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Uncle Tom's Cabin Or Uncle Tom's Slave Shack:

            As we have all learned at some point in our academic careers, the most effective means of ascertaining an accurate understanding of history is to examine a given subject from multiple perspectives. All writers, regardless of their lofty claims to objectivity, exhibit a definitive bias in their work. In the composition of fiction and non-fiction alike, the writer's personal prejudice always shines through, and the content of any text is invariably impregnated with the opinions and assumptions of both the writer and the culture from which he or she hails. Thus, to study a text without considering one or more opposing viewpoints is to limit oneself to a partial truth, and to study as many primary texts as possible that concern a given subject is to responsibly attempt to approach a larger empirical truth. .
             The importance of this parsimonious methodology of historical analysis is particularly poignant in the comparison of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Fredrick Douglass" Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass. In a brief survey of the these two texts, they appear to have countless similarities. They both address the grim realities of American slavery. They both include intimate accounts of the interpersonal power structures that arise from the institutionalization of human property. And they both attempt to encourage their readers to support the abolitionist movement. Nonetheless, as we can observe in an in-depth examination of the authors" respective treatment of domestic spaces, Stowe and Douglass exhibit distinctively different understandings of slave psychology as they paint contradictory pictures of a slave's relationship to his or her place of dwelling. .
             Without even opening Stowe's novel, we can surmise the thematic importance of domestic spaces simply by reading the title. In her choice of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for the title of the work, Stowe suggests the that the physical space of Uncle Tom's cabin is in some way central to her narrative.

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