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Uncle Tom's Cabin

The moving abolitionist novel that fueled the fire of the human rights debate in 1852 and melodramatically condemned the institution of slavery through such powerfully realized characters as Tom, Eliza, Topsy, Eva, and Simon Legree. First published more than 150 years ago, this monumental work is today being reexamined by critics, scholars, and students.
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Gr 10 Up-Perry Keenlyside's abridged rendering of this classic tale adequately tells Harriet Beecher Stowe's antislavery story. Uncle Tom, a dignified and strong man, endures ownership by two men who treat him kindly: first by George Shelby who keeps Tom's family together until economics forces a sale, and second by Augustine St. Clare who comes to respect Tom's character and all he stands for. When Augustine dies, Tom is sold to the cruel Simon Legree. It is at Legree's farm that Tom dies as a result of one of his beatings. Although Tom suffered a wavering in his faith at the hands of Simon Legree, it is here that Tom has a religious reawakening and dies strong in his faith. In its condensed form, the religious aspects of the novel seem to be given added significance, but perhaps that is only right given the social climate out of which this novel was born. Liza Ross reads the story, assuming several voices for each of the different characters. In a few places, the reading of the tags describing a voice we just heard seems awkward and redundant. Overall, Ross's voice is a convincing one, able to engage even today's visually oriented students. A music interlude signals the break between chapters, a good stopping point for discussion.-Suzanne Goodman, Park High School, Livingston, MT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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