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, .., panel-discussion, chairman assistant ( 1-3).
Chairman: Dear Friends, we are glad to see You again in our studio. This time our panel looks at the problems of a person on the background of historic events. Today we shall discuss the creative activity of H.B.Stowe & the role she has played in the abolition of slavery.
Assistant: Oh, I do remember that once Ive read the following: in the midst of the Civil war A.Lincoln had remarked that Mrs. Stowe was the little lady who wrote the book that made this Great War.
Chairman: So today we have invited the people with different opinions on this question. Let me introduce our guests:
  • a distant relative of H.B.Stowe
  • Natalia Hutchison an investigator of M.Mitchels literary work
  • Wendy Wainright a journalist
  • Helen Meyers a scientist
  • Larry Atkinson a politician (a senator from the state of Georgia)
  • Christie Moore a lawyer
  • Mary Broedel a writer
  • Simon Campbell an activist of the movement For Equal Rights
  • Elizabeth Carson a critic
  • Victoria Green a historian
  • Emely Smith a sociologist
I consider that it would be better for the distant relative of H.B.Stowe to refresh some moments connected with this book.
A distant relative of H.B.Stowe: Well, Uncle Toms Cabin or The Life among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel, published by my great-grandmother, serially in the National Era between the years of 1851-52 & in the book from 1852. It became the best-selling novel of the 19th century. The reasons, which inspired H.B.Stowe to write this work, were the reaction to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which roused general indignation in the Northern States.
Simon Campbell an activist: Yes, surely, I consider that this problem the problem of slavery was very popular at that time & so it made this book extremely actual. Slavery penetrates deep into the soul of a man. And it turns future generations into slaves from the very beginning of their lives, from the moment of their birth & so slavery stops to be a kind of discrimination of their rights & turns into their usual way of thinking, living. That is why slaves consider it an ordinary thing to fulfil their masters orders without defining the fact that both of them: the slave & the master are human beings possessing the same equal rights.
Victoria Green a historian: I would like to reject to Mr. Campbells opinion. We are not to see the dark side of the picture. Then we shall notice that slavery has its pluses too. For example, the Catholic Church proves the value of slavery as well as the Orthodox does conformably to serfdom. Besides slavery is the natural stage in the development of society. We do remember that in Russia the serfdom lasted for about 200 years. Surely, peasants have already got accustomed to this system. When they were given freedom popular uprisings didnt stop. The fact that the reform was unprofitable for peasants as practically they had to pay both for their freedom & land. As I specialize in Russian history I cant tell you for sure about the situation in the USA, but judging by the book it was similar to ours. So while speaking about the abolition of slavery we must think about the consequences of this reform.
Natalia Hutchison an investigator: As for me I wish to support Miss Greens opinion. As an investigator of Margaret Mitchels literary work I want to remind you that the same things take place in her book Gone with a Wind. The composition of a novel, seizing the period of 1861-1873 corresponds to the main stages of the War & Reconstruction in Georgia. Events are revealed exclusively from the point of view of the supporters of slave property, loosing their privileges. The main character Scarlett OHara is also a slave owner. But in this case the slaves are the members of the family and Tara the estate is the native home for them. Their masters understand that Negroes are not things, but people & they have their own souls, thoughts and feelings. Scarletts kindness is responded by the devotion of slaves. And even when they were given liberty, they didnt want to leave the plantation. I think this is a very important thing about the relation with the slaves. As for the Russian history I wish to say that sometimes when servants lived with their masters all their life and were treated well, they didnt want to be free. When they got liberty, they often said: Father, for what? So, sometimes its difficult for slaves to become free they dont know how to behave themselves.
Chairman: It sounds rather strange to be happy being a slave. What is your opinion Ms. Helen?
Helen Meyers a scientist: As for me I cant agree with the opinion. Lets return back to H.B.Stowes book. A theme that she impresses strongly upon the reader is the degenerative effect of slavery upon both the slave & the owner. This issue is often raised in the novel. Even Mrs. Shelby recognizes the depravity & admits that slavery is bitter, bitter most accused thing a curse to the master & a curse to the slave. The injustice of slavery is frequently identified in the novel, but of course the practice is continued. Many of those involved in keeping slaves are sensitive to the problem. Mr. Shelby, for instance, is not contented by the idea, but enjoys the benefit out of what he deems necessity. The inherent problem of slavery is again staled when John van Trompe is being described. His worn appearance is attributed to the workings of a system equally bad for oppressor & oppressed.
Assistant: Are there any other opinions on this issue?
Elizabeth Carson a critic: I completely agree with Helen Meyers opinion. The novel dexterously demonstrates the absurdities & contradictions of slavery. For instance, Mr. Shelbys actions are strongly contradictory to his statements. He believes himself to be a good Christian man with a genuine respect for his slaves. Yet the fact that he keeps slaves opposes all that he says & although his treatment of slaves is better than of the majority of masters, he doesnt respect them. For example, in the first chapter, when Shelby & Haily are discussing the ensuing trade, Harry enters the room & Shelby makes him dance around like a clown & then tosses raisins to him. Also, Mr. Marris, a slave-owner in defence of his relocating George asserts that its a free country, sir, the man is mine. It is also ironic that after George invents a machine to clean hemp the employer congratulates Georges master owning such a fine slave but not George.
Emely Smith a sociologist: I want to add that all slave system is based on the anti-humanist statement that a slave is some kind of property, he is a thing which can be sold, bought or presented to anyone the master wishes. The difference between an efficient, virtuous slave & good-for-nothing is that the former has a higher market value & price. From my point of view once & for all the book Uncles Tom Cabin did away with the idea that a slave could be happy with a kind master. The story from its very beginning shows that when the kind master has fallen into debts he will not stop at the prospect of selling his property. He sells his good slave although he has intended to set him free; and the more valuable the slave is the more surely the creditors would seize him.
Assistant: Sorry for interrupting you but let me remind you the poem The Quadron by H.Longfellow in which the father being a planter sells his daughter when he finds himself in financial straits. He immediately forgets about their relation, all ethical principles have been neglected. The only thing he keeps in mind is he has a beautiful slave and can get a good reward for that.
Emely Smith a sociologist: Yes, I completely agree that slavery gradually deprives a human being of elementary humanitarian feelings by developing the worst in human nature. But let me continue the story about Mr. Shelby. I dont want to say that he is cruel in the attitude towards Tom. He parts with his devoted slave reluctantly but that doesnt make Toms life easier. He is separated with his wife and children. So in one word, the circumstances of life make Mr. Shelby sell Tom. And then later another character George identifies the inequality and asks: Who made this man my master? And I think that it is the main question of the book.
Chairman: Thats correct, Ms. Smith. But dont forget about the ambivalent nature of the man. So, Mrs. Wendy, what is your opinion on this question?
Wendy Wainright a journalist: In this concern I wish us to remember the fact that in contrast to Toms noble attitude the author portrays two Negro overseers Sambo and Quimbo, who were wild and cruel. An American proverb says: The worst of overseers is the former slave. Legree has trained them in savageness and brutality. Beecher Stowe doesnt conceal that the institution of slavery gradually deprives human beings of elementary humanitarian feelings, by developing the worse in human nature. Sambo and Quimbo hate Tom fearing he may take their privileges on the plantation and because of this fact they become beastly cruel to him. I consider that by showing these characters, Beecher Stowe did all that she could at that period to keep the slaves from insurrection. She thought that the only way to freedom was to earn it by Christian meekness in the meantime the abolitionists would by agitation make the slave-holders liberate their slaves themselves.
Assistant: Today we speak about the problem of abolition. Was it prepared by the time or was it a case of urgent necessity. Was it really provoked by H.B.Stowes book?
Christie Moore a lawyer: Indeed the problem of abolition was dictated by the time. People got used to the fact that all must be divided into masters and slaves, that even when the slave commits a noble deed the other man thanks him by ransoming from slavery. And I want you to remember the moment when Uncle Tom during the voyage down the Mississippi saves Eva St. Claires life (known as little Eva) with the result that her father buys him out of gratitude. Tom is happy to have such friends as Eva and Jepsy. But after two years Eva died from a weakened constitution in a highly sentimental death scene. Her father is then killed in the accident and Tom is sold at auction to the villainous Simon Legree, a cruel drunken Yankee. So when the abolitionists appeared, not only slave owners were against them but also people who didnt derive any profit from slavery, but since childhood they were brought up with hatred to black people. They were convinced of the fact that the color of the skin determines the dignity of man. So the abolitionists projected in the situation of hostility and persecutions, but they fought and helped the slaves of Southern States. And the novel Uncle Toms Cabin proves once again that Negroes were strong people and didnt want to reconcile with their fate.
Chairman: Let us investigate some problems which we face while reading this novel. To my mind the most exciting and the most dramatic one is that connected with the separation of families when mothers are ready to fulfill a heroic deed to save their nestling.
Victoria Green a historian: Frankly speaking I was deeply impressed by Elizas heroic deed when she had to cross the swollen river on foot in order to save her child. Its because the Ohio River was on her way to freedom. It is impressive to read these lines without a sinking heart. Eliza was so afraid of the thought that her baby would be sold to another master that she was ready to die but not to doom her child to torture.
Assistant: Well lets recall together these lines. To get to Canada Eliza had to cross the Ohio River. So when she heard mens voices and saw Haley she caught up the...


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: 2018.04.07 | : 39

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