In the early chapters of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe certainly seems to subscribe to a racist formula: that for African-Americans, lighter is more refined and civilized. As the novel goes on, though, does Tom (who is very dark) reinforce that racist notion, or upend it? Is Tom a Noble Savage (which, as we discussed, is itself a complicated paradigm), or a model of truly civilized refinement? What are we to take from the fates that the various characters encounter, whether northbound, southbound or ultimately eastward bound, at the end of the novel?
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