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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters 2 0 Browse Search
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er the death of little Eva-nor, for that matter, over the death of Dickens's little Nell. There is some melodrama, some religiosity, and there are some absurd recognition scenes at the dose. Nevertheless with an instinctive genius which Zola would have envied, Mrs. Stowe embodies in men and women the vast and ominous system of slavery. All the tragic forces of necessity, blindness, sacrifice, and retribution are here: neither Shelby, nor Eliza, nor the tall Kentuckian who aids her, nor John Bird, nor Uncle Tom himself in the final act of his drama, can help himself. For good or evil they are the products and results of the system; and yet they have and they give the illusion of volition. Mrs. Stowe lived to write many another novel and short story, among them Dred, the Minister's Wooing, Oldtown Folks, Oldtown fireside stories. In the local short story she deserves the honors due to one of the pioneers, and her keen affectionate observation, her humor, and her humanity, would