Morality (Mrs. Stowe’s “Uncle Tom” At Home in Kentucky, Part 2)

The good in human nature is irrepressible. Slavery, evil as it was, when looked at from the telescopic remoteness of human history as it is to be, will be adjudged an istitution that gave development, on the side of virtue, to certain very noble types of character. 

This sentence stuck out to me when reading. In it, the author admits that slavery is an evil, but then continues to give a reason why slavery could be a good thing. 

According to the author, slavery had the good quality of helping people develop virtue. At first I thought he was referring to the slave masters who could be kind to their slaves, but then I thought that it could also refer to the slaves when they were doing their job well and being kind, good people. 

The passage goes on to describe the “kind of gentleman farmer” that slavery could produce by making a man more virtuous, but I think that, in this case as well as the passage as a whole, the author completely overlooks and disregards the slaves. Yes, a slaveowner might become a “kind of gentleman farmer” by treating his slaves nicely, but that says nothing about how the slave feels. Also, when the author talks about the “Mammy,” he doesn’t stop to question whether the  Mammy does what she does out of love for the child, or out of fear that she might be beaten or sold south. 

-Paulie 

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