Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Characteristics of Melodrama in Uncle Tom's Cabin
Melodrama is a play form that does not observe the dramatic laws of cause and effect and that intensifies sentiment and exaggerates emotion (893). Written by George L. Aiken, Uncle Tom's Cabin is an extremely good example for melodrama that emerged towards the end of nineteenth century. By then, the demand for more realistic works was on rise. With more realism in it, the work would appeal to any rank, any race, and any sex, mostly to middle and woking class. Melodrama not only aimed to entertain and to put money into the pockets of the manager but also to realize thoroughly the problems taking place in society. In Uncle Tom's Cabin realism exposes itself with the issue of slavery in the South. The slaves, though not all of them (because it was up to their masters), were oppressed and treated in a cruel way, tortured for nothing. Considered as inferior, the black men were emasculated. We can witness it with the case of George, one of the slaves in the play, who could not even enjoy having a family, his son was to be sold, while the same thing could be with his wife, and he could do nothing about it. Geroge himself was forced to marry another woman, which would happen if only he did not escape. To sum up, he had no right to take his own decisions. This issue was very common in the real life. Aiken was so frank in his speech that the publication of this play was opposed by some people.

The success of Uncle Tom's Cabin as a novel, has naturally suggested its success upon the stage, but the fact has been overlooked, that any such representation must be an insult to the South – an exaggerated mockery of Southern institutions – and calculated more than any Dogru 1 other expedient of agitation, to...
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