Uncle Tom's Cabin Analysis

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The ‘interaction’ between the narrator and narratee is important in this categorization. Warhol presents five forms of distinctions between distancing and engaging narrators: 1. The names by which the narratee is addressed. Distancing narrator usually specifies a namw or title for the narratee establishing a bigger distance. Warhole gives examples of the distancing narrator from Eliot’s Scenes with the address to “Madame” or “Mrs. Farthingale.” Engaging narrators either avoid naming the narratee or use names that “refer to large classes of potential actual readers” (1986: 813). For instance, “mothers of America” in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Another way is to “include large numbers of more specifically defined groups in passages of direct address”…show more content…
They do not reckon a potential reader as a “bad reader,” but rather as “potentially limited sympathizers” (Warhol 1986: 814). As Warhol points out, an example of such overjustification can be found in the very famous passage in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, when the narrator interrupts the scene when Eliza barefoot escapes over the frozen river. The narrator encourages narratees to put themselves in Eliza’s place: If it were your Harry, mother, or your Willie, that were going to be torn from you by a brutal trader, tomorrow morning – if you had seen the man, and heard that the papers were signed and delivered, and you had only from twelve o’clock till morning to make good your escape, – how fast could you walk? (105, qtd. in Warhol 1986: 814) The narrator tries to make receivers sympathize with the character and encourages narratees to identify with the character. This makes the narrator and the passage…show more content…
– I beseech you, pity the mother who has all your affections, and not one legal right to protect, guide, or educate, the child of her bosom! By the sick hour your child; by those dying eyes, which you can never forget; by those last cries, that wrung your heart when you could neither help nor save... – I beseech you, pity those mothers that are constantly made childless by the American slave-trade! And say, mothers of America, is this a thing to be defended, sympathized with, passed over in silence?

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