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Sorry to tell you that All of Joyce is pretty anti-Catholic, Dubliners included. Though I am not of their religious persuasion, some Catholic writers I really enjoy whom you might as well are Flannery O'Connor and Remy de Gourmont who approach the violence and ugliness of the world from a strong Catholic viewpoint. Also, Tobias Woolf, perhaps America's finest living short story writer. All of his stories grapple with questions of morality and forgiveness.
May I ask why you acquired a sudden distaste for Joyce after reading A Portrait of the Artist? You seemed to have enjoyed Dubliners. Why did reading Portrait cause you to renounce Joyce entirely?
You mentioned that you were interested in understanding more of the religious undertones of the novel. That's really the primary reason I sent you the info on Donovan's book, though she also addresses the accusations of racism. Donovan goes into detail about Stowe's religion and how it is reflected in the book. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying that Uncle Tom's Cabin is one of the greatest books ever written. Nonetheless, it sounds as if you aren't interested in exploring this further. But if you decide do read Donovan, I'd be happy to hear your reaction.
Me again, Adrianne. I looked up the name of Harriet Beecher Stowe's book about the realism in her book: The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Hi, Adrianne. I read your review of Uncle Tom's Cabin and that you thought it was racist. I just finished reading a book that will probably answer all your questions and clear the confusion: Uncle Tom's Cabin: Evil, Affliction, and Redemptive Love by Josephine Donovan. The author tells about the history behind the writing of that book and how Stowe went about carefully constructing it to convince people of the evils of slavery. The author goes into detail about the religious influences and the forming of each of the characters. I am doing research on Evil and had just finished reading two popular books on the psychology of evil and studies of the brains of people who have no conscience. Donovan's book turned up in a library search of the word Evil. I'm so glad I read it. Now I will go back and read Uncle Tom's Cabin again. The first time I read it as a simple piece of fiction and I found it thrilling and chilling. I also plan to read a short book (maybe a pamphlet) that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote after she was accused of not being realistic. She defended her realism with facts and figures, as well as extensive interviews of escaped slaves. I do hope you will read Donovan. I'm dying to get someone else's reaction. It's a bit academic here and there, but it is so revealing about the Christian symbolism and her careful attention to realistic detail. Get this: the confrontation of Uncle Tom with Simon Legree at the end is a confrontation of Christ and the Anti-Christ. I found another comment by a literary expert who said that Uncle Tom is the first Christ figure in American literature. And I thought it was just another novel!! If you want to discuss this, you can find me at bookcrazed[at] I also have a website that I set up to learn HTML code. I've posted my book reviews there.
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