild cry and flying leap, she vaulted sheer over the turbid current by the shore, on to the raft of ice beyond. It was a desperate leap—impossible to anything but madness and despair; and Haley, Sam, and Andy, instinctively cried out, and lifted up their hands, as she did it” (Stowe 51).
- After each quote that you write down, I want you to include a parenthetical citation. This will prepare you for research papers.
- So after the quotation, put the last name of the author and the page number in parenthesis. NO PUNCTUATION. Ex. (Stowe 41).
Pick A Character
- Aunt Chloe (pg. 18, 80)
- Sam (pg. 37)
- Haley (pg. 3, 7, 36, 56, 83, etc)
- John Van Trompe (pg. 78)
- Uncle Tom (pg. 4, 19, 27, 34, 80, 84)
Which character do you most connect to? Which is the most like you?
End of Part 1
“Tell her one thing,” said George; “it’s my last wish, if she can get to Canada, to go there. No matter how kind her mistress is,–no matter how much she loves her home; beg her not to go back,–for slavery always ends in misery. Tell her to bring up our boy as a free man, and then he won’t suffer as I have. Tell her this, Mr. Wilson, will you?” (Stowe 98).