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Built on emotion: Harriet Beecher Stowe and the emotional work of Uncle Tom's cabin




Roller, James Joseph, author
Ronda, Bruce, advisor
Gudmestad, Robert, committee member
Thompson, Deborah, committee member

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Except for the Bible, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was the largest selling book during the nineteenth century. Modern emotion theorists have produced extensive scholarship exploring the ways in which Uncle Tom's Cabin functioned within antebellum America, and the ways in which it changed the American slavery debate. Using emotion theory, this thesis explains how Stowe’s family history and regional location contributed to her ability to address a variety of audiences with her novel. It describes how Uncle Tom’s Cabin employs many rhetorical strategies from American antislavery writing. It examines the ways in which the text was received in American society with a particular emphasis on the book’s contemporary reviews and it shows how Stowe’s approach to writing changed in the aftermath of the novel’s release.


Covers not scanned.
Print version deaccessioned 2022.

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Literature and society
Slavery in literature


Associated Publications