The Role of Religion in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Topics: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Christianity Pages: 3 (1375 words) Published: April 16, 2006
William Arthur Ward once said, "Real religion is a way of life, not a white cloak to be wrapped around us on the Sabbath and then cast aside into the six-day closet of unconcern." Religion is the one thing that people can usually tolerate but never agree upon. Each faith seems to have an ordained assumption that they have the correct thoughts on how to life one's life or how to think about things or the way to act in certain situations. Still, each religion has its own "sub-religions." If someone refers to Christianity, there are several different religions that are blanketed under that umbrella: Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian are just a handful. The inconsistencies that are associated with everyone's belief about religion run into deeper ruts of confusion. This confusion leads people to have distorted views as to what they believe and what their religion is all about. This is no different from the feelings about slavery by Christians in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Throughout the novel, Christianity presents itself in a few different lights; as a twisted and deformed glimmer of what religion is supposed to be with undertones of bigotry and prejudice, an innocent yet naive child that brings joy to everyone he or she meets, and as Uncle Tom himself, the standard for what a Christian is supposed to be. These different portrayals of Christian living come from Stowe's own beliefs about Christians and brings them into the light. Many people during the time of Harriet Beecher Stowe and even now regard religion as a means of getting out of the requirement of having to go to Hell by being a part of a religion. What these people do not realize is that there is more to just being able to say that they are Christians and getting out of the punishment for their sins. They must be examples of what it is like to be religious and practice it with fervency and commitment. Miss Ophelia was Stowe's embodiment of these people that are...
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