The Significance of Philanthropy and Piety Conducted by the White and Black Characters: A Study on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s CA


  • Nuriadi Nuriadi Nuriadi University of Mataram



Philanthropy, piety, slave, white Americans, black americans, physical freedom, spiritual freedom


Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852. It dealt with the slavery in America in antebellum era. Regarding this context, there are two issues emerging in the novel i.e. philanthropy conducted by the white people and piety held by the black people or the slaves. So, this paper discusses a problematic statement that is how philanthropy and piety are significant in sense of facing the heartless slavery of the blacks. Both issues appear in two different plots; that is, a plot dealing with Eliza and George running away to Canada, and the other dealing with Uncle Tom who does not want to run away but remains loyally as a slave until his death. This paper applies Mukarovsky’s dynamic structuralism as a theoretical framework to analyze the issues of philanthropy and piety, namely, by utilizing the historical, philosophical, and cultural facts as the materials to elaborate the literary facts. Through this study, it is finally found out that Stowe uses a double plot in order to emphasize that philanthropy conducted by some white people and the slave’s piety in embracing Christianity were really occurred in the antebellum era, pre-Civil War era (1851-1856) in the United States. Besides, this paper finds out that either philanthropy or piety is the ways for the characters of the novel to achieve their freedom. Concretely the freedom in this case refers to both physical and spiritual meanings.  

Author Biography

Nuriadi Nuriadi Nuriadi, University of Mataram

Lecturer of literature,


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